Eating with Pope (though not the menu!) is a permanent memory

Pope Benedict XVI pretends to play a piano made out of cake after meeting young people for lunch in Madrid Aug. 19. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

MADRID (CNS) — Lunch with Pope Benedict XVI was an unforgettable experience for 12 young people at World Youth Day. Just don’t ask them what they ate.

“I wasn’t very hungry,” said Aurora Maria Almagro, 21, of Spain. “The food wasn’t the most important thing. We didn’t eat meat today because it’s Friday.”

In what has become a World Youth Day tradition, the pope sat down for lunch Aug. 19 with a young man and young woman representing the host country — Spain, in this case — and a male and female each representing five continents.

Ten of the diners were chosen by lot from among the international volunteers who helped prepare World Youth Day. The young man from New Zealand and the young woman from Australia were chosen by their bishops.

The menu included a soup, a fish dish and ice cream, but the young people were not more specific.

Michelle Hatfield, a 22-year-old from Stafford, Va., called lunch “an amazing experience.”

“The Holy Father is the father of the church and he guides us all. That’s what lunch was like. It was like eating lunch with your family: your father and people you have been working with and really care about.”

No one guided the conversation, she said, and no one decided who would talk next.

“It just came naturally. It’s like eating dinner with your family: You all listen, you all talk, but there’s no set structure.”

Most of the conversation, she said, involved the young people telling the pope about their lives and about the lives of young adults in their countries.

Hatfield, who has been working in the World Youth Day office in Madrid for five months, said she really wanted to give the pope something from the States, “but I have nothing” and she couldn’t go back just to get something.

The young people were seated at a round table with the pope and Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela of Madrid.

Eva Janosikova, 28, of Slovakia and Ya-Chen Chuang, 25, of Taiwan sat on either side of the pope.

“It was awesome. I wasn’t expecting that,” said Janosikova, who was among the first to greet the pope and go sit down. She went to the far side of the table, assuming she would be next to the cardinal.

“We prayed. He sat down and he opened the menu, but it was upside down, so I was just helping him. It was really cute,” she said. “He surprised me by his listening very actively and being interested in others.”

Martin Leung-Wai, a 25-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand, said the luncheon “has made my World Youth Day experience the experience of a lifetime.”

“Having lunch with the Holy Father is something you tell your …. family and friends and future generations about,” he said. When asked why he hesitated to say it was something you tell your grandchildren about, he said he was one of many at World Youth Day considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.

Leung-Wai also invited Pope Benedict to New Zealand.

“He was laughing,” the young man said.

This entry was posted in Pope Benedict, World Youth Day 2011 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Eating with Pope (though not the menu!) is a permanent memory

  1. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    I’m glad that all concerned liked the meal.

    But I’m very disappointed to hear the event described as “awesome” and “cute”.

    .. Sigh.


  2. toadspittle says:


    “Leung-Wai also invited Pope Benedict to New Zealand.
    “He was laughing,” the young man said.”

    As would anyone.


  3. Mr Badger says:

    Thanks Toad. 😉


  4. Srdc says:

    Our old friend Dawkins is losing sleep.

    “In wake of World Youth Day success, atheist Richard Dawkins decries “extreme power” of Catholic Church, plans September 17 demonstration”


  5. joyfulpapist says:

    Of course anyone would be happy at the thought of coming to New Zealand.


  6. toadspittle says:

    Here’s a sentence from the link Srdc posted yesterday, at 19.57:

    “Think about it: Would banishing religious-based views and actions privilege atheism?”

    Well, Toad thinks that ‘banishing religious-based views’ might be rather easier said than done.
    In fact, he thinks the question is imbecile.

    Think about it: Would banishing stupidity-based views privilege intelligence?


    However, unless Dawkins can persuade half a million crazed atheists to show up, he’s going to be on a loser here. Thinks Toad.


  7. Srdc says:


    Are you calling religious people stupid?

    There is nothing intelligent about Dawkins.


