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 CNN bashes atheists, blaming the victim
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  18:46:55  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
WTF?

Will found links to this on digg.com:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/02/i_had_no_idea_cnn_had_gotten_t.php

The first part of the CNN video referred to starts out seemingly even-handed, but then go to the part 2; the gloves come off and they rip us atheists a new one without even giving us a chance to defend ourselves. Apparently there is no debate that America is a Christian nation and atheists took prayer out of schools.

Part 1 of the CNN video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiyJzWy3CDQ&eurl=
Part 2 of the CNN video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPHnXrU5JzU&eurl=

This is seriously fucked up.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  18:54:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
When in the fuck has any atheist organization ever persecuted a persons right to have a belief about anything much less god? Prayer has never been taken out of school. The two women in that clip just came out and unashamedly said, "This is a country that is not tolerant and if your not a Christian then fuck you!" Does any one wonder why christians are becoming despised by all other religions and the non-religious?

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  19:01:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
PZ Myers over at Pharyngula has also posted about this:
quote:
[The show] closes with some young Republican-looking talking head who babbles about how atheists bring it on themselves, and we should blame all the militant atheists for the fact that people feel compelled to shun those who don't believe as they do. It was a weird blame-the-victim moment.

Then there's the panel afterwards. Others have mentioned the odd omission of any atheists from the discussion, but I was also flabbergasted at the question they were debating, which was displayed in big letters on a board behind them:

Why do atheists inspire such hatred?

Whoa. Hey, Debbie Schlussel, how would you feel if a panel of Christians and Muslims met to discuss "Why do Jews inspire such hatred?", and they decided that the problem is that Jews need to shut up and quit mentioning their beliefs in public? It's probably silly to ask that of Schlussel who seems to be vapidity personified, but that's really what the panel was about, with two (one was not sympathetic, but at least realized that atheists have the same rights he does) Christian twits telling us that atheists ought to shut up (literally) and that we ought to have prayers in school to restore morality.

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 02/06/2007 19:03:58
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  19:42:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
I would have liked to have seen how that "debate" would have differed if they'd allowed just one Richard Dawkins in on the panel. He would have ripped 'em all new cloacæ.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  19:48:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
You can send a comment to CNN with this form: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.html?11

Here's my long-winded comment:

This letter is in regards to the segment on discrimination against atheists.

First of all, America is not a Christian nation and never has been. God, much less Jesus, is not mentioned in any founding legal document. The only mention of any sort of deity is in the Declaration of Independence, and only once with the term “Creator”. Maybe your commentators need to read their history, but back then that was a religiously neutral term which included deists. Several of the founding fathers were quite critical of Christianity. Thomas Jefferson dismissed the vast majority of the Bible. Ben Franklin was a member of the Christ Church congregation, but he identified in writing that he was a deist in his personal beliefs. This makes sense since there has always been a social aspect to religion, not only the aspect of personal beliefs.

Atheists did not take prayer out of schools. In fact, nobody has taken prayer out of American schools. Students are free to pray on their own or in groups during lunch, recess, after school, or any other free time. Bible study and prayer clubs often meet in public schools, perfectly legally. What is illegal is for a school official to lead a prayer. It's called separation of church and state, and it was put in place by Thomas Jefferson.

Also on school prayer, the first cases raised against compelled prayers in schools were raised by Catholic parents who felt their children were being discriminated against by Protestants. The case which went to the supreme court regarding prayers by a high school football coach was raised by a Catholic and Mormon family.

Atheists do not want to take “under God” out of the Pledge of Alliance. Some atheists want to restore the Pledge to its original wording which did not include those two words.

How dare your commentators talk about a whole group of peoples' worldview so flippantly and in such a derogatory manner. Atheists are not some homogenous group. We are as diverse in our approaches to ethics, spirituality, politics, and lifestyle as Christians or any other religious group. And how similar are United Methodists to Amish fundamentalists? Not very. A minority of atheists are militant, especially in parts of the country where we are most discriminated against. But other groups of atheists form coalitions with religious communities on issues we share in common.

Atheists don't believe in “nothing”. We have beliefs about the natural world, ethics, political ideologies, and love for our family and friends. Many of us have values identical to some religious folks, even if the foundation for those values is different. According to polls, we are less likely to get divorced or to end up in prison. “Atheist” is not synonymous with “nihilist” or “hedonist”.

Finally, many of us hold our beliefs and values as dearly as the most devout religious folks. For your information, we do make our own holiday and greeting cards. We have our own summer camps for kids. We have our own heroes and holidays, songs and poems. Some of us are organized into communities that not only socialize together, but take care of each other when in need, and work together to try to improve our society for everyone. For those of us who do hold our secular beliefs and values dear, your insults and slander are as hurtful as they would be if we were Jewish or Christian.

