Richard Dawkins continues to publish my past emails to him without permission and I continue to return the favor. The following correspondence is current and remarkable. The subject hearder “Blasphemy is a Victimless Crime” is Dawkins’s. I’ve omitted the portions of our correspondence not relevant to this theme.
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 09:35:39 -0600
To: Richard Dawkins
From: “William A. Dembski”
Subject: Re: Blasphemy is a Victimless Crime
Dear Prof. Dawkins,
Your response below regarding The Blasphemy Challenge (http://blasphemychallenge.com) is predictable, though thank you for being so forthright in endorsing it. Question: Would you be willing to go further and endorse expanding The Blasphemy Challenge to include blaspheming the God of Islam, encouraging young people in the Muslim world to put themselves on YouTube and say something along the lines of renouncing the God of Mohammed and stating clearly that Mohammed is not God’s prophet since there is no God? I’m sure you could come up with a suitable gift to entice young former Muslims, like a coffeetable book of the recent Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed. Are you an equal opportunity atheist or do you simply go after the Christian God because we tolerate your antics?
At 04:59 AM 12/20/2006, Richard Dawkins wrote:
On 20 Dec 2006, at 01:40, William A. Dembski wrote:
Dear Prof. Dawkins,
You didn’t answer the obvious question: Do you personally endorse the blasphemy challenge [[http://www.blasphemychallenge.com]]? Do you find it offensive? May I quote you that you don’t endorse the blasphemy challenge and find it positively offensive?
I had not given the Blasphemy Challenge any thought until you called it to my attention. Now that you have done so, I do not seem to feel strongly one way or the other. As that admirable bumper sticker has it, Blasphemy is a Victimless Crime. So, am I going to send in my own film clip denying the Holy Ghost? No, that is not what Oxford professors do, they write books instead. Do I find it offensive that so many young people are sending in their film clips? No. I hadn’t listened to any of them before you raised the matter. I have now done so, and I must say I find them more charming than offensive. They mostly seem rather nice young people, and they are doing their bit, in their own lively and entertaining way, to raise consciousness and set an example to their peers. I am especially pleased to note how young they are, for organized atheists have, until recently, been noticeably and discouragingly grey-headed. I think we may be witnessing the beginnings of a shift in the tectonic plates of our Zeitgeist. I am delighted to see so many young Americans taking part, in a way that suits their age group better than mine or yours.