  8. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:


    You may disagree with Dawkins, but to say he is not intelligent is a rather silly remark. Perhaps you didn’t mean it.

    Some religious people are stupid, incidentally. Religion does not automatically instill intelligence.



  9. Srdc says:


    Dawkins is intelligent about a lot of things, he however is ignorant about religion. He should stick to subjects he’s good at.


  10. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Ok that’s different from your first comment.

    But he is not ignorant about religion. He may not know everything, but who does?

    He does stick to subjects he’s good enough at.

    Oppose him by all means but do it right, or you’ll end up with egg on your face. He gets a kicking on this forum, but it’s usually in useless contempt, and not in counter argument.


  11. Srdc says:


    The new atheists are ignorant about Christianity in general. Even Hitchen’s Christian brother agrees.


  12. Mr Badger says:

    Sadly Peter is just a wee tad dimmer than Christopher. It always makes me feel sorry for him when I see them debate.


  13. joyfulpapist says:

    Speed of thinking is useful in a debate.

    Depth of thinking is more useful in life.

    One of my earliest lessons as an adult was that IQ measures speed of thinking, but that depth of thinking requires a certain base level of intelligence, and thereafter is IQ independent.


  14. toadspittle says:


    Is Toad calling religious people stupid? asks Srdc.

    If she re-reads his comment carefully she will see he says no such thing. He doesn’t even use the words ‘religious’ and ‘stupid’ in the same sentence.

    Believers in God are no more stupid generally, than anyone else, he suggests.
    Some are stupid, some are not. Much like Atheists or Americans, Englishmen or dogs.
    It’s all relative. There is no ‘black and white’ here.

    What does Srdc think she’s ‘good’ at?

    (Toad is clearly good for nothing.)


  15. manus says:

    Disdain for Dawkins is not restricted to theists:

    “The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist” – Michael Ruse, Philosophy Prof at Florida State.

    Alister McGrath’s latest book “Why God won’t go away” – his third on Dawkins et al – is practically an obituary for New Atheism. Rather entertaining too.

    I admire Peter Hitchens’s writing – particularly The Rage against God – and his consistent critique of fashionable thinking. His resignation from the Daily Express so that he wouldn’t be employed by the pornographer Richard Desmond was also admirable.


  16. toadspittle says:


    Yea! If Dawkins is so smart, how come he ain’t rich?!!


  17. toadspittle says:


    …and his dog smells bad, too!


  18. toadspittle says:


    “The new atheists are ignorant about Christianity in general. Even Hitchen’s Christian brother agrees.” Srdc tells us.

    But, surely one would expect him to do so? If not, why not?


  19. manus says:

    Erm, Toad, are you having a bad morning?

    I’m sure that by any objective standards Dawkins is rich. Selling millions of books can do that to a fellow. I know he doesn’t have a god, not sure about the dog.

    And just as we might reasonably expect Peter Hitchins to defend Christianity from the New Atheism, so might we expect most readers of this blog. Being Catholic, y’know.


  20. Mr Badger says:

    “The new atheists are ignorant about Christianity in general. Even Hitchen’s Christian brother agrees.”

    Yeah, Toad made a fair point about this, since Hitchen’s brother is a christian, it is not in the least bit surprising that Peter Hitchens agrees that the new atheists are ignorant about christianity. Obviously.


  21. toadspittle says:


    Alas, Manus, Toad was merely being ironic. A foolish thing to be on CP&S, to be sure.
    He won’t try it again.

    But it does strike Toad that, if one is convinced God does not exist, as do Atheists – what’s the point in learning about a lot of stuff like Transubstantation, Miracles, the Sacred Monkeys in the Vatican, venerating the big toe bone of saint Adelbert, and not eating bacon sandwiches on Fridays?
    Even the most dedicated Catholic would surely agree that, without God, all such is pointless? So why bother finding out about it?

    Yes, Toad actually was having a bad day.
    Murphy, the world’s most perfect cat, had been missing for days.. but now he’s back and in one piece too!

