Prominant Atheist denounces Fairy Tales

The prominent atheist is stepping down from his post at Oxford University to write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in "anti-scientific" fairytales.

Prof Dawkins said: "The book I write next year will be a children’s book on how to think about the world, science thinking contrasted with mythical thinking.

"I haven’t read Harry Potter, I have read Pullman who is the other leading children’s author that one might mention and I love his books. I don’t know what to think about magic and fairy tales."

Prof Dawkins said he wanted to look at the effects of "bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards".

Hrm. I seem to recall (rather to the chagrin of mainstream Christians) some Christian activities (read: yammerheads) denouncing Harry Potter on the grounds that it is unhealthy to glamorize wizardry and witchcraft.

(Of course, them when Dumbledor was outed as someone prone to an unnatural sin not to be mentioned when children are around, the yammerheads did not look so yammery, not to this writer, at least.)

You see, the people who don’t believe in Witches don’t think there is much harm in dressing up as witches on Hallowe’en, or watching Bewitched, or reading Wizard of Oz, and so on. Of course, my best friend from school not only believes in Witches, he is a witch. He is also something like me in the flabby physique department, so the imagination quails trying not to picture him sky-clad at solstice worshiping the Green Man and the Earth Mother, or whatever ancient tradition they made up this week. So maybe there is some danger to glamorizing witchcraft even if there ain’t no such thing as witches.

But when professional arch-materialist Dawkins agrees with the Godbotherers that Harry Potter is bad juju, something in my brain gets broken, and I can only make a ‘huhn?’ noise through my nose. I thought atheists were not superstitious. I thought we (well, I used to be one) were not afraid of ghosts or symbols or other things non-referential to the real world. (I mean, of course, that the unintentional mechanisms of evolution programmed his genes to create the epiphenomenon that Dawkins appears to exist and appears to agree.)

I am waiting to see why and how the good professor (or rather, the collection of atoms in a cloud arbitrarily designated to be Professor Dawkins) will justify condemning Hermione Grangier the Witch, but find his way clear to admire Serfaine Pekkala the Witch.

Really, should not the hard-studying hit-the-books Hermione be the patron saint of science and all scholarly attainments, rather than the Queen of the Lapland Witches, who was apparently born magical?

Bad Witch! Bad!

Good Witch!

Maybe Prof. Dawkins will surprise me and condemn both, or maybe he will really surprise me and say the little vacations of the imagination to elfland known as fairy tales are perfectly normal for children, and can from time to time refresh an adult.  The baptism of the imagination can wash away a great deal of the clinging grime of cynicism.