Atheist Richard Dawkins Tweets Against Romney, Mormon Faith & Joseph Smith

Atheist scientist Richard Dawkins (AP)

On Wednesday, atheist leader and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins took aim at Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s faith.

Following a gaffe in which the candidate confused Sikh (a non-Muslim religious adherent) with Sheikh (an Islamic religious leader) during a commentary about the tragic shooting rampage at a temple in Wisconsin last Sunday, Dawkins seized upon the opportunity to lambaste Romney’s The Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) membership.

The mistake between Sikh and Sheikh was made while the GOP candidate was speaking at a fundraiser in Iowa, The Hill reports. Romney used the latter word while speaking about the victims who fell prey to the deadly attack. The Republican’s exact comments were as follows (emphasis added):

“I was in Chicago earlier today. We had a moment of silence in honor of the people who lost their lives at that sheikh temple. I noted that it was a tragedy for many, many reasons. Among them are the fact that people, the sheikh people are among the most peaceable and loving individuals you can imagine, as is their faith.”

It was this verbal slippage that Dawkins used as a prime opportunity to bring Mormonism into the fold.

“Romney confuses Sikh with Sheikh,” Dawkins tweeted, going on to tie the oral mistake to Romney’s personal religious beliefs. “Also confuses ‘Prophet’ with ‘convicted conman using magic hat to read gold plates,” he continued.

Atheist Richard Dawkins Tweets Against Romney, Mormon Faith & Joseph Smith

The link posted with his message went back to a NewStatesman.com article that recapped Romney’s error. The latter part of his tweet — clearly the most controversial — was obviously intended to disparage Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS church. The intentionally-contentious social media message had far reach, as it was re-tweeted (shared) by 1,175 people on Twitter.

Earlier this summer, TheBlaze reported that Dawkins will be penning a book about his personal path to atheism.

(H/T: The Hill)