The Religion News Service has a story on this, Catholic college engages atheism head-on. It pretty much says what you'd expect it to about the new course, which I don't actually find all that odd being offered at a Catholic college.
A couple of incidental interesting tidbits.
Canadian census data show that atheists, agnostics, humanists and those with no religious affiliation account for 16 percent of the population, up 4 percentage points over the previous decade. They now represent the second-largest religious group in the country.
A Canadian Ipsos Reid poll released in 2011 found 30 percent of respondents did not believe in a deity.Good news there.
What really caught me was the last paragraph, a statement by Michael Stoeber:
... an examination of suffering by Michael Stoeber, who told the introductory class that the “New Atheists” tend to overemphasize “the underbelly of the Catholic Church” ...I'd love to know what Stoeber means by underbelly of the Catholic Church.
Maybe he's talking about the the fringy Society of St Pius X crowd or the whacky Fatima Network and their far out Catholic science fiction? Or maybe those loons and Pope Michael? Mel Gibson? No, I don't see any Atheists out there attacking them. Okay, except for maybe Mel Gibson.
It seems to be Atheists are attacking Mother Teresa.
It seems to be Atheists are attacking Child Molesting Priests and a Vatican that protects them over the children in Canada, Ireland, the USA, most of Europe and Australia... oh hell, the entire planet.
It seems to be Atheists are attacking a Vatican that has serious problems handling money without breaking the law.
It seems to be Atheists are attacking a Vatican that is downright homophobic.
It seems to be Atheists are attacking a Vatican that would rather Africans get AIDS while producing babies (for the good of the Church) than allow them to use a condom.
It seems to be Atheists are attacking a Vatican for clearly opposing abortions even when the impregnated girl is eight years old!
I could go on for hours...
But hey, why are we wasting our time overemphasizing the underbelly?