Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dating Advice from an Unhinged Theocratic Dotard

And no, I don't even mean the Pope this time!

This time, via Pharyngula, the unhinged dotard is Pat Robertson, who counsels a Christian woman to dump her terrible, horrible, no good, very bad atheistic boyfriend before he infects her with "satanic" cooties:

Having the wrong opinions about Jesus is not just grounds for eternal damnation and an eternity of suffering in the hereafter, but an unambiguous marker of poor character.

I post this video not because it says anything especially noteworthy or unexpected, but precisely because it is so banal: insofar as atheists are discussed in public, this is the sort of opprobrium routinely heaped on them. Pat Robertson doesn't hem and haw here, he just spits out this bile with the expectation that everyone in the studio and every viewer of his show will nod in agreement.

Try as I might, I can't think of an equivalent reversal, in which an atheist appears on TV and counsels someone to "dump the bum" solely on the basis of the "bum's" Christianity. I know I can't think of any such atheistic public figure who has rubbed shoulders with US presidents, contended for a major party's presidential nomination, and founded his own TV network.

Robertson knows absolutely nothing about this individual apart from a second-hand report that he is an atheist. Moments such as this one speak to the really-existing climate of believer-nonbeliever relations in the USA, and anti-new-atheist types would do well to pause and consider such moments before declaring, for the Nth time, that atheists are too shrill and uncivil.

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