EDIT NOTE: The original post included a reference to Dave Silverman being the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He is actually the president of American Atheists. The post has been edited accordingly.
I got a very insightful email from a listener who thinks they figured out where I was on Monday:
Peter, I noticed on your show Tuesday, you didn’t give us much detail about your whereabouts on Monday. I think I know why. Perhaps you thought we were unaware that the big “There is No God But Ourselves Atheist Rally for Nothing” event was held in Washington over the weekend, but I know it was. And perhaps that’s where you were. One of those closet atheists they were talking about. You were driving back from the event Monday and just haven’t figured out how to break it to your listening audience. Am I close?
He got me. I was sitting there last week thinking, “You know, believing that the grand design of creation necessitates a Grand Designer is just too logical.” So I decided to board the trolley to make-believe and head out with Richard Dawkins to the atheist shendig. And by the way, his reference to the closeted atheists was something that these event promoters were talking about and counting on. David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, kept talking about how this event was going to be the “largest atheist event in world history” because all these closeted atheists were going to come out of the woodwork and show up.
In case you were wondering, it didn’t happen. The weather wasn’t the greatest, so maybe that had an effect. I love that, by the way: God rained on their parade. Literally. A few thousand apparently showed up there, which is equal to a typical big city tea party event...maybe. Of course, this atheist-fest was a tad bit more vulgar and hostile than the tea party events – not that you’d know it from the media reports.
In all seriousness, if you haven’t heard about this vulgarity celebration that the atheists put on in our nation’s capital city, it was a doozy. Brent Bozell wrote a little about it in a recent column I thought was worth the read:
The pre-rally publicity was too ridiculous to believe. At National Public Radio – yes, they are interested – Barbara Bradley Hagerty explained the really was “not to tweak the faithful. It's to encourage closeted atheists to take heart.” How NPR-thoughtful. Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta complained “Every time you hear the word atheist in the media, you know, there's always, like, an adjective before it. It's always angry atheist, militant atheist, staunch atheist. It's never happy, smiling atheist.” There are also dumb atheists who don’t know “happy” is also an adjective.
On Saturday morning, as the rain began to pour on the atheists, NPR weekend anchor Scott Simon added more blather from his DC studio:
“Rally organizers say they don't want to mock religion. A lot of nonbelievers I know and hear from are eager for atheists to be seen as more than just scolds who point out absurdities and inconsistencies in religion, the kind of grumps who file lawsuits against shopping-mall Santa Clauses.”
This, from the man who cued up Christopher Hitchens to denounce Mother Teresa just after she died. Sadly for the atheist publicity team at NPR, reality came barging in. That lonely Post story explained that a Reason Rally attendee was confronting religious counter-protesters with a sign reading “So Many Christians, So Few Lions.” This is also a T-shirt that atheists sell each other.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League noted that hate also came from biologist Richard Dawkins at the podium. Dawkins insisted religious people must be “ridiculed with contempt.” Dawkins advised the cheering crowd to ask Catholics, “Do you really believe that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ? Are you seriously saying that wine turns into blood? Mock them, ridicule them!”
But they won’t “tweak the faithful.”
Bozell makes some excellent points. Of course, nailing the evangelistic atheists for intolerance is kinda like shooting fish in a barrel. The hypocrisy of these false prophets of reason is so notorious, so well known, so obvious by now that we don’t need a public demonstration of their hypocrisy to note it. And the NPR types that suffer the foolishness of the atheist community, and wrap it in the cloak of intellectualism aren’t fooling anyone either.
Atheism is the most haughty, self-righteous and arrogant belief systems a person can embrace. That’s not to say that all atheists behave haughtily or self-righteous or arrogant. They don’t. But it is to say that your individual reason is so far evolved that it has enlightened you to a truth that 6000 years worth of the world’s brightest people – from every continent, every religion, every creed, every tribe, every tongue – have known and accepted...that’s about as arrogant as it gets.
Understanding that, it really should come as no surprise to see their antics in the streets of Washington this last weekend.
One of the things I did find interesting though was the political connections Bozell noted:
You didn’t have to wait for the rally to know it was going to be angry and militant. Their star speaker, Professor Dawkins, wrote for The Washington Post beforehand that people should not come if they weren’t wise enough to crawl “from the swamp of primitive superstition and supernatural gullibility.”
Or if they were idiotic religious conservatives who’d say “I don’t trust educated intellectuals, elitists who know more than I do. I’d prefer to vote for somebody like me, rather than somebody who is actually qualified to be president.” He added, “What other than this mentality accounts for the popularity of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum -- politicians who flaunt their ignorance as a vote-winning virtue?”
Wait a second. Isn’t Barack Obama a professing Christian? Don’t most elected Democrats maintain at least lip service to their Christian allegiance, particularly around election time? Isn’t that worse Mr. Dawkins? Santorum’s isn’t just an election year faith. Isn’t that better than those Democrats who “flaunt their ignorance as a vote-winning virtue?” I’d be quite interested to hear Mr. Dawkins’ response. Why do I get the feeling that no mainstream media outlet will ask him?