S.E. Cupp: It’s a myth that conservatism is hostile to atheism

posted at 8:41 pm on July 30, 2014 by Allahpundit

Well, sort of yes and sort of no. She’s right that most conservatives welcome atheist fellow travelers. I remember telling a friend before HA launched that I’d be writing for a righty website and him telling me that I should hide my nonbelief, but I didn’t and it’s never been a problem. The most static I catch for it is when I’ve written something extra RINO-y and a commenter grumbles that we shouldn’t expect any better from the godless. Even that’s rare; the smoking gun of RINOism that’s most often cited by my righty critics is support for gay marriage, not atheism. So yeah, certainly this is no bar to entry into the commentariat. In fact, more conservative atheists seem to be writing about their dual identities. See, e.g., Robert Tracinski in April at the Federalist making “an atheist’s case for religious liberty” or Charles Cooke back in February arguing that godlessness and conservatism aren’t incompatible after all.

I think Cupp’s right too that righty atheists on average respect religion more than their liberal counterparts do. That’s probably mainly a function of exposure: If you’re a conservative of whatever demographic and whatever educational level and you associate mostly with other conservatives, chances are you’re going to run into and end up being friends with some devoutly religious people. I’m not so sure that’s true on the left. If you’re a highly educated, reasonably well-to-do liberal — coincidentally, the same niche that most of the left’s commentariat comes from — devoutly religious friends may be hard to come by. (Call it epistemic closure.) Just as polls on gay marriage show support for SSM rising steeply among people who have at least one acquaintance who’s come out of the closet, I suspect that knowing religious people whom you respect inevitably softens your view on the value of religion.

But look: Certainly there’s some wariness about atheism within conservatism. Go look at one of those polls in which a variety of supposedly undesirable traits in a would-be president are listed and people are asked to name which ones would make you less likely to vote for him/her. Atheism is always at or near the top of the list. That’s not the fault of conservatism alone; plenty of religious Democrats look askance at atheists too, and if you doubt that, ask yourself how many Democrats in Congress have been willing to cop to nonbelief while in office. Offhand the only one I can think of is Pete Stark, who was later ousted in a primary. Barney Frank copped to being an atheist only after he retired, which is telling — it was safer for him politically to admit to being gay than to doubting God’s existence. If you polled Republicans and Democrats today and asked them whether they’d be positive, negative, or neutral about having a president who identifies as atheist, I guarantee that both sides would tilt negative and feel reasonably confident (considering that there are more liberal atheists than conservative ones) that conservatives would tilt more negative than liberals would. See Cooke’s piece linked above for an insight as to why. The most common complaint from religious people about atheists in my experience is that we lack a moral foundation; they can always resort to the Good Book for guidance, but what does the atheist resort to? “The Selfish Gene”? Logically, that concern will be more common among religious people than it will among the less religious, so go figure that conservatives, a more religious group, might show that concern more strongly. I wouldn’t call that “hostility” to atheism as much as, let’s say, skepticism of it, but it’s there. And yes, it’s there among plenty of Democrats too.


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“Burn Her”

/Main Stream Media. She’s about to be Palinized.

Key West Reader on July 30, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Cool, I’ll add her to my prayer list.

31giddyup on July 30, 2014 at 8:46 PM

This ditsz is the right’s Jenny McCarthy.

brushingmyhair on July 30, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Lefties assume conservatives are automatically hostile to people who disagree with them because that’s how they think. For a lefty, conservatives are evil. For a conservative, lefties start out at being merely wrong. Leftists spend so much time hiding their agenda to jolly along the masses that they assume conservatives’ motives are to kill defenseless children. And killing defenseless children, by the way, is high on the left’s agenda.

Fenris on July 30, 2014 at 8:50 PM

That video is awesome. Well done.

More, please.

faraway on July 30, 2014 at 8:51 PM

But look: Certainly there’s some wariness about atheism within conservatism.

Well, considering the narcissistic arrogance routinely displayed all across the Atheistic world toward those of religious belief, it’s is not terribly surprising.

oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:52 PM

I think Cupp’s right too that righty atheists on average respect religion more than their liberal counterparts do. That’s probably mainly a function of exposure: If you’re a conservative of whatever demographic and whatever educational level and you associate mostly with other conservatives, chances are you’re going to run into and end up being friends with some devoutly religious people.

I think it’s because conservatives are just more inclusive and tolerant. It ain’t our side that tries to silence any opposing viewpoint on college campuses or uses the IRS to shut down right-leaning(or pro-Israel) groups or advocates for the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine to kill off conservative talk radio.

Doughboy on July 30, 2014 at 8:54 PM

I think Cupp’s right too that righty atheists on average respect religion more than their liberal counterparts do.