    So now Toad’s cheerful. And will light a candle to San Rocco this day.


  22. toadspittle says:


    ….And yes, he’s spelled “Transwhatnot” wrongly. More aeons on Purg.


  23. manus says:


    You may indeed feel that being on CP&S is foolish, but do keep trying. I do, despite all pleading to desist.

    If Dawkins took a live and let live attitude, he would indeed be entitled to remain in utter ignorance of theist thinking. But he is evangelical in his atheistic fervour. He wishes to convert us, and therefore might be expected to engage a little, to know his enemy perhaps. Unfortunately the jaw-dropping disbelief The God Delusion inspires is probably not what he was hoping for.

    Your cat is back – excellent news.

    Better on Purgatory than in it, I suppose.


  24. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Interesting comments here on the bogeymen. Dawkins and Hitchens have clearly driven people mad.

    I simply wonder, why all the fuss?


  25. toadspittle says:


    Spanish pun for Manus: (in English, as you see)

    There is only one animal in Purgatory, a cat (gato)


  26. manus says:

    Alas, Toad, I think I shall spend my aeons in Purgatory trying to work that one out. All I know is that in Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, one of the Devil’s sidekicks is a cat. I could deliver a pizza pun on that one, if you like.


  27. manus says:


    “He does stick to subjects he’s good at. Oppose him by all means but do it right, or you’ll end up with egg on your face. He gets a kicking on this forum, but it’s usually in useless contempt, and not in counter argument.”

    And that’s precisely what the Christian community has done. Serious writers and thinkers have seriously examined the books of Dawkins, Hitchens et al and found them seriously wanting. The critics’ books have of course been largely ignored by the fawning media, but the ones I have read are pretty devastating in their analysis and fairly entertaining with it. I’ve previously cited two Oxford Profs – McGrath (now at London) and Lennox – and a third is Keith Ward, all of whom appear to relish shooting into that particular barrel. But there are plenty of others too. So if anyone is bothered by the arguments of New Atheists, there are plenty of resources out there to help.

    “Dawkins and Hitchens have clearly driven people mad. I simply wonder, why all the fuss?”

    Well, you appear to suggest Dawkins is “good” at religion, a subject he certainly sticks to. But not many academics do. Which is why they’ve dismantled his arguments, without, as far as I can see, too much fuss. But his status, and arguments, as a champion of disbelief are important to understand.


  28. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thanks Manus,

    I actually said that Dawkins was ‘good enough’ , not “good”. There is a difference there. Dawkins is good enough for millions to like what he says.

    My basic point was that for someone to say that Dawkins was ignorant or whatever the word was, isn’t really useful. My point about why all the fuss simply meant that here is a popular and respected critic of religion. Nothing new there, so people should relax.

    Your point is valid when you say that those who offer coherent rebuttal are not well known, not fashionable. I was surprised to see Terry Eagleton, an extremely significant Marxist critic, lay into Dawkins. I had thought that a Marxist couldn’t believe in a God. But when I used to hear Eagleton lecture, he was a very good friend of Father McCabe in Oxford, and years later, it started to slot into place. TE was brought up as a Catholic, but I assumed he’d dropped that. Wrongly, as it turned out.


  29. manus says:

    I’d forgotten Eagleton. He’s entertaining on the subject too. His book “Reason, Faith and Revolution” puts the boot into the New Atheists, despite being as you say a Marxist. He lumps the two together as “Ditchkins”, and comes out with such gems as:

    “Without God, Dawkins would be out of a job. It is thus particularly churlish of him to call the existence of his employer into question.” (p9)


  30. Mr Badger says:

    “Without God, Dawkins would be out of a job. It is thus particularly churlish of him to call the existence of his employer into question.”

    A cursory glance at his CV will show that this is demonstrably incorrect


  31. toadspittle says:


    Forget it, Mr. Badger. Dawkins is clearly one of the most foolish men who ever drew a breath on this planet, and why anyone on CP&S even bothers to give him the time of day defies belief.
    Why, Srdc alone, is ten times more brilliant, not only at ‘religion’ but also at ice hockey, crossword puzzles, putting the shot and hunting the slipper.
    And as for the patently clear superiority of some of the other massive intellects on here, well, words just escape Toad.

