Noted atheist and pot-stirrer Richard Dawkins is no stranger to controversy. But in a recent interview with The Times (full article available here), he managed to outdo himself:

Via Salon:

Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.

“I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look back at the 18th and 19th centuries and condemn people for racism in the same way as we would condemn a modern person for racism, I look back a few decades to my childhood and see things like caning, like mild pedophilia, and can’t find it in me to condemn it by the same standards as I or anyone would today,” he said.

Plus, he added, though his other classmates also experienced abuse at the hands of this teacher, “I don’t think he did any of us lasting harm.”

“Mild pedophilia”? No “lasting harm”? Only a truly depraved mind could excuse the sexual abuse of children. What a disgusting slap in the face of victims.

https://twitter.com/Matthops82/status/377535328120086528

Decent people are rightly outraged:

https://twitter.com/ADPEfferson/status/377542823383289856

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets and the title has been amended.

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Related:

Twitchy coverage of Richard Dawkins