Richard Dawkins and Brexit

Sir, – "Brexit is now a religion and they don't mind if they destroy the country," says Richard Dawkins (Arts & Ideas, September 11th). To which one might ask, if Brexit is a religion then what does that make Remain?

An alternate headline could just as easily read: Remain is a religion and they don’t mind if they destroy democracy.

It is MPs (many defying the wishes of their constituents in Leave-voting seats), bankers, civil servant and political activists, like Prof Dawkins, agitating against the referendum result who are causing untold societal damage by attempting to overturn the largest democratic exercise ever held in their country because the result didn’t go they way they wanted.

All one has to do is switch on a TV or open a newspaper to see that the more extreme devotees of the EU have morphed into a frenzied blue-and-gold cult, waving their flags outside parliament, dancing (badly), singing (out of tune), screaming into megaphones incessantly, like latter-day street evangelists, interrupting TV interviews, “milk shaking” politicians (unbelievers) and generally behaving like adherents to some bizarre sect (in EU they trust).


It is Remainers who speak of apocalyptic doom, of fire and flames, of crashing out and throwing oneself off cliffs, to be dashed lemming-like on the cruel rocks below. Plagues, death, pestilence, famine. All these biblical ills will apparently be visited on the UK if it leaves the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

Recently, The Irish Times ran an article on Brexit by Finn McRedmond with the ominous headline "Boris Johnson schemes while Britain slowly burns" (Opinion & Analysis, August 29th).

I happened to be in the UK around the time that article appeared, in the Isle of Wight (61.9 per cent Leave). It wasn’t burning but there was a lovely warm breeze. The sun shone. Seagulls squawked. People were pleasant.

All this colourful talk about slowly burning (in hellfire?) comes from the Remain-supporting media. The far less exciting truth is that the United Kingdom is a liberal, tolerant Europe country with an economy in rude health whose citizens committed the unforgivable sin of voting to leave a protectionist trade organisation with political and military ambitions far beyond anything envisaged when they joined.

It is this current wave of Europhilia that has the trappings of a new religion. I suppose that makes Brexit the ultimate act of apostasy, which is probably why it seems to evoke such unholy rage in those – like Prof Dawkins – who oppose it. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 3.

Sir, – Prosletysing atheist Richard Dawkins, interviewed by Joe Humphreys about his new book Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide to Atheism, reminds me of the three blind men who each bumped into an elephant and then described the animal.

The first blind man bumped into the elephant’s trunk and explained, “The elephant is like a snake”. The second blind man bumped into the elephant’s leg and explained, “The elephant is like a tree”. The third blind man bumped into the elephant’s tail and explained,– “The elephant is like a rope”.

Richard Dawkins has now bumped into the Brexiteer elephant. He concludes that their beliefs are wrong and removing the UK from the EU would be a disastrous error. Then with eyes squeezed tightly shut he moves to his default position – such grave error must be a religion, the epitome of error and root of most evil – “It (Brexiteer thinking) has become a creed” and “It has become like religious zeal“.

Good man, Richard! Of course we all know that the Brexiteer position cannot be atheism because atheism has never and can never “become a creed” nor act with “religious zeal”.

Let’s not be fooled by the history of atheistic states throughout the 20th century. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – I wonder should Richard Dawkins ever apply for Irish citizenship , how he would respond to the question on religious affiliation? Would he be a Catholic atheist or a Protestant one? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.