Richard Dawkins, one of the most recognizable atheists in the world, has recently stated “mild pedophilia” does not cause lasting harm (http://www.salon.com/2013/09/10/richard_dawkins_defends_mild_pedophilia_says_it_does_not_cause_lasting_harm/). This is not a new idea from Dawkins, he previously state that he felt that the Roman Catholic Church pedophilia scandals were blown out of proportion and stated it to be so, in his best-known work, The God Delusion.
As many Christians are already aware, there have been a number of issues within conservative Protestantism involving sexual abuse as well. Most recently, in the secular media, Bob Jones University is being questioned about its counseling policies involving sexual abuse, including the question of required reporting, and while the report from their ombudsman is not in, a number of allegations have been featured in the press. Sadly, there are a number of voices that have argued that this is somehow an issue that is intrinsic to Christianity, Fundamentalism or Protestant theology.
Yet, Dawkins’ statements remind me of an earlier series, which I addressed on our more technical site: a series entitled “The moral argument from atrocities” (http://apologiafides.wordpress.com/category/moral-argument-from-atrocities/), where I compared monstrous acts committed by atheists and by Christians (or alleged Christians) to as the question of were those who committed atrocities logically consistent with their beliefs. I would like to make the same comparison between atheists who commit sexual abuse and those who claim to be Christians committing similar actions. While Dawkins is not being accused of Sexual abuse at this time, his statements are analogous in a sense to the current scandals faced by some Christian counselors.
As noted before, if their professions are genuine, Christians who commit sexual assaults are inconsistent monsters. (https://truthinthetrenches.org/2014/03/04/do-sexual-assaults-by-professed-christians-invalidate-christianity/). That is, their monstrous acts are not consistent with their professions of faith (in short, they are hypocrites); the same would be true for those who fail to report sexual abuse (Romans 12). Sadly, this cannot be said for atheists who commit these kinds of atrocities, or the lack of wisdom in Dawkins words. While it would be a logical fallacy to say that atheism leads to sexual abuse (just as it is when people argue that Christianity leads to sexual abuse), it cannot be suggested that atheists are hypocrites on this point. If there is no ultimate morality, if morality is simply a system established by society to preserve the group, then no sin has been committed.
So, if we compare the questions surrounding Bob Jones University with the statements made by Richard Dawkins, then, if the allegations are ultimately proven to be true, Bob Jones, sadly, has not lived up to the beliefs, which they espouse. Richard Dawkins, however, is living up to his.