CNN on Atheism

A few days ago, CNN ran a segment on Paula Zahn Now where they discussed atheism. Unfortunately they forgot to include any atheists (or anyone who knew anything about atheism) on the panel. You can read the transcript online or watch the whole thing courtesy of YouTube.

This strange omission was noted on a couple of atheist web sites (here’s the discussion on Richard Dawkins’ site), a number of letters were written and CNN have now announced that Richard Dawkins will be on the programme tonight.

So that’s nice. But that’s not why I’m mentioning it. One of the panelists in the original discussion was some I’d never heard of called Debbie Schlussel. She was one of the people who said that atheists “should just shut up”. She has her own blog so people were able to send her comments on her performance. I assume these comments weren’t very complimentary as she wrote an astonishing rant about the experience. Even the title (“When Atheists a/k/a Future Muslims Attack”) is unbelievable. The main thrust of her… er… well let’s call it an “argument” (even though that’s a very generous use of the word) is

I don’t mind receiving the atheist hate mail, since I know that in a few years, many of these same people will either be Muslim extremists (redundant) or helping the country fall further in its fight against the creep of Islamic imposition on America . . . or both.

Look at famous atheists and what happened to them. Adam Gadahn a/k/a Azzam Al-Amriki–now a top Al-Qaeda video “personality”–was raised by his hippie Jewish father and equally bizarre gentile mother as an atheist. And look how he turned out. Ditto for hippie-spawn John Walker Lindh.

Those two people are enemies of America, and many of those who think like them are of equally weak mind. If you don’t believe in anything, you’ll easily fall for virtual nothings. That’s why Europe is so quickly turning Islamist–because atheism dominates and Christianity is rapidly dying there. Over there, the number one cause for which atheists are suddenly finding “god” is Islam.

Over here, as I pointed out on CNN, atheists are on the attack against religion and G-d only when Christians and Jews are involved, not when Muslims and Islam are. A Christian prayer at a public school graduation or football game? Send in the ACLU lawyers. A Muslim prayer at a high school football game in Dearbornistan? Suddenly, when the “Religion of Peace” is involved, atheists boast extreme tolerance and display ultimate deference. No lawsuits. Ever. And the Muslim prayers continue.

It’s a frightening piece of misinformation. If you’re an atheist then either you’re just about to convert to islam or you’re only interested in attacking christianity – you’re happy to let islam get away with anything.

There are already dozens (maybe hundreds) of comments to this piece. A healthly proportion of them are pointing out the obvious errors in her argument. But she seems to be ignoring the debate.

It’s a worrying reminder of just how closed some theist minds can be.

Update: Apparently the Dawkins segment on last night’s show was bumped to make way for in-depth coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death. Because that’s obviously far more important.

Update: The Dawkins interview was finally shown yesterday (Darwin Day, in a nice touch of irony). You can see it (together with discussion of it) on Richard Dawkins’ web site.

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