Skip to main content

Recently, Paula Zahn aired a piece detailing the abuse a number of atheists and their families have undergone in their communities due to their non-believing ways.  This was followed by a panel discussion consisting entirely of theists, the majority of which agreeing that atheists should just "shut up."  

If this kind of bigoted journalism troubles you (whether you are a theist or not) please consider sending an email to the folks over at CNN:

CNN feedback form

Originally posted to simplicio on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:48 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I had wanted to see this. (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the links.

    "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

    by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:50:51 PM PST

  •  Transcript anywhere? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    simplicio, kestrel9000

    n/t

    Rubus Eradicandus Est.

    by Randomfactor on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:55:23 PM PST

  •  Hey Karen Hunter, that stuff wasn't there (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandmancan, simplicio, dennisl, LynneK

    fifty+ years ago.  Why do people start talking about "In God We Trust" to defend these actions?  Every Sunday night I listen to "The Big Show" on WAMU.  Last week they played an episode of "Now Hear This", Edward Murrow's old radio show.  In it there was a piece about Chinese Americans (back then they were called American Chinese, go figure) who were opposed to China's actions in Korea.  A local Chinese American leader was saying the Pledge of Allegiance, guess what was missing?

    And hey you militant atheists:  don't act like those who would oppress you.  Ticking off those who would stand with you against religious intolerance (people like me, for instance) with anger and mocking isn't a good idea.  I respect that you don't follow a belief system so don't disrespect me 'cause I do, kay?

    •  Wow, WAMU streams "The Big Broadcast"! (0+ / 0-)

      Links here.

    •  I have yet to meet a militant Atheist (6+ / 0-)

      I have yet to meet an Atheist that has been to jail for that matter. All the Atheists I know are very good people with a very good set of morals.

      Maybe you can define "militant Atheist" for me?

      I was personally offended by the panel discussion. I thought it was rediculous that CNN had the big banner behind them saying, "Are Atheist tactics too militant?"

      I can't think of one militant act perpetrated by an Atheist in the US. What is the deal with that?

      •  exactly (7+ / 0-)

        I am always bothered by the term "militant atheist."  Michael Newdow (the guy who sued to have "under God" removed from the pledge) would surely fall into this category for most people who throw the term "militant" around.  Seems to me, "militant atheist" is a synonym for someone who won't just get back in the closet and stop making people feel uncomfortable.  

        I also dislike when people say "militant atheists" want to stop people from praying in the schools.  Nope.  If you want to get down on your knees in a public school and shout hallelujah, no one's stopping you.  These caricatures of the atheist movement need to be countered in the mainstream media, but of course when the panelists are all theists . . .

        •  Hell, I thought I was coining a phrase, heh (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sandmancan, simplicio

          But I generally tune anyone out that tries to attack atheists because they're atheists, so not surprising to me that zealots use the term to defend themselves and their insane rhetoric.  Sorry for that.  I suppose I need a better term.

          The fact remains that there are atheists who attack anyone who believes in anything supernatural as useless morons.  These are the people that I meant to refer to.  Is their a phrase that describes this sort of individual accurately?

          •  perhaps dogmatic (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TiaRachel

            or strident atheists?  Militant implies physical hostility (bombs, guns etc.)  People hold a whole lot of strong views about many topics.  It's really only atheists who get tagged as 'militant' for it though.  Passionate belief should not be confused with aggression.

          •  Let me try again without the snark (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TiaRachel, synth, corvo, simplicio

            I think that you are hearing Atheists, that are used to getting put down and berated for not believing in God, get defensive about their beliefs. There really is a lot of pressure on Atheists from society to conform. I don't think that what you are seeing is anything but defensiveness. No different then a "Christian" calling them "Militant Atheist". My point is that I apologize for my snark above and hope that you continue to support Atheists and get to know some so that you can know that really they aren't any different then you in their morals and beliefs. I think that the best thing to call Atheists are human beings.

          •  hmmm (4+ / 0-)

            i've found that new converts generally tend to be overzealous as do people who are insecure about themselves.

            this applies to religious/philosophical beliefs (i.e. everyone should follow the holy teachings of the FSM) as well as to cultural things (i.e. i love texas. its the greatest place on the planet); subculture (i.e. i'm a "real" goth because i wear all black all the time & you're not because you took off your black clothes to shower); daily kos (i.e. i'm more liberal than you are); the war in iraq (i.e. i was against the war the day i was conceived 58 years ago); & so forth.

            i generally avoid discussing said issues with these people since they're not interested in the issue but in proving themselves.
            s.

            the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

            by synth on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:02:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Michael Newdow also sued to prevent (0+ / 0-)

          the use of a chaplain during the Inaguration (a tradition that goes back to George Washington).  He is a nut-job and a "militant."

