To be fair to the professor, he says he's not sure about the pernicious influence of fantasy, but everything else he says in the article seems to indicate his mind is pretty well made up. He will, of course, "also set out to demolish the Judeo-Christian myth."
He was on a roll, and just couldn't stop at throwing rocks at fantasy:
Do not ever call a child a Muslim child or a Christian child – that is a form of child abuse because a young child is too young to know what its views are about the cosmos or morality.
It is evil to describe a child as a Muslim child or a Christian child. I think labelling children is child abuse and I think there is a very heavy issue, for example, about teaching about hell and torturing their minds with hell.
It's a form of child abuse, even worse than physical child abuse. I wouldn't want to teach a young child, a terrifyingly young child, about hell when he dies, as it's as bad as many forms of physical abuse.
(Note the emotive words: evil, abuse, torturing, terrifyingly. Makes me wonder how I survived my childhood. Also makes me wonder how he feels about teaching children about the danger of stepping in front of moving cars. That's pretty terrifying too. Is it abusive to make children fear the consequences? I can still remember pictures from those driver ed films.)
As far as I can tell, he fits the fill-in-the-blank template of a religious extremist. Anybody care to dispute it?
For what it's worth, I do think there is a profound difference between a convinced believer and a religious extremist.
Hat tip to Jeffrey Overstreet.
Technorati tags: Richard Dawkins, Religious extremism