During the hearings to decide if Senior Counsel Torquil Paterson should be chosen for South Africa’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Paterson told the committee that he left the priesthood in order to pursue law mainly because he realized that god didn’t exist:
Senior Counsel Torquil Paterson told the JSC: “I left the church for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that I realised God does not exist. I am an atheist.”
Paterson, whose lengthy theological studies included a stint at Oxford University, explained he had eventually come to the conclusion that “all language of God is meaningless”.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe was left perplexed and asked: “So what you read in the Bible about the beginning does not exist? You do not believe that we were created in the image of God?”
“Minister you may believe that, I don’t,” Patterson responded.
Radebe insisted, to rare laughter at the JSC ‘s interviews of aspirant judges: “If God does not exist, are you a materialist, a communist, a Marxist?”
Paterson denied that he was any of those, adding: “It is a quite difficult to find a real Marxist”.
BAM! Stangely, the scathing criticism that followed didn’t even have anything to do with his being an atheist:
Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, one of President Jacob Zuma’s new appointees to the JSC, declared he was both an atheist and a Marxist. He then launched a scathing attack on Paterson for having failed to join Advocates for Transformation (AFT). Ntsebeza is the national chairperson of the organisation.
Wow! South Africa is crawling with atheists and not believing in any gods isn’t treated as immediate grounds to reject him. It’s seen as a lesser priority than actual issues. What kind of crazy country are they running over there? Next you’re going to be telling me that the politicians don’t hypocritically cheat on their spouses after making a whole production out of condemning others for cheating on their spouses.