Atheist Richard Dawkins Has a Stroke, Church of England Offers Prayers

By Mike Cornwell (Wikipedia Commons) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Church of England wishes Richard Dawkins a speedy recovery by offering prayers, ironically Dawkins doesn’t believe in prayer.

Richard Dawkins, scientist and outspoken atheist, has suffered a stroke. He was due to start a tour of New Zealand and Australia. Informed reports stated that the 74-year-old had suffered a “minor stroke” in U.K.. He, however, has already returned from the hospital. He is now recuperating in his home. The incident has compelled him to postpone his travel plans.

The event, however, has been noticed by an unlikely entity and commented on too. The Church of England had tweeted that it had prayed to help the atheist recover from the stroke. The C of E is accused of trolling Dawkins when he was recovering from stroke. The Oxford based evolutionary biologist is a known religious critic and speaks regularly for secularism. The church sent the tweet where it mentioned that it is praying for both Dawkins and the scientist's family. Incidentally, he has now sufficiently recovered to use Twitter to promote the book- God, The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction. He had written a foreword for the book.

Dawkins was scheduled to begin his tour on 28 February and then commence to Melbourne and Brisbane. After that, he will go across the Tasman to give a lecture at Wellington's NZ festival schedule on March 4.

The Twitter remark has proved to be quite divisive on social media. A few described the message as insensitive considering Dawkin's hawkish stance on religion. Nikki Sinclaire, the former British politician, queried whether the church was being ignorant or sarcastic. Murdo Fraser, the politician from Scotland, praised the church for its “top trolling.”

Many others, however, believed that such criticism for Church of England was not warranted. Sinclaire was chastised by one user saying that praying for recovery of any individual does no disrespect or harm. The author of the tweet pointed out that the church merely wished Dawkins good health.

Dawkins is known for his criticism of religion. However, he criticized a number of big budget U.K. cinema chains who refused to project an advertisement just on the basis that it depicts the Lord's Prayer. He is regarded as one of U.K.'s top public intellectuals.

The communications director of Church of England issued a statement saying that the criticism was due to a misunderstanding of what constitutes prayer. Reverend Arun Arora, said that he hopes that Dawkins makes a full and quick recovery.

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