          •  did he threaten (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, Karmafish, Democrat

            to physically harm anyone?  Why the term militant?  

          •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, simplicio, Apotropoxy

            Militant: "The word militant can refer to any individual engaged in warfare, a fight, combat, or generally serving as a soldier. Journalists often use militant as a purportedly neutral term for violent actors who do not belong to an established military. Typically, a militant engages in violence as part of a claimed struggle for achievement of a political goal. "

            How does this apply?

            What makes him a nut-job exactly?

            I think he is right on these issues.

            •  What makes him a nut-job? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              redcardphreek

              Why nothing else besides 200+ years of uniterrupted tradition, court cases, and statutes, as well as the views of the people who wrote the First Amendment, all of which take the position diamterically opposed to his.  Other than that, he is in perfect harmony with the law.

              Militant:
              –adjective 1. vigorously active and aggressive, esp. in support of a cause: militant reformers.  

              I think that's precisely what he is.

          •  disagree (6+ / 0-)

            this is simply another way of disarming the atheistic side of the argument.  this is similar to what people said about women who wanted the right to vote or blacks who wanted the right to be treated as human beings:  they were militant; they were strident; they were uppity.
            s.

            the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

            by synth on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:09:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not quite... Much like there are (0+ / 0-)

              "animal rights activists" and "militant animal rights activists" (who differ in both what the protest and the methods they employs) so too are there "atheists" and "militant atheists."

              •  how are the methods different? (4+ / 0-)

                i've yet to see atheists run around defacing public property, breaking statues, & all that.

                hell, i've never seen an atheist sit in or march in for that matter.

                in fact, i've never seen -- & mind, i don't keep up with it so it might just be ignorance on my part -- but i've never seen any form of civil disobediance on the part of atheists.

                the only thing i have seen is lawsuits which is the constitutionally mandated mechanism for bringing grievances against the government.

                i'd hardly call that militant.
                s.

                the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

                by synth on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:18:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Again, militant may not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

                  refer to particular methods.  As per definition above and explanation below, militant is quite often someone who attempts (even while utilizing ostensibly legal methods) to take a good idea way too far in the process attempting to destroy well accepted social norms.

                  •  in that case... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TiaRachel, simplicio

                    ...you can consider me a "militant" feminist, a "militant" civil rights activist, a "militant" glbt activist, a "militant" animal rights activist, & a "militant" religious rights activist.

                    i think goldwater sums this up nicely:

                    Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

                    s.

                    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

                    by synth on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:04:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  whoops (0+ / 0-)

                    hit "enter" when i shouldn't have.  DOH.

                    the point you're missing here is encompassed in the phrase "too far."  some people think its "too far" for women to vote. for blacks to vote.  for blacks to marry whites; for anyone to marry someone of their own gender.  to voice opposition against the war in iraq.  to say anything against president bush.  the list goes on.

                    i do not mean to disparage you & i do not think that this is what you're about.  i do hope that you understand where i'm coming from on this:  "too far" is too often the cry of tyranny, the cry of special rights, special priveleges, of unjust power.  

                    maybe your definition of "too far" is just, is appropriate & i hope, i really hope that it is.

                    but it's not enough.

                    anyways, i gotta jet.  thanks for an interesting discussion.
                    s.

                    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

                    by synth on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:20:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  well.. well (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    simplicio

                    well accepted social norms

                    Did you watch the video?

                    Which social norm sits well with you?

                    1. what that couple had to go thru?
                    1. the UMin study that puts atheists at the top of the "christian" shit list?

                    "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." Voltaire

                    by Euroliberal on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:26:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Eh... (0+ / 0-)

                      Much like an atheist couple is uncomfortable in Minnesota (or wherever), I am pretty sure that a Christian fundamentalist couple would be uncomfortable in say San Francisco.  

                      It really doesn't bother me that people choose not to associate with other people with whom they disagree on political or religious issues.  That's what freedom of association is.

              •  militant (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TiaRachel, synth, Karmafish, simplicio

                The term is used to make the opposition evil.  That's it.  

                It's not used as an actual descriptive term.  

                If you were to search "militant feminists," you'd come up with results from Larry Flynt to James Dobson and beyond.  

