News Station Won’t Say the Word ‘Atheist’ to Describe Atheist Group

In case you missed it last year, Brazos Valley (Texas) has an atheist marching band and they play vuvuzelas!

Last year, the big story was how one woman was upset about the group because she had to explain to her children that atheists exist (oh no!):

… I have older children… and they were curious and they asked questions and it was hard for them to believe and understand that there are actually people out there that don’t believe in God,” Corgey said.

Seriously. That happened.

So how did it go this year?

When KAMU, the local PBS affiliate in the area, broadcasted the parade, they essentially skipped over the group and ignored the very nature of their being. In the video below, watch the 0:14 mark when you hear the band playing “Jingle Bells.” The announcers — without showing them on screen — say that the sound is coming from the “Brazos Valley Vuvuzela Marching Band,” specifically leaving out the word “atheist”:

There was also a Gay Pride group in the parade. Wonder if KAMU skipped over them, too…

This video is just more reason for us to get out there and show people that we exist and we’re a force to be reckoned with — they can’t ignore us when we’re all over the place.

(Thanks to Keri for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Thomas Farrell

    Unless they left out the religious affiliation of any church groups that marched, it’s also a good reason to file one hell of a complaint with the station and with PBS national.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

      Is the word “atheist” in the band’s name or on its banner?

      If not, PBS was just telling us its name.
      (No need to elaborate.This is Texas.)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAIHLUU3JSTIB3D2OWHGYN5PHA Ingen

        Yes, “atheist” is in the band’s name. The fact that you couldn’t take a few seconds to check that yourself is breathtaking.

        • Honestly

          No more breathtaking than your being such a colossal douchebag.  I think you want UNfriendlyatheist.com.

          • Piet Puk

            Hey! That link goes nowhere!
            How very unfriendly, oh.. never mind..

          • Sarah

            Citations of douchebaggery? 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SU3L6O6MNAPXLBIGJGEX5NW5UQ jqb

            Calling someone else a “douchebag” for being “unfriendly” is both a douchebag and a hypocrite.

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

          It says PBS  did not show their float.
          Its not in the video.

          How do you know what their sign said?

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

             This space for rent.

  • http://twitter.com/ThyGoddess Michelle

    Shameful. I hope there’ll be complaints. 

  • Odrysian

    I think the crime of inflicting vuvuzelas on innocent bystanders is much worse than anything the news station did.

  • Anonymous

    It’s OK. You can say the word! Unfortunately, atheism isn’t contagious.

    • Matto the Hun

      I don’t know, I spent a night with Hemant and woke up atheist. My doctor said I got it from him.

      STNB – Sexually Transmitted Non-Belief

  • Bryonyvaughn

    Broadcast stations must work in the public interest or risk losing their license come renewal time.  Atheists groups can mobilize and exert pressure for the local affiliate to apologize and establish an anti religious discrimination policy with the understanding it should be resolved quickly locally less the great community service the PBS affiliate does be at risk come license renewal time.  Just a thought

  • Michael

    I think we dodged a bullet here. It’s bad enough that some people think of us as the spawn of Satan. Do we really want to make things worse by being associated with vuvuzelas?

  • EJC

    *Fingers in Ears*

    *Loudly Yelling* “WatermelonWatermelonWatermelon”

    Nothing like idiots playing ostrich.

    Now, I wish we could imagine the world devoid of these putzs….If we think hard enough and don’t say “xtian” will that make them go away.

    Jesus, all of the sudden I feel like Voldemort, he who shall not be named….

  • Anonymous

    I don’t find it odd at all that some people don’t believe in gods.

  • FairyGodAtheist

    I’d just like to say that they use the vuvuzelas as kazoos and hum into them. They don’t actually play them like vuvuzelas.

    I was a part of it, last year. Fact-check before you speak, people.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SU3L6O6MNAPXLBIGJGEX5NW5UQ jqb

      Strawman much?

  • Shamar

    I was in the Brazos Valley Vuvuzels Marching Band in the Christnmas parade last year, and they refused to include the word atheist in our name in the listings of all parade participants :-(

    • Shamar

      Oops, I mispelled the word “Vuvuzela”. My apologies.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

      If “atheist” wasn’t included in the listings of this parade,

      then PBS is off the hook. It wasn’t in the announcers’ copy.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SU3L6O6MNAPXLBIGJGEX5NW5UQ jqb

        More likely there’s no brain in your head. Try following Hemant’s “missed it last year”  link.


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