    But then, he is only a Toad. And very stup


  32. toadspittle says:

    “But not many academics do. Which is why they’ve dismantled his arguments, without, as far as I can see, too much fuss.”
    These are, no doubt, arguments suggesting that there is no God. Manus will now present us with the conclusive proofs that there is such a thing.

    (On one side of the paper only, please.)


  33. The Raven says:

    The problem with Dawkins and many other celebrity atheists is that their arguments are built around a “strawman” God: the deity that they wish to debunk does not resemble the God that a Catholic would recognise. Their view of Christianity and Christians is firmly rooted in a charicature that owes a lot to fundamentalist, Biblical literalist Protestantism and little to the actual beliefs of most Christians. In short, Dawkins demonstrates little or no engagement with the subject that he seeks to critique.

    Dawkins et al get a lot of attention from websites like this one because of the manner in which they conduct their side of the debate and the way that their co-religionists mimic Dawkins’ incivility (without mimicking his wit, unfortunately).

    In my view, Dawkins succeeds because his rudeness gets attention and distracts from the large, God-shaped hole in his argument.


  34. Mr Badger says:

    Raven has a point, though I don’t really appreciate Dawkins wit much, on that score Hitchens is the only one of the our who is worth reading


  35. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Funnily enough, Mr B, in the paperback of ‘God is not Great’, Dawkins offers a blurb saying that he wouldn’t like to be a Christian taking on Hitchens.

    And also in the book, by contrast, Hitchens pours scorn on Dawkins for promoting the idea of some kind of select group of atheists/agnostics. I’m sorry I forget what it’s called – a rather odd name.

    So all the angry Christians may find some comfort there, re Dickie D and Chris. Yet it would be great if those who think Dawkins is foolish would tell us why. But that is unlikely, for it’s more satisfying to just throw one’s toys out of the pram and call him names.

    I think Dawkins and Hitchens have done Christians a huge favour, by waking them up out of a complacent slumber and requiring that they strut their stuff. Christian intellectuals have stated their case, but Joe Public doesn’t read them.

    I also believe that Dickie D does not claim to be an atheist but an agnostic.


  36. manus says:

    Toad, if all else fails, we could try clarity.

    ‘The New Atheism’ is popularist, aggressive, strong on sentiment and poor on argument. It represents neither the best in atheism (which most thoughtful Christian commentators fully acknowledge to be a perfectly respectable intellectual position, and why it annoys many thoughtful atheists too) nor does it challenge the best in theism, preferring to attack straw men – thereby needlessly annoying a lot of theists with its cheap insults. To demolish Dawkins is not to demolish atheism.

    Wally is referring to the notion of ‘Brights’ – which has rather died a death after much media acclaim. Deservedly so, in my view.

    Dawkins’s arguments and their rebuttal are so freely available elsewhere there seem little point rehearsing them here. An example of careless and/or foolish behaviour is described by Melanie Phillips, the well-known Jewish commentator, who describes how Dawkins ended up accusing her of ‘lying for Jesus’. It’s a long tale but worth following:

    Hardly the rigourous respect for truth one might expect from a notable scientist.


  37. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Thanks Manus for the info on ‘Brights’ – an unfortunate name. That one bombed for him.

    Thnx also for the TE book title – TE has a wicked turn of phrase which he has used to roast many who he has targeted; Peter Levi’s book on Shakespeare was one such. Blazing intellect and a paradox of a man. Big on Irish partying too. Kathleen would fancy him, perhaps, tho’ he is maybe too self opinionated for her. Thinks for himself.

    Like Mr Badger, I can’t agree with TE about RD being out of a job. He has had and will continue to have a shining career in Biology and also the Understanding of Science.

    I say again, Christians should be glad he’s around. But they will continue to sulk.


