Dawkin’s Protest the Pope Speech

I’ve taken the time to transcribe a speech performed on Sept. 18, 2011 by Richard Dawkin’s at the “Protest the Pope” rally in the UK. The speech, like any speech by the most important individual of this century, was moving, powerful, and poignant. I thought that it should be available in writing. I’m not sure if a better transcription exists somewhere, and if you find any mistakes in it, please let me know. The speech is available here on you-tube. As well, the original un-abridged version of the speech as written by Dawkins is available here on Richarddawkins.net. The transcription below is that of the actual speech given.


I was at first as outraged as everybody else by the pope’s opening remarks as soon as he landed in Edinburgh, blaming atheists for the atrocities of Hitler and the others of the 20th century, but then I took comfort from it because it seemed to me that in a way it was showing that we have rattled them so much that he was forced to the ignominious expedient of attacking us so as to divert attention from the real crimes that have been committed in the name of the Catholic church. I can just imagine the discussions in the corridors of vatican power: “How are we going to distract them from buggering boys?” And the answer came, “why don’t we attack secularists, why don’t we attack atheists? Why don’t we blame them for Hitler-ism?”

Hitler, Adolf Hitler, was a Roman Catholic. He was baptized; he never renounced his baptism. The figure of 5 mil British Catholics comes from baptismal certificates. I don’t believe a word of it. I don’t believe there are 5 or 6 million British Catholics. There may have been 5 or 6 million that have been baptized, but if the church wants to claim them as Catholics, then they have to claim Hitler as a Catholic. At very least Hitler believed in a personified providence. He often spoke of it. And it was presumably the same providence that was invoked by the cardinal arch bishop of Munich in 1939 when Hitler escaped assassination and the Cardinal ordered a special Te Deum in Munich Cathedral in order to (quote) “to thank divine providence in the name of the arch diocese for the Furhers fortunate escape.”

I’m going to read a speech made in Munich, the heart of Catholic Bavaria, and I leave you to guess whose speech it is:

My feeling as a Christian points me to the Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loniliness surrounded by a few followers recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them. And who of God’s truth, who  great not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man, I read through the passage which tells how the lord rose at last it his might and seized the scourge the rose in the temple the brute of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today after 2000 years with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly then ever before the fact that it was for this that he had to shed his blood upon the cross.

That was one of numerous speeches by Adolf Hitler–passages in Mein Kampf–where Adolf Hitler invoked his own Roman Catholic Christianity. No wonder he received such warm support from within the Catholic hierarchy of Germany. Even if Hitler was an Atheist as Stalin more surely was, how dare Ratzinger suggest that atheism has any connection whatsoever with their horrific deeds anymore then Hitler and Stalin’s non-belief in leprechauns or unicorns–anymore then their sporting a mustache along with Franko and Saddam Hussein.

There is no logical pathway from atheism to wickedness. UNLESS, that is, unless you are steeped in the vile obscenity at the heart of Catholic theology. I refer to the doctorine of original sin. These people believe, and they teach this to tiny children at the same time that terrifying force hell, that every baby is born in sin. That would be Adam’s sin, by the way; Adam who they, themselves, now admit never actually existed. Original sin means that from the moment that we’re born wicked, corrupt, damned … unless we believe in their god or unless we fall for the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the disgusting theory that leads them to presume that it was godlessness that made Hitler and Stalin the monsters that they were. We are all monsters unless redeemed by Jesus–what a revolting, depraved, inhuman theory to base your life on.

Joseph Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity.

He’s an enemy of children whose bodies he’s allowed to be raped and whose mind’s he’s encouraged to be infected with guilt. It’s embarrassingly clear that the church is less concerned with saving child’s bodies from rapists than the saving of priestly souls from hell. And most concerned with saving the long-term reputation of the church itself.

He’s an enemy of gay people. Bestowing on them the sort of biggotry the church used to reserve for Jews before 1962.

He’s an enemy of women: barring them from the priesthood as if a penis was an essential tool for pastoral duties.

He’s an enemy of truth: promoting barefaced lies about condoms not protecting against AIDS, especially in Africa.

He’s an enemy of the poorest people on the planet: condemning them to inflating families that they cannot feed and so keeping them in the bondage of perpetual poverty. A poverty, which sits ill beside the obscene wealth of the Vatican.

He’s an enemy of science: obstructing vital stem cell research on grounds not of true morality but of pre-scientific superstition.

Ratzinger is even an enemy of the Queen’s own church: arrogantly dissing Anglican orders as (quote) as “absulutely null and utterly void.” While at the same time shamelessly trying to poach Anglican vicars to shore up his own pitifully declining priesthood.

Finally–perhaps the most personal concern for me–Ratzinger is an enemy of education. Quite apart from the lifelong psychological damage caused by the guilt and fear that have made Catholic education infamous throughout the world. He and his church foster the educationally pernicious doctrine that evidence is a less reliable basis for belief than faith, tradition, revelation, and authority. His authority.

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