This is true for me, AP.

RWM also speaks for me in this snippet of a response to Tlaloc this past Independence Day:

Oh, and by the way, I’m an atheist, libertarian and a woman…soooo just STFU before you even start. If I had to choose between having you or an entire sect of Christians living next door, you’d lose. At least I would know they wouldn’t be stealing my shit because they felt that they were ‘entitled’ to it…because racism, sexism, bigotry, genocide, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism (and trust me, you don’t even want to go there, buddy), ‘micro-aggressive’ behaviour, white ‘privilege,’ and/or ‘inequality.’

Resist We Much on July 4, 2014 at 4:46 PM

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Allahpundit, Is Sarah Elizabeth you new love interest now that Kirsten Powers got married?

meci on July 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

I’m smart enough to know I’m too stupid to know.

That’s my official stance, therefore I don’t judge others.

But the left is full of people that know everything.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Allahpundit, Is Sarah Elizabeth you new love interest now that Kirsten Powers got married?

meci on July 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

She’s married.

oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:56 PM

But the left is full of people that know everything.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

It’s not that they don’t know anything, it’s that so much of what they know is wrong.

oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Allahpundit, Is Sarah Elizabeth you new love interest now that Kirsten Powers got married?

meci on July 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

She’s married.

oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Oh… “She” being S.E. Cupp, S.E is married.

oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Call it epistemic closure.

Oh, let’s not. I realise it was the smarty-pants wunderkinds on the left who made the error first, but epistemic closure is an actual logical/epistemological concept!

The original meaning has nothing whatsoever to do with the repurposed one, and it makes me want to punch Ezra Klein in the face every time I see it deployed in the novel sense…which perhaps isn’t a necessarily negative impulsion, but seeing as I don’t current have the opportunity to do, it’s just an unwelcome source if unreleasable stress.

As for conservatives not being hostile to atheism…ha! Have you read your own comments section lately? There is dislike, hostility, metaphorical belligerence, the existential seething hatred of Jews by Palestinians, and then There’s the way some of your more sanctimonious commenters feel about atheists.

I don’t know if you’re trying to lower your rino score by telling your commentariat sweet lies about itself, but give me a break.

jaxisaneurophysicist on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM

brushingmyhair on July 30, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Hi sweetie.

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Interesting phrases-”fellow travelers” and “commentariat.Sounds so,well,Communist.Anathema for true conservatives.You,Cupp and your other 6 “conservative” atheists have a wonderful time at your next godless Politburo meeting.Have a feeling there will be very few actual conservatives in attendance.But y’all keep wishing the hostility,er myth,away.

redware on July 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM

There is a difference between agnosticism (dunno if God exists or not), atheism (personally thinks God probably does not exist), and anti-theism (yells “You christists are evil ignorant bible-thumping h8tors!”).

It is the latter category – people who promote hard atheism with slander and disparagement of believers (e.g., smarmy people like Ricky Gervais, or people who actively pay to promote atheism like Richard Dawkins) – that I have a problem with.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I am here to read all the comments from people telling us how much they love atheists.

coolrepublica on July 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM

…the smoking gun of RINOism that’s most often cited by my righty critics is support for gay marriage, not atheism.

As much flak as Allah gets for that, the one thing he’s gotten the most criticism from was leveled by the Painista crowd in ’08. IMO, anyway.

Heh, but as for conservatism being more atheist-friendly than liberalism…yes and no. Just my own experience with this, but I’ve found most atheists abhor conservatives…probably based more on the stereotypical image of the “religious Right” than anything else. There’s a lot more to conservative thought than religion (or specifically, Christianity). But most atheists I’ve talked to think that’s enough of a reason.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 9:01 PM

It’s not that they don’t know anything, it’s that so much of what they know is wrong. oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Yea, Reagan nailed that one.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 9:02 PM

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 8:54pm

This Christian has a crush on RWM.

itsspideyman on July 30, 2014 at 9:03 PM

While I think atheism is not plausible I do respect those who are atheist but I’m not fond of college educated evangelical atheists.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Even that’s rare; the smoking gun of RINOism that’s most often cited by my righty critics is support for gay marriage, not atheism.

Actually, it’s cats, but I don’t think you’ve written about them in a while.

malclave on July 30, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Oh… “She” being S.E. Cupp, S.E is married.

oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM

I don`t understand, how do atheists marry? I assume they just stand in front of a judge: “Do you agree to sign the contract aggreed to by both parties?”

“I do!”