  38. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    M. Phillips is an unfortunate choice to quote. Notorious for saying that Obama is a ‘revolutionary Marxist’, expresses her hatred for the occupied Palestinians as ‘savages’, and says that to oppose her views is to make ‘ a pogrom’ against her. She has allied herself to many extreme and brutal policies and ideas. Ad nauseam.


  39. The Raven says:


    I’m afraid that Prof Dawkins tends to stick with his theological meanderings these days: he has retired from his position popularising science and hasn’t written any serious science this century. I think it a shame that he will be remembered as a swivel eyed religious enthusiast and not as a great science writer.

    I quite agree, btw, that he is an asset to Christianity: Fr Blake recounts that at least one lapsed Catholic of his acquaintance has re-started her practice of the Faith in reaction to seeing Dawkins et al at their silly “Protest the Pope” fiasco.


  40. Mr Badger says:

    he has retired from his position popularising science and hasn’t written any serious science this century. I think it a shame that he will be remembered as a swivel eyed religious enthusiast and not as a great science writer.

    Raven is exactly on point I think. He has written a couple of pop-science books in the last decade, but they feel somewhat “phoned in”. It really is a shame. Books like The Blind watchmaker and The Extended Phenotype were intellectual workouts whtever your theology. Back when Stephen Jay Gould was alive dawkins used to debate other things than the book of genesis.

    Oddly enough the least mentioned of the “four horsemen” is Daniel Dennett. But in my view he is the intellectual heavy hitter of the group. “Breaking the Spell”, his obligatory atheist tome, is not mentioned often on Christian blogs, I sometimes wonder if (unlike the G. delusion) it doesn’t cut a little close to the bone.

    I also agree with Raven re the Protest the Pope fiasco. which was indeed a, well, fiasco. Nothing ess appealing than an aging academic getting all shouty.

    Notorious for saying that Obama is a ‘revolutionary Marxist’

    Really?? Obama???? The guy who nowadays makes even the centre left yawn?? Goodness, what would she do if she read about Che, have a stroke??


  41. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Raven! – a “swivel eyed religious enthusiast”!



  42. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Mr B – yes to your comments about Dawkins’ excellent books and SJG.

    And also yes about Obama- that failed hope for a better world. The ‘ Revolutionary Marxist ‘ jibe is an indicator of the barking lunacy of M Phillips. Mind you, I’ve seen the same guff on protesters’ banners on the US on TV reports. It makes me afraid, very afraid.


  43. toadspittle says:

    “‘The New Atheism’ is popularist, aggressive, strong on sentiment and poor on argument. “

    Sez Manus. And who would have the nerve to argue with such a dogmatic statement? Not Toad, to be sure.

    However, the Catholics seem, to Toad, to exhibit identical tendencies herein, albeit contrariwise – the most notable being that they constantly proclaim (and exult in) the existence of a loving and caring God, despite there being not even the most minute fragment of reasonable evidence to support such an outrageous proposition. (Thinks Toad.)

    Tough argument. But, if there is a convincing argument, by all means let’s hear it!
    (But don’t bother with the tedious old “First Cause,” stuff, if you please.)

    tNevertheless, as Sdrc so sagely and often says, it takes all sorts, etc., And we must all rub along, as amicably as possible.
    There is no black and whitehere. As she often blithely assures us.


  44. toadspittle says:


    “Toad, if all else fails, we could try clarity.”

    Manus has the freakin’ noive to posit.

    This from a man who revels in “mysteries”, like Fatima and the revolving sun, Transubstantation, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the infallibility of the Pope, and the Sacred Monkeys in the Vatican.

    And that’s just for starters.

    Clarity already!

    Oy vey! (Whatever that means.)


  45. The Raven says:

    Toad, old chap, plenty of evidence for there being a God, question is whether it is to your taste.

    For: the universe exists; testimony of those granted theosophonies; the witness statements concerning miracles.

    If you don’t like the evidence that may just be hard cheese!


