Why Don’t Atheists Cut Down All the Trees?

So… umm… this really happened on The 700 Club:

In case you can’t bear to watch that, here’s a rough transcript, courtesy of Hoyden About Town:

Pat Robertson: Atheists don’t believe in ANYTHING. I mean, a theo means “no God,” they have no Gods, so they don’t have anything, so they don’t believe in anything. But they can protest, somebody who believes in SOMETHING. I mean, isn’t this a strange thing, that we would allow somebody who doesn’t believe in anything to restrict the freedom of those who do? I mean, it makes no sense! Sooner or later we’re going to wake up, but I think maybe we are…but our hats are off to the forest service, this is just one minor little skirmish, but these atheists, they’re just enormously creative in figuring out things they can do that give us trouble. Kristi…

Kristi Watts [interrupting]: You know what I just thought of, Pat?

Pat Robertson: What’s that?

Kristi Watts: You know you’ve got different kinds of, well, let’s call them religions…there’s one called Wicca, and they’re all about the environment, right? So, their religion that believes in the environment, and they believe that trees are their god, why are these atheists not saying that we should cut down every tree? Because it’s offensive. [holds out hand towards PR} Do you know what I mean?

Pat Robertson: Yes...

Kristi Watts: It’s the same mentality!

Pat Robertson: Oh, absolutely.

Kristi Watts: Right?

Pat Robertson: Absolutely. OK.

Kristi Watts: [dramatic shrug] Just a thought.

Yes… Wiccans like trees… and Wiccans are a religion… so let’s CUT DOWN ALL THE TREES!

Never mind that Wiccans don’t actually “worship” trees… and they aren’t going against the Constitution and trying to codify their beliefs into the law, or denying women the right to have an abortion because of their beliefs, or preventing gay people in a loving relationship from getting married…

None of that matters to Watts, though. We’re atheists so, apparently, we must protest everything people of faith do without rhyme or reason. What’s stopping us, since we don’t believe in anything?

Jason Pitzl-Waters offers a calmer, more straight-forward response to Watts’ moronic statement:

Atheists aren’t gunning to chop down all the trees us Pagan tree-huggers hug because they predominantly believe in environmental and climate science, and know that cutting down “every tree” would destroy our ecosystem, and life on earth itself…

Pat Robertson actually looks uncomfortable in that clip as Watts begins talking but he doesn’t do anything about it. A responsible person would’ve told her she’s speaking nonsense and set the record straight. But Robertson has a major problem with noticing nonsense even when it’s staring him in the face, so it’s not surprising that he would just let it slide.

(Thanks to Anh 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.

  • Keulan

    I continue to be amazed at how some people can be as ridiculously ignorant of reality as Pat Robertson.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

    • Anonymous

       Isn’t that incest?

      • Gus Snarp

        Technically, I think it’s masturbation.

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

          But since He’s his own father, I think it’s technically both.

        • Xeon2000

          More like metaphysical split personality masturbation (it’s hard to make sense of nonsense). One personality controls the hand and gives the other personality a handjob. So much better than sitting on your hand. >_>

      • Thackerie

         I was wondering, when Jesus was born, did he break his virgin mother’s hymen? And, if so, did that make him a mother-phucker?

        However, a very devout Catholic set me straight. He explained that when Jesus left Mary’s uterus, he passed right through her like a beam of light without causing her any pain or other physical consequence. He believes this. Seriously.

        • Kevin_Of_Bangor

          Please tell me you made up that last part, please, please, please.

  • http://onefuriousllama.com/ onefuriousllama

    What freaking universe do these people live in? The universe of flaming idiocy?

  • events noted

    I hate when Christians say we atheists don’t believe in anything, so I wrote this post to show them that at one atheist believes in some things:

    http://monkeymucker.blogspot.com/2012/01/something-to-believe-in.html

    • Thackerie

       Good blog — well-worth reading.

      Now I believe … I’ll have another beer.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I think Pat has learned that if he disagrees with Kristi or any of his other handlers, he doesn’t get Jell-o that night before they lock him in.