                "What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?" Senator Ted Kennedy

                by otto on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:23:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, I think people who take what may be (0+ / 0-)

                  a good idea too far may very well be militant.  Feminism to the extent it advocates equality of sexes is a good idea.  However, when it crosses into advocacy of banning certain type of speech (including pornography) or demanding that students be expelled from universities for voicing certain ideas, or branding all men as "potential rapists" it becomes "militant feminism."  ANd yes, it is a derogatory term, but there is nothing wrong with using a derogatory terms with respect to the opposition whose ideas are to say the least, nutty.

                  So too with atheists.

                  •  It has a pointed purpose (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TiaRachel, synth, simplicio, Democrat

                    The intent of the use of the word is what I'm talking about.  

                    There is no point other than to demonize your opponent.  

                    To some, a militant feminist is one who advocates for fair pay.  

                    It's the most wielded tactic among right wingers everywhere.  Immediately claim your opponent is an extremis who is in league with other extremists.  

                    What I really hate are militant carnivores (I stole this from somewhere on Dkos) who insist there must be something wrong with me for subsisting on a diet of vegetable based food.    

                    "What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?" Senator Ted Kennedy

                    by otto on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:47:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  So.... (0+ / 0-)

            Where does it say in law that we should use a chaplain during the Inaguration?

            I think it is an establishment of religion in an indirect way and a good thing to examine.

            I think it would be good to have a Rabbi or Imam as the chaplain, but something tells me the Christians would not let that happen.

    •  I'm no militant atheist (12+ / 0-)

      I'm a militant agnostic

      I don't know and you don't know either!

      I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

      by GTPinNJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:16:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That makes you an insistant agnostic. (0+ / 0-)

        A militant agnostic is someone who takes up arms against the non-non-believers.

        "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

        by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:28:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I may have to consider that. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LithiumCola, sandmancan, Democrat, LynneK

          I'll run around screaming that people need to doubt, damnit! And if they continue to express any sort of belief, even a belief in the non-existence of God, then I will beat them about the head and neck with a funnoodle.

          I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

          by GTPinNJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:32:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even Dawkins has said... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TiaRachel, simplicio

            ...that it is impossible to disprove god. Atheism is the lack of belief, not positive certainty of non-existence (though some people use it this way). He is agnostic in this sense, but calls himself an atheist in practice to distinguish himself from mushy "both are equally likely" agnosticism.

            "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

            by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:36:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't like discussions about words. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Autarkh

              But a-theist means "no god"

              A-gnostic means "no knowledge"

              An atheist, like has an affirmative belief: there is no god.

              Now, it depends to some extent on what "god" means.  I am refering to an character who might appear in a book and use the first-person singluar present indicative.  And has a beard.

              "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

              by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:40:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Does atheist... (0+ / 0-)

                ...mean "no god" or "a person lacking theistic belief"?

                "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

                by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:53:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  synth

                  Dictionary dot com

                  a·the·ist      /ˈeɪθiɪst/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ey-thee-ist] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
                  –noun a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

                  atheist  

                  1571, from Fr. athÈiste (16c.), from Gk. atheos "to deny the gods, godless," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (c.1534) which is perhaps from It. atheo "atheist."

                  Perhaps that was not terribly helpful.

                  "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

                  by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:58:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Unpack That Bag (6+ / 0-)

                    The trouble with this definition, and so many others that echo it, is that it contains the hidden assumption with which we atheists disagree. The statement posits the existence of a deity(ies) by implication and then implies a deficit of intellect or morality to those who categorically reject the notion.
                    An atheist is a person who believes that there is no such thing as a god or gods.
                    Note: An agnostic is someone who maintains that he/she has no certain knowledge one way or the other. Given the modern definition and ineffable nature of this purported being, I think the only intellectually defensible position to take for us atheists is to allow that we have no knowledge of this entity and that we believe it to be a figment of the humans imagination. Most of us are Agnostic-Atheists.
                    There are an awful lot of theists who are agnostic, too.

                    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

                    by Apotropoxy on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:26:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  See, this is why I don't like this (0+ / 0-)

                      discussion.

                      People start saying things like "Agnostic-Atheist" and "an awful lot of theists who are agnostic, too."

                      If you want to change the meaning of God to "Je ne sais quoi" then I can't stop you.  

                      And obviously it's nonsense for anyone to say that they believe there is no "something I know not what".

