Tag Archives: Militant Atheism

S.E. Cupp, The Atheist-Hating Atheist?

“I really aspire to be a person of faith some day.” (12:32)

Does that sound like an atheist to you?

S.E. Cupp made a fall 2009 appearance on CSPAN. “Skip to 9:46,” she said.

“You say you are an atheist,” notes interviewer Brian Lamb.

“I am,” Cupp acknowledges. “But I’m not a militant atheist. I’ve never understood the angry atheist.”

Oh, right, of course, S.E. The militant atheists ruin everything with their countless dogma-inspired wars.

Now never mind that your hero George W. Bush (no, really, she says so in the video)’s worthless Iraq War seems to be partially inspired by his Christian beliefs — I’m sure it’s a significant group of atheists whose beliefs cause violence.

Never mind, as well, that failing to give science and reason a voice harms those who would be misled about evolution and coerced into donating to a man who lies to a trusting flock every Sunday. Never mind that keeping one’s lack of belief “under a bushel” makes it that much easier to consider our country a Christian nation, that much easier to write off atheists as people with a fundamental problem, even if they are your own son. Never mind that complete deference to the religious gives parents a right to deny their children access to real doctors, settling instead for fatal faith healing.

No, Cupp isn’t an angry atheist. Not like those of us who hate God. Seriously, she said that to Bill Maher!

Now it doesn’t take much wisdom to understand that it doesn’t make much sense for someone to hate a person they don’t believe exists. I expect even Christians with an IQ above 65 to grasp this concept. It’s a goddam given that atheists get it. There are many reasons for atheists to be upset with religion (not somebody’s fairytale god). So for Cupp to spout off with this nonsense is just unbelievable. She can’t possibly be an actual atheist, can she? At risk of bumping into the True Scotsman territory, I’ll say she’s certainly not like any atheist I’ve ever met.

I’ve been an atheist for quite a while. I was fascinated by religion at a very young age and my parents always encouraged me to explore my religious inclinations. I went to a Catholic high school and I just decided, early on, that I didn’t buy it, it wasn’t for me, but I’m envious. I’m envious of the faithful, so I defend the faithful at every opportunity I get. (10:25)

Cupp repeatedly uses the word “yet,” as in “[faith] hasn’t found me yet.” For someone who is, by definition, pretty sure that religions are untrue, this is a very curious thing to say. How is she possibly an atheist?

S.E., the supposed atheist, notes that religious people are not deluded on Bill Maher’s show. What?! Do I even need to add any commentary here? Heck, Protestants consider Catholics deluded for thinking they can pray to Mary — but Cupp doesn’t think any of the myriad (an SAT vocab word she just loves to use to make her look smart along with those “geeky” glasses) religions out there are founded on delusions? “I understand the appeal [of religion],” she says. Okay. But the appeal of a religion and its truth value — whether or not a believer is in fact deluded — are completely orthogonal (a synonym for “unrelated” that Cupp may not have reached in her SAT prep book yet).

I’m sorry. I may have implied she hasn’t gone to college yet. That’s just not true! Cupp frequently mentions — in both the videos I link to — that she’s undergone a rigorous education and is working on her Masters… in religious studies. So you know she’s a pro! If she says religion is Good and we should be envious of those who have it, well, who are we to argue with edumacated larnin’s?

But wait! Cupp hates those liberal educated academic Christ-hating bastards! Really. Listen to why she prefers G. W. Bush to Barack Obama (13:40):

[Bush] had a conviction… that required him to answer to someone else when he went to bed at night. Not to the State, and not to himself.
I don’t see the same kind of reverence in some of our other recent Presidents. … I also think Barack Obama… doesn’t have a lot of his own convictions. I think they’ve been informed by academia, and sort of the Chicago community organizing circuit, and so many different influences that I don’t think he has a visceral feeling on a great many issues. And that’s a problem for me. I think he’s easily influenced.

Hold on. Cup supposedly doesn’t have Bush’s religious conviction! There’s nothing stopping her from running around, raping, murdering, and lying in office! Oh, wait, Bush lied. I guess he still breaks commandments.

As an atheist, I could never imaging electing — voting for — an atheist president. (15:30)


Elsewhere, she criticizes Obama for acknowledging that atheists exist. I kid you not: “Obama delivered another slight to religious America when he became the first president in the history of the United States to mention atheists.” Holy shit. Let’s ignore for now that other Presidents have certainly mentioned atheists. How dare Obama not sweep S.E.’s own existence under the rug! She must be thrilled by the Senior Bush’s anti-atheist statement, “I do not consider Atheists to be patriots nor citizens of the United States. This is one Nation Under God.” Now that’s the way atheist political commentators like to be treated! Wait, no, that would be only impostors like Cupp.

I’m not getting into whether Bush or Obama are good presidents — I’m just saying that 1) it’s hard to argue religion makes for better rulers and 2) S.E. isn’t a real atheist.

I’m sorry for giving this troll any attention. I’ll strive to never to mention her again.

Moving on!

On Speaking Out

Implicit in the use of the term “militant atheists” is the assumption that, having no religion, atheists have no place discussing it. And nested in that assumption, Russian-doll style, is this one: It’s no use dissuading anyone from religion, because hey, what’s the harm?

But that’s where we run into problems. Religion kills.

I have begun tagging the problems with religion as “What’s The Harm”.

Let’s get started:

  • Wars, crusades, inquisitions, gunpoint missionaries
  • Faith healing, heartbreakingly forced upon children
  • Circumcision and genital mutilation
  • Separating families (heck, even Jesus advocating leaving your family to follow him)
  • Spreading scientific illiteracy and general ignorance
  • Exorcisms performed on victims who are simply either mentally ill or gay

Why speak out? For a better world.

Militant Atheism

“Militant Atheism” is one of the most insultingly ignorant terms ever.

Number of wars started in the name of atheism: 0
Number of wars started in the name of a particular god: Unknown, probably a majority

Simply put, it’s wrong to call an atheist “militant” because they refuse to prentend to be religious, or because they decline to be reverent for superstition.

Consider this.

What do you call a vocal believer? A missionary or evangelist.

What actions denote a vocal believer? Visiting neighbors in attempts to convert them, passing religiously-based laws to restrict others’ activities (hello, Prop 8), and in many times and places in this world, possibly participating in – and certainly not protesting – conversions at knifepoint (e.g. many places in the current Middle East, or most of Dark Age Christian Mediavel Europe).

What do you call a vocal unbeliever? “Militant.” Yes, because of those bloody atheist inquisitions. </sarcasm> What might a vocal atheist do? I don’t see them knocking on doors. I suppose they might joke at the expense of superstitions, or criticize religion. In army uniform, apparently. Atheist color guard, march!