    • Gus Snarp

      That is the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Brilliant!

  • http://twitter.com/ourdailytrain Our Daily Train blog

    Oh that chick is a disgrace to humanity. See here: http://tinyurl.com/6wn2hbh

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Not sure what obligation chickens have to humanity.

  • Anonymous

    “God” = “Anything.”  Who knew?

  • Georgina

    Yes… Atheists like trees… and Atheists like to breathe … so let’s NOT cut down all the trees!

  • CompletelyLovely

    Wait, so I’m the only atheist trying to cut down all the trees? No wonder its taking so long.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      Well, we can fix that problem.  We can build the numbers.  This can be an interfaith deal.  The bible clearly states that Christians should “cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.”   If Wiccans worship trees, then Christians have the duty to their God to cut the trees down as well. 

      • Anonymous

        You, Sir, are a genius.

  • stephanie

    I’m going to go out on a limb here (yeah, yeah) and point out there is plenty of evidence for the existence of trees. Barring the atheists living in Michigan, I don’t know too many who are also an-arborists…

    • Anonymous

      Wow, that’s really bad. You went further out on the limb for that punch line than anything else :)

  • Mr Sentient Meat

    If there were a god, a giant hook would descend from the sky and drag Robertson and Watts away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jukkalattu Jukka Lattu

    Well, two can play this game. Atheists believe that god is nothing, so if Christians believe in god, they actually believe in NOTHING. Right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jukkalattu Jukka Lattu

      ..or how about “No wonder Catholic priests abuse children because they clearly believe in nothing”. Comparing this claim to the one Watts said I have to ask: when is the last time you saw an atheist attack a tree?  …that’s what I thought.

    • Anonymous

      Nothing is greater than God.

      Then Nothing created God.

      So God must be Nothing too.

      • Thackerie

         God is love.

        Nothing is better than love.

        Half a ham sandwich is better than nothing.

        Ergo: Half a ham sandwich is better than God.

        Or something like that.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you just love those believers who simply fail to understand the nature of a reductio ad absurdum and instead of seeing that it shows an assumption to be false, insist that they have proved the illogical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/billyup Jesse Jones

    You know, more and more I can’t help but love the 700 club. They make all christians out to be moronic baboons. I know they aren’t ALL like that but, it’s still funny.

  • Mairianna

    I believe it’s an abomination for  people to marry trees. ;^P

  • JohnF

    This is certainly odd reasoning. I mean, aren’t Christians supposed to oppose paganism and tear down false idols? Why don’t Christians cut down all the trees?

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregm766 Gregory Marshall

    The stupid, it BURNS!!!!!

  • Annie

    “These atheists are just enormously creative in figuring out things that they can do to give us trouble.”

    Now look at that little compliment he threw in there… maybe he really does like us after all? 

    Kidding aside, it take an enormous ego to think that there are people who spend all of their creative energy just trying to give you trouble.

    • Anonymous

      The funny part is that it really doesn’t take much effort to “give [them] trouble”. They readily supply the ammo, all we have to do is pay attention.

  • Synonymous

    What was that percentage again for the amount of xtians that don’t “believe” in global warming? They’re the ones more likely to chop down trees for their next sky-daddy building.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

    Projection… They think we want to “cut down all the trees” because THEY want to cut down all the trees.
    After all, they believe in “Crunch all you want, Jeebus will make MORE…”

  • MichaelnotTchristian

    Pat, I’d like to plant your ass under a tree,  you pathetic piece of Excrement…….. You’d make great fertilizer.

  • Christoph Burschka

    In the words of my favorite vampire slayer, “your logic does not resemble our Earth logic.”Not believing in a mythological entity logically requires destroying every physical object that anyone associates with that entity? Seriously WTF? As an atheist, I don’t go around burning other people’s holy crap. I’m not the one with a religion that prohibits idolatry. The ones who should be cutting down trees are the Christians.Come to think of it…

    • Xeon2000

      That’s actually quite repulsive. People like that should be reviled in history, not elevated to Sainthood.