                      So if you want to say that by defenition there are no Atheists, then you are obviously changing the meaning of the term, as most Atheists don't take themselves to be ascribing to a literally self-contradictory belief ("I believe that there is no 'something I know not what'.")

                      That is not an interesting point.

                      "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

                      by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:49:58 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Disbelief is not the same as... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    simplicio

                    ...positive belief in non-existence.

                    It's different to say:

                    "I do not believe in god."

                    or

                    "god almost certainly does not exist." (Dawkins)

                    Than to say:

                    "God does not exist."

                    And keep in mind that when the last asertion is made, it's usually meant to provoke thought or discussion. I haven't talked to many atheists that won't admit that there is no known way to absolutely disprove god--or any negative. What they, and I would point out is that one cannot disprove the FSM or IPU, either. That's the only point I was making.

                    "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

                    by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:34:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There is no God. (5+ / 0-)

                      I am not trying to provoke discussion.

                      There is no God.

                      Now, if you want to push me, and ask, "Do you, LithiumCola, honestly think you know all about the mystery of existence?"

                      Of course not.  That's not what I said.

                      I said, "There is no God."

                      "God" means that thing in the book that keeps popping up and handing out tablets.  Or perhaps that guy is a metaphor for something like a guy who keeps appearing and handing out tablets.  Whatever.

                      No such thing.

                      "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

                      by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:52:41 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Democrat

                        But I can't prove it.

                        "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

                        by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:58:23 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And I would also add... (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          LithiumCola, simplicio, Democrat

                          ...that the burden of proof is not on either of us, but on the theists.

                          "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

                          by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:02:45 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure, but (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            synth, Autarkh

                            I don't go around demanding proof.  I don't take someone else's faith to an implicit challenge to my beliefs.

                            "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

                            by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:07:40 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Neither do I. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LithiumCola, Democrat

                            But I am loathe to make statements of certainty (no matter how deeply I believe something) unless I can substantiate it. This is one of my biggest problems with religion. The mindset of one who can claim to be certain on the basis of some millennia-old mythological compendium is truly alien to me.

                            "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

                            by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:16:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you don't believe (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Autarkh, Democrat

                            that, 2000 years ago, some man literally walked on water?

                            I am content to express certainty on that one, actually.  I am certain that, 2000 years ago, there was not a man who literally walked on water.

                            "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

                            by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:21:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am certain of that such an event makes no sense (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LithiumCola

                            ...but I wasn't there to witness it not happening. It's ludicrous, to be sure, but what proof is there that we don't live in an elaborate computer simulation that will ultimately spit out "42" as its final answer?

                            I am as convinced about the non-existence of a heavenly cloud person as I am of the fact that I am writing this post.

                            "To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, straightforward, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken

                            by Autarkh on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:08:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Atheism (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, simplicio, Autarkh, Democrat

              A belief in the non-existence of X is not the same thing as a certainty in the non-existence of X.

              I believe that there is no god. I am not 100% certain that there is no god. But I do think it is such an outstandingly overwhelmingly laughable proposition that I do not simply refrain from belief, but actively believe that it is a false hypothesis about the universe.

              Similarly, I believe that there is no course of action that will end the violence in Iraq by the end of this year. I am not 100% certain of that though.

              Again, the blithe assumption of certainty in the epistemic status of the belief is neither here nor there when we are discussing its content, i.e. the non-existence of any god.

    •  I think you could put Atheists in there somewhere (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wreck Smurfy

      "When the Nazis came for the communists,
      I remained silent;
      I was not a communist.

      When they locked up the social democrats,
      I remained silent;
      I was not a social democrat.

      When they came for the trade unionists,
      I did not speak out;
      I was not a trade unionist.

      When they came for me,
      there was no one left to speak out."

      Or Catholics or Jews or Gays or African-Americans or Illegal Immigrants or ...... you get the idea.

    •  It's tough to be respectful (10+ / 0-)

      of believers when the loudest of them put forth that you are incapable of morality because you don't believe in the same stuff they do.

      When believers, and their public representatives, give me the same respect you're asking me to give them, I'll be happy to do so.

      I have to keep my non-belief private until I'm certain that the personal connection with the other person is strong enough to survive the massive negative reaction that I always get. I sympathize with gay people's agony about "coming out", precisely because I deal with the same issues.

      From a strictly social perspective, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a more discriminated-against minority than atheists. Granted, we are fairly well-protected in law, maybe more so than other minorities, but on an interpersonal basis, no. I'd bet that there are more people who would end a friendship with a non-believer than with someone who was black, brown, gay, Muslim, Wiccan, convicted murderer, or any other group I can think of.

