Kowtowing, Nearly 40 Years Ago

In January of 1971, the first issue of The American Atheist came out, printed by American Atheists and its founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

Within its pages was this cartoon, entitled “FCC”:


How much do you feel has changed between 1971 and now?

Do the movies, press and radio respect religion far more than it deserves?

(via American Atheist Online)


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  • Jason Sexton

    I don’t think it’s as bad as it used to be but I do think it could be a lot better.

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080717-christian-radio-fcc-rules-would-lead-to-compromised-message.html raises some interesting issues.

  • Ron in Houston

    Jason couldn’t have said it better.

  • bleecker

    I don’t see that much difference – and I was already an adult then – between 1971 and now in terms of the “respect” it’s presumed is supposed to be accorded religious belief. I resent and disagree with the concept that religious belief deserves ANY respect

  • ubi dubius

    “I resent and disagree with the concept that religious belief deserves ANY respect”

    I share the frustrations that lead to the above statement. Still, I try to respect the religious beliefs of those around me, eventhough I disagree with them. I just want repect for my atheism.

    In other words, I don’t think we need less respect for religious belief, we need more respect (a lot more) for the lack of them.

  • Cthulhu

    ubi dubius,

    “I share the frustrations that lead to the above statement. Still, I try to respect the religious beliefs of those around me, even though I disagree with them. I just want respect for my atheism.”

    I try to respect the person – I don’t have to respect their belief. And that is all I ask in return. Respect me as a human being first – we can agree to disagree about the belief (or lack thereof).

  • Vincent

    would you respect someone’s belief in leprichauns? or a belief that babies are delivered by storks?

    I’m with bleecker. Religious belief does not deserve respect.
    I may respect a religious person for what they do, but I’d view their religious belief as a serious character flaw.

  • Mriana

    It’s better, but not better enough. The media is still patronizing the religious.

  • http://laissez-fair.us/ I like tea

    The Religious Right would have you believe it’s the other way around, but that’s because they’re whiny bitches with a persecution complex.

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    I’m amazed at how much I hear people “taking the lord’s name in vain” on TV these days. I think that aspect has changed quite a bit, but a lot has not changed as well.

  • Darryl

    It’s gotten better.

    I agree with Cthulhu: I don’t respect beliefs; I respect people as a general rule. I don’t believe in God–what’s to respect about that?

    Be prepared to hear and see more stories about how religion is coming to the aid of people suffering under the worsening economy. Nothing brings out the old time religion like a little bad news.

  • http://www.kobrascorner.com Kobra

    The average idiot no longer has a zealous fear of atheism, but a majority of Christians seem to. That’s the only social change in the past 37 years.

  • Pseudonym

    What’s changed since 1971 is that Madalyn Murray O’Hair is gone, and good riddance.
    OK, 1971 was before I was born, and I’m not from the US anyway. However, if I were publishing a cartoon like that, I’d either change those doing the bowing down to be politicians, or change the thing on the throne to be “ratings” and “artificial controversy”. Either one of those changes would make it a good comment on today.

  • bleecker

    Here’s what I respect: a person’s right to believe whatever they want, as long as it in no way infringes on my or anyone else’s rights. However, I’ll say it again: unsubstantiated “belief” for which there is not one shred of evidence is utterly undeserving of anyone’s respect.

  • Spork

    Wait a minute.

    You’re worried about somebody making fun of a cracker, and you have to ask this question?