Atheist Richard Dawkins: ‘I Am a Secular Christian’

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins (Facebook)

Richard Dawkins is known far and wide as an atheist. Now the popular scientist is admitting he's actually not an atheist at all—he's a secular Christian.

Dawkins recently spoke at the Hay Festival. There, the evolutionary biologist was presenting the first volume of his memoirs, An Appetite for Wonder, according to The Telegraph.

Dawkins isn't ready to embrace the supernatural, charismatic aspects of Christianity but expressed his affinity for religious ceremony during his talk.

"I would describe myself as a secular Christian in the same sense as secular Jews have a feeling for nostalgia and ceremonies," the Telegraph reported Dawkins as saying. "But if you don't have the supernatural, it's not clear to me why you would call yourself a minister. But I am a secular Christian, if you want to call me that."

Do we want to call him that? Does "Christian" belong in the same sentence as Richard Dawkins?

"In his best-selling book The God Delusion, Dawkins famously mocked the God of the Old Testament, claiming, 'The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully,'" says Michael L. Brown, author of The Real Kosher Jesus and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire. "This quote quickly became an atheist favorite, kind of an instant classic and part of Dawkins' legacy."

The world-renowned biologist made headlines last year by saying he's confident President Barack Obama is an atheist.

"I'm sure Obama is an atheist, I'm sure Kennedy was an atheist, but I doubt if Pope Frank is," he said on Real Time, hosted by Bill Maher, who is also an atheist. He also provoked outrage among child protection agencies and experts after suggesting that recent child abuse scandals have been overblown, according to RNS.

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