CNN has panel on Atheism without Atheists

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On January 31, on the Paula Zahn show on CNN, the topic was about discrimination and bias. It started out talking about the strange racial comments Senator Joe Biden made about Senator Obama, then they discussed the lack of black head coaches in the NFL. (the show was before the Super Bowl) The last segment was about atheists and how they are the most hated minority in the US. (see also the Secular Left post: Now there is data showing most people hate Atheists)

The problem was that the panel had no atheists on it and some of the comments directed toward atheists were so factually wrong and vile that it proved the point that atheists are the most hated minority in the US.

The members of the panel included Stephen A. Smith, Host, “Quite Frankly With Stephen A. Smith” (a sports reporter), Karen Hunter, Journalism Professor, Hunter College, and conservative columnist Debbie Schlussel.

Here is a taste:

ZAHN: And welcome back. We’re talking about whether there’s widespread discrimination against atheists, folks who don’t believe in God. Let’s check out with our out in the open panel now. Stephen Smith, Debbie Schlussel and Karen Hunter. Hey Debbie, it took me 10 times to say your name right. (INAUDIBLE) So do you think atheists should keep their religious beliefs secret? What’s their beliefs period?

HUNTER: What does an atheist believe? Nothing. I think this is such a ridiculous story. Are we not going to take “In God We Trust” off of our dollars? Are we going to not say “one nation under God?” When does it end? We took prayer out of schools. What more do they want?

ZAHN: Are any of you going to defend them here tonight?

SCHLUSSEL: No, I agree with her 100 percent. I think that the real discrimination is atheists against Americans who are religious. Listen, we are a Christian nation. I’m not a Christian. I’m Jewish, but I recognize we’re a Christian country and freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion. And the problem is that, you have these atheists selectively I believe attacking Christianity. You had a case in California where school children were forced to dress as Muslims and learn from the Koran. In Michigan they’re saying high school (INAUDIBLE) in high school where they say Muslim prayers at the football games, public high school, (INAUDIBLE) in high school. You don’t see atheists complaining about that. I really believe that they are the ones who are the intolerant ones against Christians.

and later

HUNTER: They don’t have a good – marketing. If they had hallmark cards, maybe they wouldn’t feel so left out. We have Christmas cards. We have Kwanza cards now. Maybe they need to get some atheist cards and get that whole ball rolling so more people can get involved with what they’re doing. I think they need to shut up and let people do what they do. No, I think they need to shut up about it.

SCHLUSSEL: And what about this obnoxious Michael Newdow, who went all the way to the Supreme Court for his child, the child doesn’t know what’s going on, to try and get under God taken out of the pledge of allegiance. They are on the attack. It’s obnoxious and they do need to shut up.

PAULA ZAHN NOW: Senator Joe Biden Under Fire Over Controversial Remarks; Has NFL Moved Beyond Racist Past? Aired January 31, 2007 – 20:00 ET

To see the video, Richard Dawkins – a real atheist – has the links on his site.

Karen Hunter and Debbie Schlussel’s comments were just plain factually wrong. Schlussel has an article on her website where she claims atheists are the next terrorists. It was like having members of the KKK complaining about civil rights. It was simply disgusting.

To offer a comment to CNN use this link. Comments

**Side Note** I do want to extend my thanks to Mr. Smith for at least attempting to defend atheists against that evil horde on the show. I tip my hat to you sir.


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1 thought on “CNN has panel on Atheism without Atheists

  1. vastib

    Here is the same CNN atheist discrimination discussion replacing African American for atheist and white for christian. Things pertaining directly to atheism were omitted. It is not a direct comparison but it makes a point on what ignorance and unfounded hate accomplish. Feel free to modify it to better fit the discussion. I imagine this conversation taking place during the civil rights movement.