  46. manus says:


    All of these seem fairly clear – not sure about the monkeys, though – whether or not you subscribe to them. Unlike conflating Dawkins’ arguments with those of all atheists, for example. Still, if it brings out your inner Fiddler on the Roof, that’s all to the good.

    Wally, it would be a pity to discount Melanie Phillips’ straightforward testimony because you don’t like her politics. Rather like pre-judging Dawkins, perhaps.

    I think Dawkins has caused some Christians to wake up and become a little better informed, and I agree that he is an inspired guide to science when he sticks to it, but we have enough tensions in society without further incitement to contempt, don’t we?


  47. joyfulpapist says:

    In its deep history, the term ‘civil’ is related to the word ‘civis’, which means ‘townsman’. Being ‘civil’ is behaving in a way that allows people to live comfortably together in large groups. It seems to me the rules of civility should apply in books of apologetics (whether for the new atheism, for catholicism, or any religion), and on the Internet, and in our streets, just as much as they do in my living room.


  48. Mr Badger says:

    It seems to me the rules of civility should apply in books of apologetics (whether for the new atheism, for catholicism, or any religion), and on the Internet, and in our streets, just as much as they do in my living room.

    i disagree, I like a bit of excoriating polemic now and again. I see no reason for authors to be civil all the time. Though one may choose only to read writers who are civil.


  49. toadspittle says:


    Raven, Toad didn’t say there was no evidence for a God, just that there’s no evidence that God is loving and caring. But then, there’s no reason why He, or She, should be. We certainly don’t deserve it.


  50. Mr Badger says:

    These are, no doubt, arguments suggesting that there is no God. Manus will now present us with the conclusive proofs that there is such a thing.

    No mention of love nor caring Toad..


  51. joyfulpapist says:

    Plenty of room in my definition of civil for witty repartee and sarcastic come backs. I draw the line before we get to stupid personal insults. And some people, on both sides of the debate, don’t.


  52. Mr Badger says:

    Well take a remark by Dawkins, he asserts that to argue for literal 6 day creationism these days requires either stupidity or wicked dishonesty. — I agree with him, and don’t have problem with seeing it in print — but it’s hardly civil to our “dinosaurs in eden” friends is it?


  53. manus says:

    The test in my view is whether you are challenging your opponents to, in the broadest sense, ‘repentence and redemption’ (however strong your language – look at the Prophets!), or whether you are merely encouraging your own side to sneer at the hopeless.

    I do think Dawkins steps over the line when he incites contempt for believers – the good that may arise from this is despite him, not because of him. And he serves as a warning to the rest of as regarding the dangers of over-zealousness, of any flavour.


  54. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Dawkins does indeed incite contempt, and so do those who oppose him. I notice that the reciprocal contempt often attacks the man and not his ideas.

    Mr B is right to allow for a bit of polemic, a bit of passion, a bit of soapbox oratory, and some bodice-ripping posts here. I say it lends some life and colour to a website, making it more interesting. I don’t think Kathleen is keen on it however, referring to this liveliness as “self opinionated rants”. Why shouldn’t people be self opinionated? Indeed how can they be other than that? Those who object to clear views reveal perhaps, a certain timidity in discussion, never having enjoyed the fun of a barnstorming, tubthumping argument with friends, for example. I fear the day when everybody agrees with each other.

    I was surprised above where someone offered as evidence for God the fact that the world existed. Auschwitz existed too – is that also evidence for the existence of God?


  55. manus says:


    Your insistence on parity between Dawkins and his detractors is not justified by evidence. Perhaps you can offer an example of a person of Dawkins’ standing – say a professor of a major university – who incites contempt for Dawkins himself or the New Atheists in general, rather than tackling the arguments. You have already stated you accept that Dawkins himself does incite contempt for theists.


  56. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Why Manus, I have read on this forum that Dawkins is ignorant and a fool. Dawkins’ arguments were not addressed. Dummies were spat out, toys were thrown from the pram.

    If you want examples of academic contempt for Dawkins, (the ideas and the man) you might care to look at the words of Terry Eagleton. I’d say they were pretty contemptuous.

