Video of Lori Lipman Brown on The O’Reilly Factor

Last night, the Secular Coalition for America‘s lobbyist, Lori Lipman Brown, appeared on The O’Reilly Factor.

I thought she did a terrific job. Bill O’Reilly is almost speechless at the end. Lori also patiently gets across her main points in a limited time.

OneGoodMove has this to say:

Bill’s guest Lori Lipman Brown of the Secular Coalition for America does a pretty good job of respresenting the atheist position. I was surprised however that she didn’t mention what I thought was the most offensive thing Mitt said, namely that freedom requires religion.

Your thoughts?


[tags]atheist, atheism, humanist, atheist, secular[/tags]

  • Karen

    Go Lori! Anyone who can remain composed and make intelligent points in the face of the BOR blowhard comes off well. She did just that, and I’m proud she’s representing us 30 million strong. :-)

    He goes on and on about “whining,” like a major speech by a presidential candidate shouldn’t be criticized in the press. What the hell?

    The gratifying thing for me this week has been seeing the extremely negative reaction to the speech. I’ve read probably a couple dozen columns and every one of them has zeroed in on the fact that he was intolerant to people who have no religious beliefs.

    That’s a really good sign, to me, that we’re making headway in being recognized as a legitimate minority group in this country. A few years ago, the outcry would have been much more muted.

  • Mriana

    I do not get where he gets off saying it is whining. IMHO, if we do not have freedom FROM religion, no one has freedom OF religion. To insist this is a Christian Nation is to say people do not have freedom from religion. This would include Catholics, Episcoplains, Baptist, Methodist, Mormons, etc etc. They will not have religious freedom either because they don’t have freedom from it.

    The Declaration of Independence was a declaration of war with England. It is not speaking of the Christian god but rather it is speaking of the god of nature and of natural law, which was quite common back then. Bill O’Reilly knows didley about history and the Declaration of Independence. He is one reporter who needs to do his research more thoroughly. He obviously has not.

    IMHO, Faux News’ ignorance is not conducive to people paying attention to them.

  • Old Beezle

    The fact that Lori was on this Faux News show is a sign of progress for rational non-believing Americans and she represented secularists well. BOR tries to dismiss it as whining because he has no other legit argument.

    I especially enjoyed how she said that Romney can believe whatever he wants about history, but that doesn’t change history. He can believe in a nation under a fictitious god, but that doesn’t make it real.

  • Dennis

    Personally, I think the most outrageous statement in Romney’s speech was that “freedom REQUIRES religion.” I can’t believe any presidential candidate would say that. If he was trying emulate what JFK said in his campaign, he missed the mark. JFK said he believed the separation of church and state should be “absolute.”

    Another thing that makes my blood boil is when the Bible-thumpers insist that our laws are based on the Ten Commandments. If that were true, women would be property and you could be punished for coveting your neighbor’s wife or his ox. (It isn’t even a crime in this country to SLEEP with the neighbor’s wife, except in military justice). About half of the commandments have to do with how God supposedly wants to be worshipped, and I can find only a couple of them that might be the basis for any law.

    Worse yet, they think we would be out of control with no sense of morality if it were not for religion. Well, I have news for them: our moral code wes developed by people, not by God.

    One look at the governments of Iran, Israel and other countries should convince us that we ought to keep religion and government as widely separated as possible. Iran just executed a 21-year-old who committed a rape when he was 13. Is that the “love” that religion supposedly teaches the world?

  • Dorsey

    O’Reilly is a hypocrite of the highest order. I’m amazed that he can keep a straight face when he dismisses criticism of a man who is running for *president* as “whining”, when he himself goes into fits whenever a department store somewhere uses “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” in its advertising.

  • Aj

    To O’Reilly “whining” means criticism that he disagrees with. Under that definition, he never whines. Under the usual definition of whine, he has made a career out of whining, sometimes about imaginary wars on Christmas, phantom “liberals”, “secularists”, and “anti-americans” who “have same sex marriage with our sons and daughters”, “want to take our freedom to practice religion”, and “hate our troops”.

  • Andrew

    I really wanted to attend Romney’s speech seeing as I am at Texas A&M, but it was invite only. That’s a good thing for him, because you would have heard a lot of booing during those arrogant statements.

    What I saw during this speech was not, in fact, a defense or explanation of his religious beliefs, but a poor imitation of a Karl Rove slight-of-hand. Romney (and his camp) knew exactly what they were doing when they wrote those words and who they would offend. That was the point. Romney wants the atheists and secularists to go nuts over their exclusion. Romney knows that atheists are seen as a “enemy of my enemy” kind of thing in most of America. Mormons, Protestants, and Catholics usually argue vehemently when they are the only ones involved. So Romney is trying to make it “us vs. them”. “Us” being people who believe in a god (any old one apparently) and the “them” being atheists and other secularists.

    It is really quite pathetic, and he severely underestimates Americans if he thinks we will fall for that again after the Swift Boats… No surprise there. Most politicians seem to think all Americans are idiots that can be swayed by this garbage.

  • Richard Wade

    Andrew, I think you see it correctly. Romney knows what he’s doing. He’s kissing the asses of the Evangelicals because he wants their votes. He wants this election to be about religion. Not his versus theirs but Christians versus the “godless.” Very few of the religious people who had doubts because of Romney’s Mormonism will be saying, “Gee, he clearly snubbed the non-believers in this country, and that’s not fair.” No, he created a common enemy they can unite against, the evil “Secularists.” Even though he’ll be subtle about it, watch for more rhetoric about “godless liberals and godless Democrats” coming from his general direction.