ThePrez on July 30, 2014 at 9:06 PM

As a non-Christian the only problem I have with atheists is libtard atheists trying to take God out of the public eye. The pledge, money, etc. You’re an atheist moron! Why should something you don’t believe exists bother you? Why should your non belief take precedence over the vast majority of those that do? It would be like me going over to Greater Weirdbeardia and denouncing Allah.

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I personally know and love several atheists. But anti-theism – the malevolent political movement with organized groups and paid advertising – such as Richard Dawkins’ “Atheist Bus Campaign” (read it on Wikipedia) to trash and mock believers and to try to turn people away from God, that is something else. If Dawkins can purchase ads and slap his crap on public city buses, but I am not allowed to put paid ads with John 3:16 on those same buses because ‘separation of church and state’, then yeah it’s wrong and I will say so.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

man she is such a dip. completely worthless.

brushingmyhair on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Allahpundit, Is Sarah Elizabeth you new love interest now that Kirsten Powers got married?
meci on July 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM
She’s married.
oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:56 PM
Oh… “She” being S.E. Cupp, S.E is married.
oscarwilde on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM
Kirsten Powers is divorced. Oddly quiet hot for a lib though she was a atheist a long time ago.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Baptized and Confirmed a Lutheran, I still claim that as my religion even though I don’t attend church. I do talk to God frequently though -sometimes immediately preceding an expletive, but other times on a more direct level.

I personally don’t care what another person calls his or her religion, though I do care about their morality. I would guess that most conservative atheists were raised with religion, or at least from parents who practiced religion at some point and taught their children their morality. So while the atheist may not realize or admit his morality is borne of religion, it likely is.

Progressivism however, requires atheism as a tenant. You can’t get in the club without it. It’s probably all that separates much of the RINO establishment from the hard core progressives; their refusal to completely renounce their God in deed, if not word.

So it is with that backdrop that I view someone who claims atheism. You’re either rooted in progressivism, or, if you’re not a stinkin’ hipster, professor, politician, or journalist, you may be a somewhat moral atheist raised by [relatively] religious parents.

Not that I’m judgmental.

BKeyser on July 30, 2014 at 9:10 PM

I don`t understand, how do atheists marry?

ThePrez on July 30, 2014 at 9:06 PM

See my 9:07 comment. I’m certain she feels no compunction to rebel against societal standards like that.

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 9:10 PM

This Christian has a crush on RWM.

itsspideyman on July 30, 2014 at 9:03 PM

Heh.

Get in line … ;-)

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 9:10 PM

as for conservatives not being hostile to atheism…ha! Have you read your own comments section lately? There is dislike, hostility, metaphorical belligerence, the existential seething hatred of Jews by Palestinians and then There’s the way some of your more sanctimonious commenters feel about atheists.

You are pretty stupid.

And you seem full of hate.

So there’s that.

Bug username= small mind.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 9:10 PM

man she is such a dip. completely worthless.

brushingmyhair on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

You’re so cute! I love it when you say “yah” when you mean yeah. ;)

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 9:11 PM

I think Cupp’s right too that righty atheists on average respect religion more than their liberal counterparts do.

Allahpundit on July 30, 2014 at 8:41 PM

.
That’s it … nothing else needs be said.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 9:13 PM

What, no Sharknado 2 open thread?

Brat on July 30, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Even though AP didn’t mention it, one of the reasons we conservatives are more tolerant of atheists has to do with our commitment to the Constitution and it’s recognition of freedom to believe or not to believe, and freedom to speak or not to speak.

It’s at the core of conservatism, really. Libs, on the other hand, have no tolerance for non-believers in their religions, i.e., global warming/climate change, SSM, abortion rights, etc.

TXUS on July 30, 2014 at 9:15 PM

BTW, the existence of God (simple Desism) is easy to prove. There’s no doubt scientifically that we definitely live in a created universe. See the thread at
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3154794/posts#63

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:16 PM

she is such a dip. completely worthless. brushingmyhair on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Worthless?

She’s getting paid.

How much did your book rake in?

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 9:18 PM

Her star has fallen since she totally failed to grok the Clint Eastwood “chair” thing. It was embarrassing to watch her reaction.

bbhack on July 30, 2014 at 9:19 PM

I am here to read all the comments from people telling us how much they love atheists.

coolrepublica on July 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM

.
NOT ME . . . . . I hate atheists … HATE … HATE … HATE …

Thankfully, I got lots of hate . . . . . I’ve even got hate to spare ! . . . . . Why, I’ve probably got hate I never knew I had !
.
See my soaked shirt ? You probably think that’s perspiration, but it’s not … it’s pure liquid hate oozing out because I’m so full of it.

listens2glenn on July 30, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Speaking of Atheist, Sam Harris is my new favorite. Moral clarity and intellectual honesty, with minimal snarkiness and self-righteousness thrown in (not “no snarkiness and self-righteousness” just “minimal”, he said snarkily).
Why I don’t Criticize Israel – Sam Harris, in Salon no less!

marks on July 30, 2014 at 9:22 PM

See also
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3154794/posts#28 and the three short YouTube videos that I cite, especially the last one. None of it involves the Bible at all.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Kirsten Powers is divorced. Oddly quiet hot for a lib though she was a atheist a long time ago.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Did she have one of those Beta-marriages.

