The Raving Theist

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Returning the Favor

May 24, 2007 | 19 Comments

Let’s face it, without the Roman Catholic Church, there would be no Western civilization.”

Atheist phillantrhopist Robert W. Wilson, upon announcing a record-breaking $22.5 million gift to the Archdiocese of New York to fund for scholarship program for needy inner-city students attending Roman Catholic schools..

Comments

19 Responses to “Returning the Favor”

  1. "Q" the Enchanter
    May 24th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    Arguably true–but then much the same could be said of the pagan Greeks. Or bacteria, for that matter.

  2. "Q" the Enchanter
    May 24th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    Arguably true–but then much the same could be said of the pagan Greeks. Or bacteria, for that matter.

  3. thegoodatheist.net
    May 24th, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

    Under normal circumstances, I would criticize such a move, since the indoctrination of youth, particularly the poor and desperate, can have a powerful adverse effect. Mr. Wilson saying that the money will be going to tuition doesn’t change the fact that this is still a Catholic school. However, since the students he is helping express an interest to attend this school willingly, I don’t really see it as a big deal. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the money could be better used in other secular institutions that opperate sans dogma.

    Still, it’s his money after all.

  4. slut
    May 24th, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

    Has this idiot ever studied Western history at all? Does he realize that Western civilization predates the Roman Catholic church and survived DESPITE it, not because of it?

    Ugh.

  5. UBS
    May 24th, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

    He’s a retired Hedge Fund Manager. Looks to me like he hasn’t really retired after all.

  6. Joan
    May 25th, 2007 @ 3:29 am

    I guess it’s too early in the history of the atheist movement for there to be a solid network of quality private super-secular schools. (Most prep schools in the US have a nice solid Episcopalian or other Protestant heritage.) The experience of modern Catholic schools isn’t as scary as it was in the past. Some devout parents are so aghast at the curriculum that they yank their kids out.

  7. Choobus
    May 26th, 2007 @ 1:46 am

    This place has less action that dubyas retard brain. I strongly reccomend the chooblog for anyone wishing to be awesome (check the hatelist).

    RA, either give it up or come clean. This is like watching the drunken Hoff trying to eat a burger for 3 FUCKING YEARS!

  8. Viole
    May 26th, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

    Agreed, Choob. The old RA never would have posted crap like this without some kind of sarcastic comment.

    You must forget the arabs–who maintained some of the knowledge of ancient Greece, and invented Algebra. Without them, no Renaissance.

  9. Regina
    May 29th, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

    We wouldn’t have priests molesting kids either if we didn’t have the Roman Catholic Church.

  10. Gledwood
    May 30th, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    Hi I came upon your url via an advert for a “Jesus Never Existed” DVD … am just scanning down your blog. You certainly got an interesting PoV …
    The thing is it’s not just Religious vs Atheists; it’s one Religion vs Another Religion … ie Roman Catholicism – many fervent “Evangelicals” equate the Pope with the Antichrist of the book of Revelation! U no wot I mean …
    Well I’m glad I found your blog. I’m one of those people who reads the Bible. But I’m not getting sucked into any old curry of mush just because some of its message is appealing. So I’m bookmarking your url & will come back again

    take it e.z.

    gledwood “vol 2″ …

  11. Lily
    June 7th, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

    Regina:
    We wouldn’t have teachers molesting children, if we didn’t have schools …

    Just sayin’

  12. Colm
    June 12th, 2007 @ 5:34 pm

    Jurgen Habermas has said the same thing. It’s simply a matter of fact that Catholicism maintained and developed the good of Western civilization from the Classical period to the Medieval and beyond. This isn’t some triviality cooked up by Christians yearning for a time when the Pope chose kings and Bishops had personal armies, it is just how it is. I’d venture to say that the opposition to this reality stems more from the failures of our educational system: Just how many people on here could discuss the political theories of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, rather than, say, the pre-conversion theors of JJ Rousseau?

  13. Godthorn
    June 12th, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

    I’ve read all three but can’t adequately discuss the political, social or religious theories of either. But I would point out that past and potential “realities” are the only things available for us to oppose (admittedly a frivolous observation, but one that seemed to be called for). And isn’t it just always so that “it is just how it is.” And isn’t it so that the early church fathers did their utmost to obliterate the knowledge inherited from the Athenian philosophers, most famously instanced by the burning of the library at Alexandria. And have you heard? A work of Archimedes was only recently discovered, in the form of a palimpsest, a book that some church scribe had washed clean so that it could be written over as a prayer book. Praise Serindepity that the Vatican did not get their hands on it again before the scholars did!

    I attended several public grammer schools, and I am unaware of any child who was sexually molested by a teacher (without the student’s eager involvement) in either of them. We wouldn’t have as many teachers molesting children if we didn’t have so many religious schools.

  14. Lily
    June 16th, 2007 @ 2:07 am

    The teachers who have been making the news for the last two or three years (an amazing number of them women), have all been public school teachers. I don’t think a single one of them was employed by a private school, secular or religious. But I am agnostic on that point.

    The actual point is that when you have a group of adults with power over youngsters, there are going to be some who abuse their trust. It is no more a solution to get rid of schools than it is to get rid of churches, pediatricians, or the Boy Scouts.

  15. Godthorn
    June 16th, 2007 @ 5:10 am

    It’s a sin to juxtapose pediatricians with churches.

    Female teachers don’t have to seduce 14-year-old-plus boys. All they have to do is submit.

    True, no rapes of children by priests are known to have occured in the past several years. Does anyone wonder why they stopped?

  16. Lily
    June 17th, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

    So, is your point that getting rid of priests will put an absolute end to all child molestation in this country or, elsewhere, for that matter?

  17. Godthorn
    June 17th, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

    Did I say that, Lily? Waitaminit! I didn’t say that.

    I am as sure as of anything that there are many priests (as well as many protestant ministers and clergy of other faiths) who are among the best and most selfless people in the world. But considering that class as a whole, I would about as soon trust the care and instruction of my children to a used car salesman.

  18. Lily
    June 18th, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

    Oh, dear. I am sorry if put words in your mouth, Godthorn. I can’t exactly fault you (or anyone else) for not wanting to give your children over to anyone’s care– yet, it is a risk all parents have to take sometimes and it is scary.

    But even though the amount of press the abuses of the priests involved generated was enormous, in terms of total numbers (abusers in the priesthood) vs the number in the general population, the numbers still favor the priesthood. I think the visceral reaction that all of us had was inevitable– the abuse of trust was staggering, simply staggering.

    But fair is fair and, as a class, priests simply are not less trustworthy than other groups, into whose hands parents must, on occasion, entrust their children.

  19. Godthorn
    June 19th, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

    I confess that I exagerated for effect.

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