    Doesn’t trouble me by the way. I really don’t care.


  57. The Raven says:

    If you want examples of academic contempt for Dawkins, a better example would be Mary Midgely, who comprehensively demolishes Dawkins’ pretensions to philosophy.


  58. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    That’s great Raven; it’s a better example I’m sure. I only suggested one I knew without looking it up.

    Dawkins has without a shadow of a doubt, touched a pulsing raw nerve. He is seldom met with indifference, but instead with a venomous sneering hate. Quite disproportionate, I’d say.

    Has he exposed some insecurity?
    Maybe not.


  59. The Raven says:

    Do give over, Whippy: “venomous sneering hate”? Pity is the main emotion that he excites in my breast and that of many others: it is a shame to see a great man brought low by his hobby-horse.


  60. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    If I were Dawkins, I’d rather be hated than pitied. Pity is often shot through with hate. Dawkins has been vilified in the manner I describe. You needn’t agree, of course.

    But he really has got you going, hasn’t he? For someone you pity, could it be that he has made you feel insecure?

    Me, I like his books on evolution.


  61. The Raven says:

    Whippy, you really ought to listen to your interlocutor if you’re engaging in a conversation.

    As is more than apparent from what I’ve already written on the subject, Dawkins doesn’t trouble me greatly: I pity him for the deadening effect on his reputation that his religious fanaticism is having; I pity him and his followers for the trend for bone-headed incivility that he has inspired; but he really hasn’t got anything interesting or disturbing to say about religion.

    The closest to the bone that Dawkins gets are his excellent discussions of palaeontology: on matters of faith he is aiming at a target of his own creation that is at a great distance to that of most theists.


  62. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Good stuff Raven – but you’re back to fabrication again. Your pity list doesn’t ring true.

    But I’m glad that at last you assert that Dawkins doesn’t bother you. I think little of his antireligious stuff myself, so we’re buddies, right?

    I was wrong in thinking he’d got you into a frenzy. Quite wrong.


  63. The Raven says:

    My pity doesn’t ring true, Whippy, because I can’t promise that I have spent a great deal of time thinking about poor old Dawkins: we’re only discussing him because you and I both like arguing the toss.


  64. kathleen says:

    “I don’t think Kathleen is keen on it however, referring to this liveliness as “self opinionated rants”.” sez Wally! (And elsewhere on the blog there are other references by Wally about naughty Kath; what she says, what she believes in, who she is supposed to fancy………. etc., etc.)

    Oh dear, I really seem to have hurt your feelings Wally, and I’m sooooooooo sorry 😦 . You are quite right that everyone should voice their own opinions – and not just quote, or cut and paste – much more interesting. But I was using the word “self-opinionated” as an adjective to “rants”, not on its own. I mentioned no names when I used the term……… did you by any chance think I was referring to you? I wonder why.
    Tell you what, I’ll pick up the discarded toys, stick your dummy back in, and we’ll kiss and make up……… howzat?


  65. toadspittle says:


    You don’t want to kiss him with his dummy in, do you Kathleen? He might choke.

    “it is a shame to see a great man brought low by his hobby-horse.” opines Raven. Catholicism doesn’t count as a hobby horse, Toad supposes. Not as far as Catholics see it, at least…


  66. The Raven says:


    For some, perhaps myself included, there is a great deal of Uncle Tobyism in their Catholicism, but Catholicism per se (just like atheism per se) isn’t a hobby-horse, it is merely our pursuit of it that can make it such. As you may have spotted, my personal opinion remains that poor old Dawkins crossed that line long ago!


  67. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:


    Re your post above. I really, really didn’t have you in mind when I referred to prams and dummies. I’m sorry if you felt I meant you. And my other stuff where I did refer to you was lighthearted, but that didnt come across. Again, I regret that.

    Toad has beaten me to it about kissing and making up with my dummy intact. I will retreat to my pram and consider the lilies.

    K, I apologise.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s