RickB on July 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Even though AP didn’t mention it, one of the reasons we conservatives are more tolerant of atheists has to do with our commitment to the Constitution and it’s recognition of freedom to believe or not to believe, and freedom to speak or not to speak.

It’s at the core of conservatism, really. Libs, on the other hand, have no tolerance for non-believers in their religions, i.e., global warming/climate change, SSM, abortion rights, etc.

TXUS on July 30, 2014 at 9:15 PM

In all honesty tho…conservatives aren’t so much tolerant of atheists, conservatives are tolerant of conservative atheists. Even then, not all conservatives tolerate even those atheists.

It’s the same with gays…most conservatives are tolerant of conservative gays, but not all conservatives are. And the main reason for that is based on Christianity and the Bible. And since even conservative atheists don’t believe in God or the Bible, they’re in the same boat I, as a conservative gay dude, is. And I’m not an atheist.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM

She’s a Sasequatch fangirl, though.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 9:24 PM

I think God loves atheists.

Galtian on July 30, 2014 at 9:26 PM

She has decided one way or another on the question of Existence of God based on whether or she felt like joining a club. Ok then. She must be a very deep person.

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Galtian: True. He loves all of us.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:26 PM

…soooo just STFU before you even start.

Resist We Much on July 4, 2014 at 4:46 PM

You rock.

Jaibones on July 30, 2014 at 9:27 PM

BTW, the existence of God (simple Desism) is easy to prove. There’s no doubt scientifically that we definitely live in a created universe. See the thread at
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3154794/posts#63

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Nice way to argue: Simply declare yourself a winner from the outset.

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 9:28 PM

, but I am not allowed to put paid ads with John 3:16 on those same buses because ‘separation of church and state’, then yeah it’s wrong and I will say so.

Who told you you could not advertise your beliefs?

PBH on July 30, 2014 at 9:29 PM

yeah it’s definitely a myth. just like it’s a myth that conservatism is hostile to blacks, women, poor people, etc. basically the myth is that conservatism is just for old, white, rich Christian men. it’s so stupid that people think that.

I think Cupp’s right too that righty atheists on average respect religion more than their liberal counterparts do. That’s probably mainly a function of exposure: If you’re a conservative of whatever demographic and whatever educational level and you associate mostly with other conservatives, chances are you’re going to run into and end up being friends with some devoutly religious people. I’m not so sure that’s true on the left. If you’re a highly educated, reasonably well-to-do liberal — coincidentally, the same niche that most of the left’s commentariat comes from — devoutly religious friends may be hard to come by.

good point. it’s so sad to me to see atheists who clearly live in their own little atheist bubble and don’t know any religious people. they have this condescension toward us. they think we are stupid, to put it bluntly.

and then there are people like you and SE cupp and some of the atheists on this site. i am so happy that there are atheists who actually get along well with us religious people. i have never, ever felt like you have been condescending toward us. i don’t remember ever feeling that from SE cupp either. this kind of atheist is easy to get along with. just because we disagree on things doesn’t mean we have to be rude to each other.

that said, i still do pray for you, SE, and other atheists i know because i do hope that one day you believe in Jesus. He is the most important thing to me so i do pray for people who have not yet trusted in Him as their savior.

another myth is that when a Christian prays for a non-Christian, it’s just out of condescension. but no, it’s often not that way at all and i wish people would stop believing in that myth too.

Sachiko on July 30, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Kirsten Powers is divorced. Oddly quiet hot for a lib though she was a atheist a long time ago.
sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM
Did she have one of those Beta-marriages.
RickB on July 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM
Hmmm I don’t know but Miss Powers is hot despite being a liberal and she is at least honest.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:31 PM

but I’m not fond of college educated evangelical atheists.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM

I was thinking this when I read your post.

Whenever there’s a religion thread here, or an atheism thread for that matter, some commenters line up to rail against the bearded man in the sky and whatnot, as if derision will move us from our faith. So, keep telling my I’m ignorant, anti-science, delusional; this won’t even get me engaged.

This is exactly the tactic of the AGW crowd.