    I’m reminded of Mark Antony’s famous speech in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” where the claimed intention of his speech, peace and acceptance is the opposite of his real intention, to incite enmity against the murderers of Caesar. So Romney’s speech was a clever way to sound like a call for tolerance but the opposite is his intention.

    Unfortunately I don’t share your optimism about the intelligence or sophistication of the voting public. It’s a mathematical necessity that half of all Americans are below average intelligence, and it has now been painfully proven that the largest number of votes does not determine the winner. Bush won with a minority of the votes twice.

  • http://www.travisjmorgan.com Travis Morgan

    Geeze, Bill O’Reilly was rude and would barely let her talk. He was the one whining the whole time while claiming that she was whining. I thought he was being a big baby and very one-sided. I respect Lori for remaining calm.

  • Tract

    I hate BOR. I truly wish he would die a horrible death. Or at least get the hell of the TV & Radio. What a hypocrite!

  • Richard Wade

    Oh I don’t wish a horrible death on Bill the Bullshitter. I hope he gets caught doing finger semaphore in a men’s restroom. That would be far more satisfying.

  • http://www.acosmopolitan.blogspot.com Anatoly

    Lori was extremely eloquent in face of O’Reilly’s spin. That guy seriously needs to read the Declaration of Independence though and read up on which “Creator” it is referring.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/johnpritzlaff John Pritzlaff

    I too wish she had talked about the “freedom requires religion, religion requires freedom” remark. I also wish she had mentioned the curious fact that Romney did not mention his own Mormon beliefs at all, when he was supposed to be giving a speech in defense of and explaining his religious beliefs.

    However, O’Reilly did not give her much time to talk, and she did an excellent job overall.

  • http://nomorehornets.blogspot.com The Exterminator

    In what way was it (1) rational, (2) productive, (3) politically expedient, or (4) satisfying for Lori Lipman Brown to go on O’Reilly’s show? What did she think she — or atheists in general — would gain? I think it was a big waste of time.

  • Miko

    I think it was a big waste of time.

    I’m going to have to agree. What’s the point of a discussion where both sides interrupt each other in alternation at the sub-sentence level? Plus the structure of the comments from both seems to suggest that they were prepackaged soundbites designed to be dropped in at any point without regard to any sort of continuity.

    But this applies to everything ever aired on Fox “news,” not just this particular segment.

  • Vincent

    I think of what I would have said in her place, and I realize it will never be, because I would probably have just vomited for having had to speak to Bill O’Reily. The man’s hypocrisy and lies make me ill.

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    She did present herself extremely well. The only thing I would have changed would have been having her call out Bill-O when he said that it wouldn’t bother him to live in an atheistic country. If that is the case, then why so much whining about secular progressives?

  • BZ

    I honestly don’t think there was much to be gained from this. I appreciate her defending all of us but a 5 minute segment of two people interrupting each other doesn’t really do much for anyone.

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    I love the fact that O’Reilly kept saying “Romney has the First Amendment right to say what he wants”… and then kept following that up with, “And if you don’t like it, too bad, quit whining.” How does the First Amendment NOT include my right to criticize what other people say?

    Especially Presidential candidates?

    It really is among the lamest arguments ever. “Saying you disagree with me is the equivalent of trying to stop me from saying it.” Please.

  • AWK

    Does BOR think that Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. were just whining when they stood up for the rights of the black minority in the middle of the century??? Does he not REALIZE that, one minority at a time, Americans of all ilks are standing up for their rights and WINNING??? He SAYS that he respects atheists, but as soon as one stands up for her rights – and the rights of ALL atheists – he says she is just WHINING. That shows just how little respect he has for non-believers. He’s full of crap, and he’s fooling himself if he thinks he’s fooling America into believing he supports atheists in any way.

  • stogoe

    You can sit out of public debate if you want, guys, but sadly, Interruption Time with Screaming Bill Loofah is what the media is these days. It is a far better thing to go on television and shut the lying scumbag down, to make him squirm, than it is to fade into the darkness, full of uselessness and tenativity.

  • E favorite

    I think it was VERY improtant. It was positive media exposure for atheists.

    Lori came across as the nice, good-hearted, reasonable person there, not Bill. I think a lot of religious people looked at her, listened to what she said and how she said it and came away feeling better about atheists.

  • Richard Wade

    I think a lot of religious people looked at her, listened to what she said and how she said it and came away feeling better about atheists.

    Maybe I’m being cynical, but I think that if those few (not a lot) religious people were starting to look at Lori that way, most of them eagerly glommed onto Bill-O’s characterization of it all being “whining” so they could dismiss her and go back to their self-assuring negative stereotypes of non-religious people.

  • JeffN

    O for piety sake. And Atheists accuse Christians of whining. Romney’s not even a front runner candidate.

  • Pingback: Wiccan Symbol Vandalized: More on Militant Merry Christmases « The Bad Idea Blog

  • Price

    You have to love that Bill calls it “whining” when Lori Lipman Brown brings up a legitimate point about the speech. Then what should we call Bill’s constant “reporting” about the “War on Christmas”? Informative? Necessary? or just Ridiculous “Whining” from a pathetic Catholic?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X