Dawkins on CNN

After hosting a panel discussion about atheism, with no atheists on the panel, CNN decided to make things right and invited Richard Dawkins, and others, on to ask them really silly questions:

Perhaps next time they’ll have a panel of “being gay in America” and invite Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and the right Reverend Ted Haggard (oops!) …uh… nevermind.

My favorite bit is how Paula Zahn prattles on to Dawkins about how the religious are intimidated by atheists. Yeah, we’re a pretty scary 10 or so percent of the population (at best), armed with our non-belief and our reason and our logic and our desire to understand the universe.

Scary stuff!

What it comes down to is that, in the United States anyway, Christians – predominantly of the conservative variety – have a sense of entitlement that their religion should be given special recognition. After decades of politicians pandering to them, they are incapable of seeing that a government that does not acknowledge their god is not the same thing as a government that denies their god. Indeed, they have become the religious equivalent of career welfare mothers, thinking the government owes them that check of public approbation, specially made out to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (with “Can I get an Amen?” in the memo field even).

Look, we’re not out to take away your churches, regulate your thoughts, burn you at the stake, or lead mass waves of our fearsome armies across your lands to conquer them (besides, that’s really your niche, you know). We’d just like you to keep your religion the same place we keep our lack of belief: in our private lives, and not in the public sphere.

When you are capable of appreciating that “your god is private” is not the same as “there is no god,” maybe we’ll move y’all up to wearing big boy underpants too.

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