Hey, if you want to have a real discussion about the differences in my beliefs and yours, let’s. But don’t disparage, and don’t go out of your way to wave your unbelief in my face.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:32 PM

There’s a difference between people who loudly proclaim atheism and people who simply don’t practice any religion. I’m in the latter camp. I guess agnosticism would be the most accurate label, but put simply I just don’t think about religion very much. I don’t have any hostility towards religious people, though, as long as they respect my choice not to believe. Religion tends to be a positive influence on most people, and if it works for you then more power to you.

Slab Bulkhead on July 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Squatch watch.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Hi sweetie.

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM

You two should find a room.

There’s a key waiting for you at the Motel 168 on the corner of Pucheng Lu and Shangcheng Lu.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM

BTW, the existence of God (simple Desism) is easy to prove. There’s no doubt scientifically that we definitely live in a created universe. See the thread at
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3154794/posts#63

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:16 PM

That’s unfortunate that you believe that is the proof (much less the conclusion) of Illustris. For anyone interested in the project being referenced, why not go straight to the source: http://www.illustris-project.org/

King B on July 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM

As for conservatives not being hostile to atheism…ha! Have you read your own comments section lately?

jaxisaneurophysicist on July 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM

I sure have. You’re far more hostile to religious commenters than they are to you.

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Kirsten Powers is divorced. Oddly quiet hot for a lib though she was a atheist a long time ago.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I have never read that before. You sure about that?

Jaibones on July 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM

It’s the same with gays…most conservatives are tolerant of conservative gays, but not all conservatives are. And the main reason for that is based on Christianity and the Bible. And since even conservative atheists don’t believe in God or the Bible, they’re in the same boat I, as a conservative gay dude, is. And I’m not an atheist.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM

What the…? Did this tortured analysis hurt your head?

corkie on July 30, 2014 at 9:36 PM

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:32 PM I love science weather and toxicology in particular but science is very limited and plus we are this perfect planet in a Goldie locks zone. Plus black holes and worm holes things that are beyond human understanding. So atheism to me is the absurd of the absurd but I don’t want to tell people how to believe that is their choice.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:37 PM

King B: Illustris (whatever that is) has nothing to do with it. Sui generis, basic physics and observation. Or just look out your window.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Oddly quiet hot for a lib though she was a atheist a long time ago.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I have never read that before. You sure about that?

Jaibones on July 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM

No trust me. She’s hot.

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 9:39 PM

If you want to mess with an atheist, throw Pascal’s Wager at them. Watch them squirm.

And then if they grudgingly buy into it, tell them it is completely wrong, but not why.

It’s naughty for me to do that, I know. (I only do that with the smarmy ones that annoy me.)

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:42 PM

I think God loves atheists.

Galtian on July 30, 2014 at 9:26 PM

I suppose God could be an agnostic

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 9:44 PM

She’s too pretty to listen to.

V7_Sport on July 30, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Kirsten Powers is divorced. Oddly quiet hot for a lib though she was a atheist a long time ago.
sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM
I have never read that before. You sure about that?
Jaibones on July 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM
Yep she mentions it in a artical http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/09/pope-francis-declares-divorcees-deserve-compassion-too.html

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:46 PM

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:32 PM I love science weather and toxicology in particular but science is very limited and plus we are this perfect planet in a Goldie locks zone. Plus black holes and worm holes things that are beyond human understanding. So atheism to me is the absurd of the absurd but I don’t want to tell people how to believe that is their choice.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:37 PM

I would argue that our understanding of science, and not science itself, is what’s limited. We need to keep “taking apart the toaster.” Some of us believe the toaster was created; some do not.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:46 PM

In all honesty tho…conservatives aren’t so much tolerant of atheists, conservatives are tolerant of conservative atheists. Even then, not all conservatives tolerate even those atheists.

It’s the same with gays…most conservatives are tolerant of conservative gays, but not all conservatives are. And the main reason for that is based on Christianity and the Bible. And since even conservative atheists don’t believe in God or the Bible, they’re in the same boat I, as a conservative gay dude, is. And I’m not an atheist.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM

when you say that not all conservatives are tolerant of gays, just be careful that you aren’t mixing up intolerance for homosexuality with intolerance for a person that is homosexual. those are two different things but it is something that everyone mixes together all the time and so i don’t even know which one you are referring to.

so i don’t know how many of those “intolerant people” are intolerant of the person as a whole, or just of their sexual beliefs and preferences. but i can tell you how i personally feel about conservative gays, as a conservative Christian who thinks homosexuality is a sin: i have no problem with you all being in the conservative movement. i’m not against you all calling yourselves “conservatives.” someone’s belief about sexuality is just one thing and there are lots of other things they can have beliefs and opinions on. two people can both be “conservative” without 100% agreeing on everything. so i don’t have any feeling of “you’re not as much of a conservative” or something like that. and it’s not like you’re the only gay conservative i’ve ever seen.

people can be [whatever] plus conservative. i am young, black, female, unmarried, and conservative. so i do understand what it’s like to not fit the typical definition of “conservative,” lol.

