Conservative Atheists on the Net

Ron Battista posted reply to my Hannity/Silverman post.

Battista runs an interesting blog, Suspension of Disbelief which has a tagline of “An Atheist Who Is Tired of Atheist Activists.” Can I get an amen to that? 😉

Anyway, Battista links to a number of atheist conservatives such as The Secular Republican, and there’s even a Yahoo! Groups list, Conservative Atheism.

My wife, who is a pagan, and I often discuss this sort of problem, as she gets a little tired of seeing complete nutcases being represented as spokesmen/women for her religious views. But at least in that case, there’s not nutty American Pagans group that the media always turns to. We poor atheists have for too long had to live in the shadow of Madalyn Murray O’Hair and the American Atheists doing their best to convince the country that every atheist was a stark raving loony nut who stayed awake at night worrying about the horrors of “In God We Trust” on our money.

Plus AA tended to promote crackpot ideas from their obnoxious view that religious people were idiots or worse to lending credence to Holocaust revisionist nonsense. In many ways, the AA paralleled another partially-right but equally nutty group led by a charismatic women, the Objectivists. Did anyone ever see Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Ayn Rand together?

David Silverman Is No Michael Newdow — Atheist Smacks Down Sean Hannity

For the most part, I’ve never been impressed by the American Atheists (and I am an atheist), but AA’s David Silverman really made Sean Hannity look like the idiot he is on Hannity & Colmes. The topic was the Easter Bunny — apparently some shopping malls in Florida are doing away with the “Easter” part of the Easter Bunny, and going to either Peter Rabbit or “Garden Bunny” (which makes no sense). Hannity, of course, sees this is as yet another attack from those evil leftists.

Before going to the transcript, if Hannity would use his brain for a second he might stop to wonder why a rabbit is symbolized with Easter. What the hell does a rabbit have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? Nothing, of course — its a pagan fertility symbol people. If anything, Hannity should be glad that people are starting to dissociate this pagan fertility symbol from Easter.

Anyway, Silverman is brilliant, noting that what is driving the bunny changes is pure capitalism which, the last time I checked, Hannity supported,

DAVID SILVERMAN, AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Hey, thanks for having me back on the show.

You know, first of all, I want to say that this is about private property and this is about private enterprise. And they can name their bunnies anything they want. They can name them Peter Rabbit or they can name them the Jesus Bunny for all we care. They are private enterprises, and they can do what we wish — or what they wish, I should say.

BOB BECKEL, GUEST HOST: But why do they wish to do that?

SILVERMAN: Because it’s capitalism. They’re living in a place that is growing more and more diverse. And they’re recognizing the fact that Easter is only Christian. And even though it doesn’t have Christian roots, they’re recognizing that is more than Christian, and they want to play on the safe side. They want to sell more stuff. When it comes right down to it, these malls want to sell more stuff. They don’t want to…

Hannity simply ignores this, claiming its leftist intolerance,

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: You know something, David? Look, where is the tolerance on the left anymore? I mean, this is the Easter Bunny. This is about Bob’s kids and my kids going to the mall. Are you really going to be hurt, are you really going to be offended by a mall identifying a bunny as the Easter Bunny? Is your faith shaken that deeply?

But as Silverman notes — and Hannity continues to ignore — atheists aren’t agitating for this change; its something the malls did on their own.

Silverman apparently flustered Hannity by not coming out and being a typical atheist freak (Hannity probably wishes he’d booked Michael Newdow), leading Hannity to this bizarre exchange,

HANNITY: Because of guys like you, because you’re demanding it, because of the frivolous lawsuits…

SILVERMAN: How can you blame me when we’re not doing anything? This is something — no, no, no, Sean. We’re not doing anything. You’re going a little too far here because…

HANNITY: No, I’m not. Why is it happening then?

SILVERMAN: Because of capitalism. They’re going to sell more stuff.

HANNITY: All right. It’s all happening because of capitalism.


SILVERMAN: They’re not doing it because of the atheists. We don’t have anything to do with it.

HANNITY: Why are the Boy Scouts under attack by atheist groups, by girls that want to be in the Boy Scouts, by gay and lesbian groups that don’t like their values?

SILVERMAN: You want to talk about the Boy Scouts?

HANNITY: No, what it is an assault on the very people in the society that lecture us about tolerance. You guys on the left, you are the most intolerant people on the face of the Earth to the point now that the Easter Bunny cannot be named the Easter Bunny without offending somebody in your side.

Hannity’s just an embarassment with his one-size-fits-all ranting — confronted by Silverman’s reasonable position, Hannity blathers on about Boy Scouts and lesbians and then says he doesn’t actually want to talk about the Boy Scouts after all.

Fox would do well to ditch both Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Unfortunately since so many people inexpliably watch these goofballs, that isn’t likely to happen.


Transcript: The Easter Bunny Under Attack. Hannity & Colmes, March 16, 2005.

Once Again American Atheists Hit the Important Stuff

American Atheists is sort of the nonbeliever counterpart to the Southern Baptist Convention — a bunch of fruitcakes who have managed to cement a number of stereotypes about atheists through their actions.

This time around they’re angry that proposals for a 9/11 memorial might include a “cross.” Okay, it’s not really a cross. It’s just a couple of steel beams that happened by chance to be joined in a cross-like configuration. But the born again rescue worker who found it thought it was God speaking to him (what? God couldn’t have found a better way to make a cross than to bring down two of the world’s biggest buildings? Please).

Personally I couldn’t care either way if they put this “cross” up at a 9/11 memorial, but for the American Atheists, even a whiff of religion in the public sphere is the second coming of the Inquisition.

These are the same idiots who want the inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetary removed because it reads, “Here lies in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”

And I still chuckle over the AA’s opposition to a New Jersey law that would have required school children to recite daily two of the most beautiful sentences ever written in English,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Certainly a much better use of one’s time to memorize that than to obssess about Star Jones. Sheesh.

Let the Firefighters Have Their Christmas Tree

Separation of church and state is certainly a bedrock principle for maintaining a liberal society, but once you get lawyers and anti-religious extremists involved, the principle sometimes gets twisted into absurd shapes.

In Eugene, Oregon, for example, the city has forbidden firefighters from putting up Christmas trees in city-owned fire stations on the grounds that it constitutes a violation of the separation of church and state. What nonsense. Even firefighter Matt Steinberg, who tells Fox that he is Jewish, understand what is really going on here,

I just shook my head and thought it was too bad that it had come down to that. What we’re really striving for is blandness. It’s not like people are running around being particularly religious all the time.

We’ve gone as a nation from rightly ensuring that our government doesn’t tell us how to worship to persecuting people who want to put a cross or Star of David or, god forbid, a Christmas tree in their workplace. This reminds me of the sort of absurd extremes that groups like the American Atheists used to go to with their regular claims that “In God We Trust” on coins violated the First Amendment.

Moreover, these bizarre edicts will over time tend to erode support among Americans for the principle of separation of church and state. A few weeks ago another case made the news when crosses were removed from a World War II memorial in a national park because various groups had threatened to sue on First Amendment grounds. This sort of nonsense does nothing to protect religious freedom in the United States, but adds to the growing perception among some religious people that the separation doctrine is largely a club used by liberal and left wing groups to rid public life of religious expression altogether.