    • Xeon2000

      By Saint Boniface’s logic, I should start burning down churches, and when I’m not struck by lightning, the Christians should see reason and become atheists. I’d also be a historical hero (not a criminal).

  • MichaelnotTchristian

    The depths to Human stupidity know no limits…… and I offer as proof, Pat Robertson!

  • T-Rex

    Oh for fu** sake! Just when I thought Pat couldn’t be any more ignorant, he goes and proves me wrong yet again. 2 of the most ignorant people alive hosting a television show designed to spread that ignorance. Who in the  hell watches this show? I mean really. Who turns this on and sits there and says to themselves, “This man has all the answers. He’s so smart and such a moral human being that livesonly  to spread the wonderous word of Gaaaawwwwwwd! Gawd bless this man his wonderful co-host!”

    The only positive thing I can take away from this is that he’s old and he’ll be dead soon and so will many of the ignorant sheep that watch this shit.

  • Gunstargreen

    Even ignoring the trees thing everything said here is absolutely absurd.

    What problems are we giving you exactly other than keep your religion out of our laws and leave us alone?

  • Xeon2000

    This tree was looking at me funny the other day. I swear, I was THIS close to whipping out a can of whoop ass on it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S7ZGSKRPBAHADUJS4GGFCM67P4 ÁsaJ

    The “Cut down all the trees” image looks like it was originally stolen from “Hyperbole and a half”: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

    I think she deserves credit.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Is it? I made it myself before I posted it. Any similarities to something else is total coincidence.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/S7ZGSKRPBAHADUJS4GGFCM67P4 ÁsaJ

        So your drawing style and the actual character that is her main character is just like Allie’s? That’s impressive, but fair enough. (I didn’t mean the text stuck on top; she doesn’t do that).

        I also didn’t say *you* stole the image or anything. I was thinking more that the memegenerator.net people hadn’t given credit where it was due. Sorry if it really is your own drawing. They’re just so similar.

        • Apsalar

          It was taken from this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_D_Z-D2tzi14/TBpOnhVqyAI/AAAAAAAADFU/8tfM4E_Z4pU/s400/responsibility12(alternate).png

          memgenerator.net should give credit if they don’t want to be killed by the Copyright Monster.

          http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_D_Z-D2tzi14/TTfRFwtyrGI/AAAAAAAAEa8/c-q-IVC_CvA/S1600-R/copyright%2Bbutton.png

        • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

          It’s just a meme… I don’t think you need to give credit to the meme creator whenever you use the meme or a parody of it. Like in a previous post that used “All your religion are belong to us” as a caption to a picture without giving credit to “Zero Wing” for the original creation of the “All your base are belong to us” meme.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/S7ZGSKRPBAHADUJS4GGFCM67P4 ÁsaJ

             Right you are. I failed to recognise that this image is a meme and therefore didn’t realise it fell under the rule of “you can use other people’s work as much as you like, so long as it’s a meme”.

            Sorry for causing a fuss.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/S7ZGSKRPBAHADUJS4GGFCM67P4 ÁsaJ

               Of course, when I say the image is a meme, I mean it has become a meme. The creator of said meme never intended it to be one (unlike ragecomic pictures and things made on 4chan). Still, the rule still holds. I shall stop going on about it now.

              • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

                 I think most memes aren’t intended to be originally. Usually it’s just something funny, but for it to be intended as a meme implies the creator planned on it going viral and becoming popular… which isn’t usually what happens.

                Memegenerator may not give credit to the origin of it, but KnowYourMeme.com does.

  • Anonymous

     a theo means “no God,”

    I thought “a theo” was “guy with Bill Cosby as his TV Dad.”

  • Christian Demographer

    So much anger.  So little understanding.  Robertson speaks for himself and a minority of angry reactionary Christian fundamentalists.  This was embarrassing to watch for its ridiculous logic and claims… and not typical of mainline Christianity.  But even worse, it’s anti-American in that it fosters hatred among faith groups in our country.    