Sachiko on July 30, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Another fun one is when I tell them that that dinosaurs are described in the Bible, and in detail.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I suppose God could be an agnostic

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 9:44 PM

God could be whatever God wants to be.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I am beginning to question Greg Gutfeld’s atheism. Dude sometimes sounds like a believer. He talks about right and wrong and evil. I don’t really hear atheists talk about that.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 9:49 PM

I just like her legs.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 9:50 PM

God could be whatever God wants to be.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Could He be a hotdog even He couldn’t eat? ;)

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 9:52 PM

but I’m not fond of college educated evangelical atheists.

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM


I was thinking this when I read your post.

Whenever there’s a religion thread here, or an atheism thread for that matter, some commenters line up to rail against the bearded man in the sky and whatnot, as if derision will move us from our faith. So, keep telling my I’m ignorant, anti-science, delusional; this won’t even get me engaged.

This is exactly the tactic of the AGW crowd.

Hey, if you want to have a real discussion about the differences in my beliefs and yours, let’s. But don’t disparage, and don’t go out of your way to wave your unbelief in my face.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:32 PM

I thought the same about sorrowen’s comment, and I immediately compared them in my mind to ridiuculous CAGW pseudo-scientists, too lol

These people aren’t ever interested in real debate. They are insecure, and only want to silence their opposition.

non-nonpartisan on July 30, 2014 at 9:57 PM

I am beginning to question Greg Gutfeld’s atheism. Dude sometimes sounds like a believer. He talks about right and wrong and evil. I don’t really hear atheists talk about that.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Objectivists (students of Ayn Rand) are a-theists and ALL ABOUT ethics (right, wrong, evil, good) …

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 9:58 PM

He talks about right and wrong and evil. I don’t really hear atheists talk about that.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 9:49 PM

It’s possible to have a moral core (a belief in right and wrong, and the ability to acknowledge good and evil) without having a belief in God, or while simultaneously holding to a belief that there is no God. Where a lot of self-proclaimed atheists and agnostics fall down is that they fail to acknowledge that the ultimate source of the teachings that produced that core is, most often, the Judeo-Christian belief system.

Take this, as an example; schoolchildren are often taught that there is a Golden Rule; Do unto others… Similarly, we are advised to “go the extra mile;” These precepts, and others, are from Scripture – so, if you practice them, or were taught them, even without being explicitly told their source, you are benefitting from a belief system that you reject.

And, before you come and tell me that these precepts exist in other belief systems, I’ll acknowledge that without argument. My position is simply that their prevalence in our society springs from Judaism and Christianity more commonly than from other religions.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 9:59 PM

She’s too pretty to listen to.

V7_Sport on July 30, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Being a married Christian man, I felt it was important to try and listen to her. It didn’t work. She’s not a compelling theorist or analyst, but she is a compelling beauty.

Jaibones on July 30, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Could He be a hotdog even He couldn’t eat? ;)

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 9:52 PM

So, I was trying to introduce the idea that God is quite beyond our limited ability to comprehend him. So, yes, he could be that. You being silly doesn’t invalidate my point.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM

I’ll exit the thread with this.

wolly4321 on July 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM

just be careful that you aren’t mixing up intolerance for homosexuality with intolerance for a person that is homosexual. those are two different things but it is something that everyone mixes together all the time and so i don’t even know which one you are referring to.

Sachiko on July 30, 2014 at 9:47 PM

It’s like mixing up intolerance for blonde hair with intolerance for people with blonde hair.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM

It’s like mixing up intolerance for blonde hair with intolerance for people with blonde hair.

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM

What the hell you yakkin’ abt now?

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Objectivists (students of Ayn Rand) are a-theists and ALL ABOUT ethics (right, wrong, evil, good) …

ShainS on July 30, 2014 at 9:58 PM

I don’t understand how someone can believe evil exists and not believe in a Creator.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

It’s also fun when an atheist claims to be a strict materialist. I ask them where your identity, your ‘you’ resides (I don’t say ‘soul’). I get them to nail down their position. Usually that say it is the atoms in their brain or something similar.

And them I inform them that every atom, every molecule, in your brain is replaced approximately every three years through metabolism and waste elimination. (Basically your brain gets flushed down the toilet every three years.)

So where is your ‘you’ now? Who is ‘you’?

