Daily Telegraph journalist Sam Leith has a good piece on the present revolt in Burma where Buddhist monks are turning out in their thousands–supported by crowds of ordinary people to protest against the military dictatorship in their country.

It is reminiscent of the scenes in the Philippines, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe in the 80s when we saw faith inspired bloodless revolutions overthrow military dictatorships.

Sam Leith’s main point (and he writes as an unbeliever) is that religion is clearly not all the bad and poisonous stuff that Christopher Hitchens and Dawkins make it out to be. Even in our own lifetimes we have seen that religion has inspired the great social revolutions that have liberated millions. You have to add to this the role of religion in the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa, the elimination of slavery, the American civil rights movement and the countless faith based activist causes that battle against injustice, poverty and economic slavery.

It is simply amazingly hilarious that otherwise clever men can present such a simplistic and stupid analysis of religion, and doubly sad that so many people are gobbling down their puerile books with such ignorant greed.