      --Shannon

  •  CNN has a "Faith and Values" correspondent (6+ / 0-)

    LOL.

    "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it." -- Abe Lincoln

    by munky on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:09:13 PM PST

    •  These people are idiots (9+ / 0-)

      They say, "Let's look at places that have lost God, like Europe." Then they claim Europe has become more Islamic. I guess I was under the impression that Islam was a religion that believed in God.

      Then again, I'm one of those people that need to just shut up.

      •  Most EU countries... (6+ / 0-)

        ... have official religions (or, like Germany, have two).  Only France has any concept of "separation of church and state".

        What makes religion so strong in the US is the lack of any governmental anything to do with religion.  No approval, no disapproval, strictly a personal thing.  So scientology is a religion here, rather than a cult.  

        Separating government and religion makes them each stand on their own two feet.  

        1/31/07: The most overblown case of prosecution for littering since Alice's Restaurant.

        by FlyingToaster on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:20:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scientology (0+ / 0-)

          didn't used to be considered a religion.  That changed in the 1990's & the IRS actually began treating them that way and granted them a tax exemption after some shady business deals and suspicious activity by the CoS that may have been blackmail of the commissioner.

          I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

          by GTPinNJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:24:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  umm link please (0+ / 0-)

            I look at scientology with a jaded eye, but I would liek a link to the commisioner story please.

            •  Here you go. (0+ / 0-)

              From Wikipedia:

              Scientology's tax-exempt status was lost in a 1967 IRS audit. As part of the effort to regain tax exemption during the late 1970s, Scientologists infiltrated the IRS and stole confidential documents in what was termed Operation Snow White. Eleven high-ranking Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife Mary Sue Hubbard, served time in federal prison for acts surrounding this operation.

              ...

              On October 1, 1993 the IRS formally announced that the Church of Scientology and its corporate entities had been granted tax exemption again. The settlement document was sealed by the IRS, but it was leaked to, and subsequently published by the New York Times. The New York Times also asserted in a March 9, 1997 article that, in its efforts to obtain tax-exempt status, Scientologists paid private investigators to obtain compromising material on the IRS commissioner.

              I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

              by GTPinNJ on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:39:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's also interesting to note that (0+ / 0-)

            Scientology inventor, L. Ron Hubbard, was a follower of occultist Aleister Crowley.

            "I think the Iraqi people owe the the American people a huge debt of gratitude." - George W. Bush

            by Karmafish on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:37:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Is that the same woman (0+ / 0-)

    who called Biden a racist?

  •  This was sad. (4+ / 0-)

    Couldn't they find one atheist willing to show up for that panel?
    Especially since there are 3-12 million of us around? How's that for accuracy in statistics. Atheists are like illegal immigrants. Nobody has any idea of how many there are and whether we are really bad or good...

    (-6.63, -6.15) "And as things fell apart, Nobody paid much attention"--Talking Heads

    by terran on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:21:07 PM PST

  •  Diary has wrong take (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, Phil N DeBlanc

    Zahn ran the story to show the unfairness of the attack on the atheist family, not to justify it.

    The panal discussion certainly did not have the best advocate for the athiest cause, but the one man did make a case.  The fact that he himself was a Christian did not diminish it.  

    But, it was not blatently one sided, as is the norm on Fox.  It turns out, a current diary, and mine of a few days ago, shows that on this site among Kossacks 38% are avowed full throated atheists, with only a small percent being literal believers in a higher being.

    So we have a refuge here, Thank God.

  •  Christian Nation??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, corvo, simplicio

    I think they badly mislabel and then misrepresent what the United States is.  First off, we are not a "Christian Nation," if you look at many of the founders of this country, they were not Christian.  Where they are correct is that Americans are Christian (most, but they butcher the religion, does that make them Christian in reality?)...that is not the same thing as a "Christian Nation."  

  •  Thanks for the clips. (6+ / 0-)

    I watched the CNN panel discussion.  

    It was deep.

    Really.

    It was.

    Deep.

    "Space, it seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:25:30 PM PST

  •  Here are the only "Militant Atheists" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, LithiumCola

    I can think of:

    Unitarian Jihad

    You can get your own Unitarian Jihad name at this site:

    Name Generator

  •  none of the above (4+ / 0-)

    To say there is a god, to say there's not a god, or to say that you don't know/can't know if there's a god are all positions which presume that a concept of a god makes sense.  The use of the word "god" is a demonstration of confusion.  I would prefer such nonsense removed from government property not because I don't believe what it says, but rather because I would prefer my government not to perpetuate such confusion.