Then the atheist typically responds ‘my neural connections’ or something similar. Then I reply, “Okay, so I if could somehow clone those same neural connections, that brain pattern, in another brain or in a computer, is that ‘you’? And if you believe it is that it is not ‘you’, how do you justify that belief?”

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 10:06 PM

i’m straying off topic but i want to add to something i said:

when you say that not all conservatives are tolerant of gays, just be careful that you aren’t mixing up intolerance for homosexuality with intolerance for a person that is homosexual. those are two different things but it is something that everyone mixes together all the time and so i don’t even know which one you are referring to.

Sachiko on July 30, 2014 at 9:47 PM

you never know who is lurking and reading these comments. i don’t know who’s reading but just in case anyone reading this does not believe these are two different things…

being intolerant of a homosexual person is a bad thing. it means disliking that person in general. you think they are inferior to you, you don’t want to talk to them or be around them, you are ready to dislike everything they say and do, and you would think or say insulting things about them simply for their homosexuality. (btw, “insulting things” doesn’t mean “making a statement that i disagree with.” insults are things like “you’re stupid” “you’re weird” “you’re gross” or whatever.)

having beliefs that contradict homosexuality is something different and there’s nothing “hateful” about that. people have various beliefs about human sexuality and some people believe:

-people can’t control their sexual preference and so it’s a part of their identity, a permanent fixture of their personality
-nothing is morally wrong about sex/love/marriage between two people of the same sex

and other people, including me, believe

-sexual preferences are something that people can willfully change over time, just like most other personality traits can be changed over time if the person genuinely feels the need to do so and has a deeply understood reason to do so
-there IS something morally wrong about sex/love/marriage between two people of the same sex, with the definition of “morally wrong” being that something goes against God’s intentions, and God created people in two different sexes with the intention for one of each to come together in sex/love/marriage.

and there are other sets of beliefs than the two i mentioned but i guess these are the two mainstream ones.

so yeah. people are going to choose which beliefs they want to have. and some people are going to choose the first set of beliefs, and some will choose the second one. but simply having different beliefs than someone else doesn’t mean you hate them as a person. well, unless your beliefs literally are “i hate gay people.” but those words were not in the second set of beliefs. people assume that that’s part of the second set of beliefs. and i want to correct that misconception. which is why i wrote this whole comment that isn’t even aimed at any particular person. i am just in desperation for people to read it and understand this misconception and felt like writing an essay, so there…

Sachiko on July 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM

So, I was trying to introduce the idea that God is quite beyond our limited ability to comprehend him. So, yes, he could be that. You being silly doesn’t invalidate my point.

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Could God imagine something so incomprehensible He couldn’t comprehend it?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM

What the hell you yakkin’ abt now?

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Don’t you have a rat to feed?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:11 PM

I don’t understand how someone can believe evil exists and not believe in a Creator.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Same way you can believe in the sand on the beach, and not acknowledge a Creator. The sand is there, it exists, and it has a generally accepted name and definition. No one denies the sand.

Again; we get our ideas about evil and good, to a great degree, from our Judeo-Christian roots; from the beliefs of our ancestors. Same way we know what sand is…

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:11 PM

people can be [whatever] plus conservative. i am young, black, female, unmarried, and conservative. so i do understand what it’s like to not fit the typical definition of “conservative,” lol.

Sachiko on July 30, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I find it extremely interesting to be someone that bucks the stereotype like I do, and you do as well. For sure, when I say I’m gay, Catholic, and conservative…the most abject hate I get is from Lefty gays, and liberal atheists, and heck…liberals in general. It’s the usual “Why do you belong to groups that hate you and want you dead?!?” I must have heard that one a couple hundred times at least.

For the rest of your comment…absolutely I tried to be clear that I’m not saying all conservatives are anti-atheist or anti-gay. Most aren’t. But like with gays and atheists, it’s the loud, militant, Leftist brigades within those two groups that make it hard for the rest of us who despise those liberals as much as they (those liberals) despise us.

I respect most atheists, like I respect those of other faiths or denominations than Catholicism. I can defend my faith, but I wouldn’t want to condemn anyone else’s faith, or lack thereof. That doesn’t in any way mean I haven’t done that at times…I have. But I do try not to.

Bottom line, the GOP needs big numbers in the upcoming midterm elections, and even bigger numbers going into 2016. That won’t happen with a third party…so as I’ve been saying ad nauseum over the years here, we need cohesion and unity as a party…one party, the GOP, if we’re going to get to the starting point of fixing this country’s…and the world’s…big mess it’s become.

That will require some give and take from everyone on the Right. No individual or group will likely get everything they want in a platform or candidates. This will require a lot of constructive dialogue and a clear, steady path laid out to follow. It’s time to come together and take back this sinking ship of a nation, plug up the gash in it’s hull, and start bailing water.