    Z: And welcome back. We’re talking about whether there’s widespread discrimination against african americans, folks who don’t have the same skin color as whites. Let’s check out with our out in the open panel now. S S, D S and K H. Hey D, it took me 10 times to say your name right. (INAUDIBLE) So do you think african americans should keep the color of their skin secret and not want equal rights?
    H: I think this is such a ridiculous story. Are we not going to take away separate schools? Are we going to not have separate bathrooms? When does it end? We got rid of slavery. What more do they want?
    Z: Are any of you going to defend them here tonight?
    S: No, I agree with her 100 percent. I think that the real discrimination is african americans against Whites. Listen, we are a white nation. I’m not a white. I’m native american, but I recognize we’re a white country and freedom of equallity doesn’t mean freedom from seperation. And the problem is that, you have these african americans selectively I believe attacking whites. You had a case in California where asians where descriminated against. Or in the east Irish people being descriminated against. You don’t see african americans complaining about that. I really believe that they are the ones who are the intolerant ones against whites.
    Z: What happened to love thy neighbor, the idea that we should be able to practice free speech?
    S: That’s nonexistent. We all know that. We talk about that in America, but that’s pretty much nonexistent, especially in the red states, particularly in the south. That’s where the african americans are having the most trouble. When they talk about violent acts that have been enacted them or (INAUDIBLE) exacted against them or what have you. That’s the kind of area they’re talking about. I think in New York City, I don’t think people care too much about it. We’re a white country. There’s no question about that. I love white people. So does K, so does everybody that I know. But the reality is that you’re entitled to believe what you want as long as you’re not imposing your beliefs on other people.
    Z: Is that what you think they’re really doing?
    H: They don’t have a good – marketing. If they had hallmark cards, maybe they wouldn’t feel so left out. We have white people cards, white people on telivision. Maybe they need to get some african american cards and get that whole ball rolling so more people can get involved with what they’re doing. I think they need to shut up and let people do what they do. No, I think they need to shut up about it.
    S: I don’t think they need to shut up. The reason why I don’t think they need to shut up is because there’s a whole bunch of people in this world that we can look at and say they need to shut up and they certainly don’t. You got everybody fighting for their own individual cause. This is their cause. We might not like it. I don’t agree with it at all, but they do have a right.
    H: I think they need to shut up about crying wolf all the time and saying that they’re being imposed upon. I personally think that they should never have stoped segregation of schools. I would rather there be some morality in schools. But they did that because an african american went to court and said their child was descriminated against.
    S: And what about this obnoxious Martin Luther King, who went all the way to the Supreme Court for his child, the child doesn’t know what’s going on. They are on the attack. It’s obnoxious and they do need to shut up.
    S: They are going on the attack, but the reality, again, is everybody has their own cause. The fact is there’s a whole bunch of people in America who need to shut up and they don’t. So why should these people be any less. We live in a nation. We’re supposed to be tolerant. We’re supposed to be accepting of other people’s viewpoints, even when they are not our own and the fact is, if they’re an african american, that’s their right. They’re not going to change me being white.
    Z: What I find so interesting is when you look at the statistics, that they were the most hated of all the minorities.
    S: I’m not even willing to believe that. That’s news to me. I heard that, I read that, I just don’t believe it.
    Z: Can you explain to me where you feel the assault? When a high percentage of the folks in this country are white, the rest of this population is not white, who are they hurting?
    H: They’re not hurting anyone. I personally don’t have a problem with african americans. Believe or don’t believe what you want. Don’t impose upon my right to want to have seperate schools, to want to have separate drinking fountains, to want to honor my traditions. Don’t infringe upon that right.
    S: This is a white country.
    S: I understand that, but what they’re saying is how can — if we’re inclusionary, why can’t we include all that and we’re not. That’s my point.
    S: (INAUDIBLE) Look where there are more african americans and where they are not white. Europe is becoming Communist. It’s fast falling and intolerance is increasing. That’s the one reason our country has not become like Europe because we have strong whites and because african americans are not strong. And I think that’s a good thing.

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