Diary – Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins in The New Statesman (via One Good Move):

RicharddawkinsIt’s been a week of handling fallout from The Root of All Evil?, my TV documentary about religion. Of course religion is not the root of all evil. No single thing is the root of all anything. The question mark was supposed to turn an indefensible title into a debatable topic. Gratifyingly, title notwithstanding, the e-mails, letters and telephone calls to Channel 4 have been running two to one in favour. The pros mostly praise Channel 4’s courage in finally saying what many people have been thinking for years. The antis complain that I failed to do justice to “both sides”, and that I interviewed fundamentalist extremists rather than the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The balance is (over-) provided by Thought for the Day, Prayer for the Day, Songs of Praise, the Daily Service, Faith to Faith, Choral Evensong, Sunday Half-Hour, The Story of God, Belief, Beyond Belief, and others. Mine was a brief opportunity to put the other side. As for my “extremist” interviews, would that Pastor Ted Haggard were extreme. In neo-con America, he is mainstream. President of the 30 million-strong National Association of Evangelicals, he has a weekly phone conversation with Bush. My other “extremist”, Yousef al-Khattab (Joseph Cohen) of Jerusalem, was supposed, as an American Jew turned Israeli settler turned Muslim, to see both sides and give a balanced perspective. Wrong!

More here.