D’Souza was naughty.

Dinesh D’souza is one of those “top tier” Christian apologists who is always getting thrown at me.  You know Dinesh, right?  He’s the one who argues that Christianity makes someone more moral.  That’s why in his book, What’s So Great About Christianity, he wrote…

“As fallible human beings we can be wrong about a lot of things but we cannot be wrong in how we feel about someone else. At the same time, Christianity emphasized that free choice should also be binding choice. As we have consented to marry without coercion, we should live up to our vows and preserve marriage as a lifelong commitment.”


“Christianity did not contest patriarchy, but it elevated the status of women within it. The Christian prohibition on adultery—a sin viewed as equally serious for men and women—placed a moral leash on the universal double standard that commanded women to behave themselves while men did as they pleased.”


“High rates of divorce in the West can be accounted for by the moral force generated by the secular ethic. Today the woman who leaves her husband says, ‘I felt called to leave. My life would have been a waste if I stayed. My marriage had become a kind of prison. I just had to follow my heart and go with Ted.’ So divorce has become, as it never was before, a form of personal liberation, what Barbara Dafoe Whitehead terms ‘expressive divorce.’ Here we have the first hint of a serious problem with secular morality. In its central domain, that of love, it is notoriously fickle.”

And you can just guess what he thinks about two guys or two gals who fall in love (hint: EVIL!).  Which is why I was shocked, shocked, to learn that he has been…oh, what’s the tactful way to put this?  Fucking around on his wife.

Finally, near 11 p.m., event organizer Tony Beam escorted D’Souza and Joseph to the nearby Comfort Suites. Beam noted that they checked in together and were apparently sharing a room for the night in the sold-out hotel. The next morning, around 6 a.m., Beam arrived back at the hotel and called up to D’Souza’s room. “We’ll be down in 10 minutes,” D’Souza told Beam. D’Souza and Joseph came down together, and Beam took them to the airport.

The next day another conference organizer, Alex McFarland, distressed by D’Souza’s behavior, confronted him in a telephone conversation. D’Souza admitted he shared a room with his fiancée but said “nothing happened.” When I called D’Souza, he confirmed that he was indeed engaged to Joseph, but did not explain how he could be engaged to one woman while still married to another. When asked when he had filed for divorce from his wife, Dixie, D’Souza answered, “Recently.”

According to San Diego County (Calif.) Superior Court records, D’Souza filed for divorce only on Oct. 4, the day I spoke with him. Under California law, that starts the clock on a six-month waiting period for divorce. D’Souza on Oct. 4 told me his marriage was “over,” said he “is sure Denise is the one for me,” and said he had “done nothing wrong.”

Now, ordinarily I couldn’t care less about people’s sex lives.  But I sure care when they’re hypocritical sleazoids who flit about the country telling people they need religion for morality.

(Thanks to Adam Lee for the link)

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Baal

    I’m sure it’s different when he does it. I wonder (pure speculation) if his current wife found him as dishonest as we do (with the marriage problems that that would entail) or if this is really one sided him going out and picking a new wife (without consent of the current one).

  • smrnda

    I wonder how this will affect his career. I would have to give his fan base credit if they reject him as a hypocrite. It seems like he’s not just breaking the rules he believes in, but showing an incredibly lack of shame about it. Perhaps it’s going to end up with him excusing himself through the get out of jail free card of ‘Christian forgiveness’ which is selectively granted to the most politically useful.

    But on divorce, I think we should stop thinking of it as a tragedy. I keep telling people that even the Beatles broke up, and hey, if neither person really thinks it can be made to work then move on. I mean, it’s possible for people to divorce without massive amounts of animosity.

  • iknklast

    smrnda – you hit it on the head. Divorce can be a personal tragedy, but it isn’t a societal tragedy. In fact, for many women (and men), it is a release from a lifetime of abuse. It has probably saved lives, and has almost certainly saved sanity.

    My own divorce seemed like a catastrophe to me at the time. I was not abused, I thought I was happy, but in the end, it was better than not getting divorced. I wasn’t really even a person, at least not in my own mind, but merely a wife and a mother (this is how I felt even though I was a college graduate working a professional level job). My divorce freed me to find out who I really am, and now I am happily married to a man who doesn’t want me to be someone else. And if I’d never gotten re-married, that would be OK, too. That’s the problem so many people have – they see marriage as a fairy tale, Cinderella, and you stick with it even if you’re miserable, because that shows you have character and aren’t selfish. Well, I didn’t have the choice of sticking with it, because I was walked out on. People always assume that means I was a lousy wife or not a good person, but my husband simply realized he was gay, and our marriage wasn’t working for him.

