The Oxford University student newspaper, Cherwell, asked us to comment on the recent tweet from the Church of England, saying it was ‘praying for Richard Dawkins and his family’ after Dawkins’ recent stroke, and whether we agreed with allegations that it was opportunistic/disrespectful to Dawkins.
Our response was as follows, made by David Lahee, in his capacity as Dialogue Officer for the Oxford Humanists:
“In the absence of any concrete evidence to the contrary, we assume that the call for prayers for Richard Dawkins is made out of genuine concern and for no other reason. Naturally we do not expect such prayers to have any effect on Professor Dawkins, but understand them as “Best wishes for a speedy recovery”.
We seek to make a better world for everybody based on the principles of reason and compassion, and believe that dialogue and co-operation with religious groups can further this aim.
We do not represent Professor Dawkins, whose personal opinion regarding prayers for him may differ from ours.”