You ended your segment saying we were weak. Weak people do not stand up for what they believe in. Weak people do not openly speak the truth in their hearts. We are not weak. We are a minority, and your commentators have just bullied us without so much as including a single atheist in the discussion. You should be ashamed for your perpetuation of misinformation, intolerance and ignorance.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  20:02:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
Well-written letter, Marf. I'd be interested in hearing what the response is, if any, which I somehow doubt.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  20:29:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
You know, I thought that was hilarious. Sorry. It reminded me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch about a TV panel discussion show. I think it was called “Female Problems”. After an introduction, which gave nothing away, it cut to four or five men sitting on a sofa and chairs talking about their problems with women…

It almost amazes me that some Christians feel they are being discriminated against. That is until I remember that it's their job to feel persecuted. You can't be meek and inherit the earth while also being the master, ya know? It puts them in a bit of a bind.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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sts60
Skeptic Friend

141 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  21:25:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sts60 a Private Message
I must be doing a lousy job... I'm Christian, but I don't feel persecuted.

For that matter, I'm also a straight white married male, and I somehow don't feel persecuted or oppressed. I guess I just can't get with the program.

I didn't see the show, but based on the partial transcripts, I'm glad I didn't. Yes, this (the U.S.) is a country with a largely Christian heritage brought by the Spaniards and French and English, but we are a secular democracy - the authority to govern is granted by the consent of the people, not by God. Those who don't like that need to get a grip, and a clue, and need to learn to judge people by their character and not their religious beliefs.

(Oh, hi everybody, haven't been around for a while.)
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  21:44:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
Infuriating. "We're not allowed to shove our religious views down your throat? You should shut up." (paraphrased).

I didn't understand the "You have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion." then saying, "Atheists are free to believe whatever they want." Those two seem contradicting to me.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Randy
SFN Regular

USA
1988 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2007 :  22:15:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Randy a Private Message
Television is a whore; and, we Atheists are whipping posts for xtians.

"We are all connected; to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, to the rest of the universe atomically."

"So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?"
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  04:35:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Good letter, Marf. Mine was directly to the point but much shorter and not nearly as well-written.

It's garbage like that which makes me ever more certain that getting the news from the blogs is the right way to go, if you can find the honest ones. Our national media is such a load of crap...




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  04:57:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
And in rich irony, the CNN website is now running a story with the headline " Ancient boy's skeleton sparks evolution debate." It says,
quote:
Deep in the dusty, unlit corridors of Kenya's national museum, locked away in a plain-looking cabinet, is one of mankind's oldest relics: Turkana Boy, as he is known, the most complete skeleton of a prehistoric human ever found.

But his first public display later this year is at the heart of a growing storm -- one pitting scientists against Kenya's powerful and popular evangelical Christian movement. The debate over evolution vs. creationism -- once largely confined to the United States -- has arrived in a country known as the cradle of mankind.
Now, explain to me again just who it is that's angry??
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  05:58:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
This is what I sent. I'm too tired and annoyed to put more than this into it:

"This letter is in regards to the segment on discrimination against atheists.

That was one of the most biased pieces I've seen on CNN.

Why was prayer removed from schools? Hello. It wasn't because a couple of Activist Atheists filed a lawsuit. It was because the Supreme Court ruled prayer in public school promoted religion. It was because the Constitution protects everyone by not allowing people to promote any religion in public schools.

Your supposed panel were uninformed and misinformed about facts. They spouted stories as if the anecdotes represented any significant proportion of occurrences. They had no expertise.

Is this your idea of news? Put hateful uninformed garbage on because you think it appeals to people?

Pitiful."

I really don't watch Paula Zahn anyway. She is either a crappy news person or she just gets crappy assignments but I don't enjoy the content on her program at all.

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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  08:52:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Great letter beskeptical. Much more concise and to the point than mine.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  09:04:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Okay, I sent them a variation of my post here The second paragraph is all new.
quote:
I thought the segment on atheists was hilarious. It reminded me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch about a TV panel discussion show. I think it was called “Female Problems”. After an introduction, which gave nothing away, it cut to four or five men sitting on a sofa and chairs talking about their problems with women…

Anyhow, brilliant comments by the two women. Self-parody is not easy. And standing on national television portraying yourself with the IQ of a fence post is brave, to say the least. And yes, they pulled it off. I love it when news people are not the least bit encumbered by facts. Makes for great entertainment.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2007 :  09:15:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kil

Okay, I sent them a variation of my post here The second paragraph is all new.
quote:
I thought the segment on atheists was hilarious. It reminded me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch about a TV panel discussion show. I think it was called “Female Problems”. After an introduction, which gave nothing away, it cut to four or five men sitting on a sofa and chairs talking about their problems with women…

Anyhow, brilliant comments by the two women. Self-parody is not easy. And standing on national television portraying yourself with the IQ of a fence post is brave, to say the least. And yes, they pulled it off. I love it when news people are not the least bit encumbered by facts. Makes for great entertainment.

Unfortunately, they will never get it.

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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