    Marriage is highly overrated; when it works, it’s wonderful, but there is no reason two people need to be as unhappy as my parents were. That’s a form of slavery and/or abuse (is there such a thing as societal abuse?), and the current divorce rate isn’t a tragedy. It’s simply a reflection that we are doing the whole marriage thing wrong to begin with.

    • smrnda

      Your life is a great example of why divorce can lead to greater happiness for more people in the end than staying married. I’m not really sure why anyone should value ‘commitment’ in and of itself. I’m not going to argue that we should slam Bill Gates for dropping out of college and showing a lack of ‘commitment’ since that seems to have worked out okay for him. We must be programmed to just think divorce is bad, though I’m glad that more and more people realize it’s just social programming.

  • SimonPure

    There are two kinds of Christian leaders: those who who transgress sexually, and those who haven’t been caught yet.

    • Lurker111

      Thank you. Now I have a monitor spattered with coffee.

  • MNb

    What’s the problem? D’Souza already said it himself.

    “As fallible human beings we …”

    Christians like D’Souza are very aware of this emergency exit. It’s part of their belief system. Is he virtuous? Praise christianity. Is he naughty? That’s why he needs christianity.

    • iknklast

      It’s what you hear Christians saying all the time “We’re not perfect, just forgiven”. It gives them an escape valve no matter what they do. Or there’s the comic (maybe it was Eddie Murphy? I don’t quite remember) who said I used to pray for a bicycle until I realized it doesn’t work that way, so I stole a bicycle and prayed for forgiveness.

      It’s actually a rather dangerous philosophy that can lead to moral and ethical disaster.

      • Nate Frein

        I was raised Catholic, and one of my earliest twinges of actual atheism (rather than semi-guiltful apathy) was when our chaplain pointed out this very logical fallacy when he told a story of a man who had been “saved” but continued on sinning, secure in his knowledge that the fact he was saved meant his position in heaven was secure.

        (As a side note, this was in a shared chapel on a military base, and this homily was partly sniping at one of the protestant ministers. There seemed to be a lot of subtle backstabbing and petty nonsense between the different faiths).

        Though it took time to ferment in my head, this failed logic stuck with me. Although the chaplain was arguing that deliberately sinning with the expectation that you could beg for forgiveness later was wrong, and against god’s teachings, I couldn’t help but shake the notion that even by his standards there was an incredible “safety net”. How could one keep moral objectivity if you’re more concerned with some invisible tally sheet? It’s like counting calories. “Well, I killed Joe Schmoe yesterday, but I dropped $20k in the basket today, so I should be good for a kneecapping this afternoon”.

      • Baal

        ^what iknklast said.

        For myself, I’m somewhat unconcerned about how other people choose to live but I check to see if you live your life as you say other people should live their lives; i.e. Do you live up to your own standards? It comes off as dishonest to vigorously be anti-gay or demanding on fidelity and then to run off with young hottie (this is one way to describe the limited information we have). A human failing would have been something like one drunken fling. It’s a short term limited usually emotional deviation from your normal behavour. Even on limited facts, D’Sousa engage in rational planning and not-just immediate term behaviour when he has his finance travel with him while he’s not done divorcing.

        Worse (for D’sousa) is that there is a long line (NEWT!) of extremely hard line pro-marriage/anti-gay folks who find themselves getting arrested in airport bathrooms or dying by asphyxiation from wearing to many wetsuits while engaging in unusual sex practices or going on trips with Rent-Boys and bags of meth. D’Sousa is hitting our confirmation bias that there is a huge double standard for the xtian religious (and political) leaders in the U.S. We get to do what ever we want and we get to demand that noone else do it. Ideally, the xtian hypocrite leaders would stop beating up everyone else and admit it’s ok to engage in consensual behaviour. Were they to do that, I don’t think we’d see this piece by JT nor would I be going on about this one man’s apparent infidelity.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com TerranRich
  • Michael

    D’souza is not just a hypocrite, but (not surprisingly) he’s wrong on Christianity to begin with. Jesus (or at least the passages attributed to Jesus, whoever that was) said very clearly that divorce is permitted only for “sexual impropriety” with it being made clear this means the wife, not the husband’s. So that double standard continued. This was to stop at-will divorce (by husbands anyway) under Jewish law. If my interpretation is wrong, and wives could divorce too, this still means it could not be for abuse, or abandonment-anything else but “sexual impropriety” (which from its vagueness I’m assuming referred to not just adultery but other sexual no-nos). This is still problematic in Judaism, as many wives have been abandoned by husbands refusing to divorce them and they are still considered married under Jewish law. Jesus also said marrying a divorced woman is committing adultery, and causes her to commit adultery. Matthew 5:31-32, followed by oaths being forbidden, something only Quakers follow. It amazes me how ignorant most Christians seem of their own supposed holy text.