Part of growing up is learning there are some fights not worth picking, and this is a good example: Bristol Palin, the daughter of Murika’s favorite half-term quitter, Sarah Palin, accused British evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins of “defending radical jihadists.”
So how exactly did Palin come to this conclusion given Dawkins, along with other atheists like Sam Harris, seems to suffer from an acute case of Islamophobia?
Who knows. But she’s got a blog and she’ll be damned if she lets something like the truth stand in her way of blogging The Truth™.
“Defending radical jihadists…”
Palin took her shots at Dawkins when she claimed on her blog that Dawkins was “defending radical jihadists” in the name of radical atheism. In particular, she was upset that Dawkins used the 9/11 attackers as an example of how faith can make good people do bad things.
Palin interpreted that as a defense of the 9/11 hijackers. Somehow:
Their agenda is to attack people of all faiths, and Dawkins has to fit even something as obviously evil as the terrorist attacks on 9/11 into his own radical agenda.
I’ve often accused conservatives of speaking a semantics-free argot of scare words, but this here is so elementary it makes Newspeak the linguistic equivalent of a David Lynch movie.
Now, I won’t deny Dawkins’ history of lodging his foot firmly in his face when he talks about certain issues — just about everything that’s not evolutionary biology — but his exact words were hardly a “defense,” just pointing out what religion can do to otherwise upright people:
They themselves might not be horrible people. They might be actually very righteous people. They believe they’re doing right. I think the 9/11 hijackers all sincerely believed that they were doing the right and proper moral, religious thing. They were not in themselves evil. They were following their faith. And faith is pernicious because it can do that to people. It can do that to otherwise decent people.
While Dawkins suggested that the attackers were driven by a radical interpretation of what their faith called for, Palin saw it as him “downplaying” their true motivation:
The radical atheist ends up defending the radical jihadists, because according to his crazy ideas, they aren’t evil — they were just brainwashed. This is an extreme misunderstanding and underestimation of our dangerous terrorist enemies.
Apparently, to Palin, the world has the moral complexity of a Saturday morning cartoon. Mustache-twirling villains snicker as they set traps for white-hat heroes and commit acts of destruction and murder for the lulz. Reducing terrorists to that is an extreme misunderstanding and dangerous underestimation, but projection is so much easier than having to think and grapple with their real motivations.
RELATED: Bristol Palin Is Freaking Out Over Girls Getting Free Birth Control — No, This Is Not A Joke.
Feature image via Flickr