  •  "Militant Atheists" (0+ / 0-)

    In my opinion, "miltant atheists" are in the same category as "fundamentalist Christians"...they insist that their belief (or lack of belief) is the "one true way" and accuse anyone who believes in a different God (or believes in ANY God) of being less than intelligent.

    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by LynneK on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:44:12 PM PST

  •  The Only Thing That Gets Me Worked Up More (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    simplicio, dennisl

    Then Militant Atheist is the idea that:

    "There are no Atheists in foxholes."

    Pat Tillman is a good example of just the opposite it seems to me.

    •  There are just FEWER atheists in foxholes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Democrat

      Because atheists don't love war as much as Evangelicals and a lot of other religious people.

      And while I'm at it, South Park's simple-minded propaganda to the contrary is BS.

      Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas

      by DemDachshund on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:05:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That idea is anathema to me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      simplicio, dennisl, Democrat

      There is no more rational place to be an atheist than a foxhole. What could possibly constitute greater evidence that there is no omnipotent omnibenevolent entity presiding over the fate of humanity than the carnage at the Somme or Ypres?

      How much poison gas does it take to realise that there isn't a divine reason behind everything?

  •  That was the worst discussion I've ever seen (6+ / 0-)

    What a waste of television time.  

    Ignorant supporters, ignorant opposition.  

    "What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?" Senator Ted Kennedy

    by otto on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:04:02 PM PST

  •  Interesting timing. (8+ / 0-)

    A good friend just informed me that her new boyfriend told her I was not to be trusted because I am an atheist.  She defended me stating that I am one of the most moral people she knows.  His response was that I could "turn" anytime, since I didn't have the fear of a higher power to stop me. His belief is that Christians are better people because they know there will be repurcussions in the afterlife for their actions.

    According to him, Christians do good out of fear, Atheists do good out of personal choice.*

    But the Atheists are not to be trusted???

    I don't predict their relationship lasting very long.

    *his beliefs, not mine

    America: Arsenal of Democracy

    by YukonJack on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:08:18 PM PST

    •  what about the jews? (0+ / 0-)

      Is the existence of Heaven enough to keep them moral or does the lack of Hell mean they can "turn" as well?

      Not really expecting an answer from you obviously, but am curious if you have any insight into the boyfriend's mindset on this.

    •  There is an argument (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      simplicio, dennisl

      that atheists have far greater reason to be moral than theists. Since we don't believe in an afterlife, the only possibility we have for redemption is in the way we live our lives all along.

      We atheists think we only have one shot to be good people. There is no saying sorry at the end of it, there is no big Papa God to forgive us and tell us it's all right afterwards, and no reunion in heaven were we can resolve all outstanding debts.

      Morally speaking, we see no safety net, and hence have greater reason to take care how we treat others as we go.

      Practically speaking, however, I think it's a wash.

  •  George Carlin on Religion: (8+ / 0-)

    When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!

    But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!

    "I think the Iraqi people owe the the American people a huge debt of gratitude." - George W. Bush

    by Karmafish on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:17:54 PM PST

  •   yea i grew up in the deep south.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    synth, Democrat

    Every person who ever used, ignored, or otherwise abused my kindness for their own good was a christian every last one of them.At work I suffered under the tyranny of god fearing men. When my dad swore to put the fear of god into me it was fear that was going to be the lesson. This country was founded by rich white men that did not want to pay their taxes, money, that is what the country is all about. If religion and gods leave everyone to suffer the torment that is the american government, hell for that matter the hole of religion then the hell with them. Every time a cop beats the shit out of some poor bastard, every time an old lady does not get paid for a break at wal mart, every time a republican votes for a republican, every time rush, orilley , or dick cheney opens their mouth the lies and damage done christians are to blame. I said their prayers in school and it taught me only one lesson, everybody is a liar. Nobody is worthy of heaven. So it must not exist.

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    I think that some athiests invite it. They don't deserve it on the whole, but there are some athiests that act like they are morally superior to everyone else and that anyone who believes in God is "one of the deluded". They act very condascendingly to religious people.

    http://www.keen.com/jiacinto For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:36:39 PM PST

    •  Well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      simplicio

      I think that most believers invite it. Most believers act like they are morally superior to everyone else and that anyone who doesn't believe in God is "one of the deluded". They act very condescendingly toward atheists.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site