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Kirsten Powers is divorced. Oddly quiet hot for a lib though she was a atheist a long time ago.
sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:09 PM
I have never read that before. You sure about that?
Jaibones on July 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM
Yep she mentions it in a artical http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/09/pope-francis-declares-divorcees-deserve-compassion-too.html

sorrowen on July 30, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Yea, who’d have thought that the doctor would have dumped ‘Giggles’ ASAP. No wonder she is so grumpy anymore.

reddevil on July 30, 2014 at 10:17 PM

It is striking to me that the two most revered conservative intellectuals are both atheists George Will and Charles Krauthammer.

Both of them recognize and respect profoundly the significance of religion not only to individuals but to society.

The respect for these two men is important evidence for the contention of the lack of conservative hostility to atheism.

It is not atheism itself that most conservatives find objectionable but hostility towards religion and the constitutional rights of religious people such as is manifest in the militant atheism of Richard Dawkins and his ilk.

Incandescent on July 30, 2014 at 10:18 PM

I don’t have a problem with atheists, agnostics, or the non-religious in general. I care about whether somebody is a good person and you don’t have to believe in God to be a good person.

My problem is with the snobbish atheists/agnostics who look down on religious people as being intellectually inferior and deluded (e.g. Dawkins, Krauss, Gervais, Coyne, Maher, etc.). Unfortunately, many on the left are of this variety. Don’t believe me, go to Huffington Post or the Daily Kos comboxes and see for yourself.

Now, I’m not saying that religious people can’t be snobbish too, but you really do see a lot of it from many atheists (e.g. the whole “Bright” movement). I don’t have a porblem with right leaning atheists, because for the most part, they don’t hate me or think they’re better than me. For instance, S.E. Cupp doesn’t hate religious people, she just disagrees with them. Allahpundit doesn’t hate religious people, he just likes to troll them occasionally (jk jk…kinda).

As to if I’d vote for an atheist, I’d say it depends. Who is that atheist running against and who would do the best job. If the choice was between Hillary Clinton or Penn Jillette, I would vote for Penn because I’ pretty sure that despite his pronounced and fervent atheism, he would leave me alone and wouldn’t attack my religious freedom. Hilary would and Obama already has.

So there’s my take on the issue.

Mike Rathbone on July 30, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Could God imagine something so incomprehensible He couldn’t comprehend it?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM

OK.
You’re trying to paint me into a corner in some way, so that you can turn over what you think is your trump card and proclaim that you win the internet!

I’ve already indicated that I think God is so far beyond our comprehension that all things are possible.

How many restatements do you need.

Do you think God is limited?

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:20 PM

I don’t understand how someone can believe evil exists and not believe in a Creator.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

As an atheist/agnostic/whatever the hell it is I am, I don’t really understand why people find this confusing. Of course I believe evil exists. How could I not? I see it everyday. What surprises me (and, quite frankly, scares me a little) is that people who believe in a Creator think that they themselves would not recognize evil if they did not believe in a Creator.

Mullaney on July 30, 2014 at 10:23 PM

I don’t understand how someone can believe evil exists and not believe in a Creator.

terryannonline on July 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Interesting. Are you suggesting evil must have a Creator?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Interesting. Are you suggesting evil must have a Creator?

DarkCurrent on July 30, 2014 at 10:24 PM

I thought Jackson Roykirk was the creator?

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 10:26 PM

i am just in desperation for people to read it and understand this misconception and felt like writing an essay, so there…

Sachiko on July 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM

LOL Yeah, I know that feeling ;)

Have you ever written a long comment, and sometime later read it again, and been like “Did I write that”?

You’re absolutely correct, and yes…I do make those distinctions. Again, I’m only human and I do slip up time to time. We’ve butted heads here a few times over this stuff, but that doesn’t mean I have your username printed out and pinned to my dartboard.

Good nite, HotAir!

JetBoy on July 30, 2014 at 10:27 PM

massrightly: Do you think God is limited?

Answer: No.

I can’t explain it properly here, as the argument has to do with Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem (1931) and it’s pretty technical. I’d have to explain Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, George Cantor’s transfinite mathematics, and the Generalized Continuum Hypothesis.

The bottom line is that it basically hinges on whether or not you believe that GCH is true or not. It is fascinating how it seems to strongly collerate with the atheist/theist believes of each mathematician. Atheist mathematicians (like Goedel) believe it is false, and deist (or at least neo-platonist) mathematicians like Cantor generally think it is true. It’s a very interesting debate. See the Wikipedia article on CH.

Gideon7 on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

I thought Jackson Roykirk was the creator?

Judge_Dredd on July 30, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Heh!

massrighty on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM

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