    • Xeon2000

      That term “mainline Christianity” drives me nuts. If I had to categorize people, then the following wouldn’t be mainline: Catholics, people that don’t regularly attend church, evangelical mega churches, liberal denominations, Unitarian universalists, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness’s, Pentacostals, hardcore southern baptists, any faith healing churches, Creationists, very cult-like groups (i.e. Mars Hill), secluded groups (i.e. Amish), and any fundamentalist (of which there are two right down the road from me in a major city in Michigan).

      That leaves what? Moderate Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, and a few others. They probably go to church because it’s what their parents did and it’s what their community does.

      If you graduated from a Christian university or went to a private Christian school instead of a public high school, you are probably not mainline.

      You know what though. All of that begins to sound so arbitrary (and it is) that it has no meaning. Every denomination will jockey for position and argue about it’s categorization. Every believer will argue about being labeled as too zealous (or not zealous enough).

      That is why “mainline Christianity” does not exist.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Hi Christian Demographer,

      Since Robertson is so embarrassing to you as a Christian, would you be willing to publicly repudiate what he says in your rational, civil, and well-considered language where his followers can hear you, rather than just here, where a bunch of atheists already think he’s ridiculous?

      Maybe you do this already, and if so, thank you; I know it is not easy. I just think it might be much more effective in waking up a few of the less lunatic of his flock if they heard objections from an articulate fellow Christian instead of from some evil atheist. The frustrating thing about Christians with your more sane and gracious attitude is that with only a few exceptions, for the most part they are silent in the face of their destructive extremist brethren.

      While the overall numbers of Christian fundamentalists seem to be decreasing in the U.S., their corrosive influence on all of our civil liberties and on the quality of religious, social and political discourse seems to be disproportionately increasing. They simply shrug off the protests of atheists, and even use our criticism as justification for further imposing their views into law and public policy.

      Expressing your embarrassment here causes me to feel empathy for you, but we, meaning all Americans, really need you and your cohorts to speak directly and unambiguously to them. 

      • William

        THANK YOU! I’ve been saying this for years.

    • Anonymous

      a minority…that is out to dominate and control the US of A.  Check out the Dominionists.  Scary shadowy bunch. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Aren’t Nihilists the ones that don’t believe in anything?

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    This kind of reminds me of the guy who was Gish Galloping all over the Alhquist case saying that since the courts define atheism as a religion (lots of case references) and atheists don’t believe in any gods, that a blank wall supports ‘the religion of atheism’.  So to be fair, we HAVE to have prayers on the wall, otherwise the government is endorsing the religion of atheism.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

    Why can’t Robertson be one of the guys who dies in a fiery plane crash instead of rock stars and football/rubgy teams?

    • Nordog

      Wishing for someone’s fiery death.  Why am I not suprised.

      You do remind me of that Chesteron quote I’ve mentioned in the past:

      “Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it.”

      FSq, perhaps you do love humanity, you just hate actual people.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RZ5VEXJ3IYNGQBHI5APT4DETJI FSq

        No, I just don’t like you. But you do flatter me with thew time you spend following me around like a lost puppy.

        • Nordog

          LOL!  Yes, because we all know it’s all about you!

          Spoken like a true narcissist.

  • Ben

    I don’t even…what?

    Fuck it, let’s cut down some trees.

    • baronvoncarson

       I chop down at least 50 trees a week. Trees with koalas in them. Baby koalas.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t Jesus blast that fig tree.  Christians are anti-tree.  Robertson is senile and babbling.  Only an idiot would swallow this.  Alas, people detach all rational thinking
    when they hear the word “Jesus” or “Lord.”    

  • Anonymous

    First of all. Robertson and his crew don’t allow atheists to do or not do anything. Robertson is bound by the same laws as everybody else in the United States. Personally I am getting real tired of mock religious leaders justifying their malignent narcissistic existence and hateful need to harm people who don’t believe as they do by corrupting the teachings found in the Bible. Out of context non sequiter gobbledygook flowing from the mouths of religious idiots is not helpful to Christianity and is harmful to everybody else. This wacko is also calling for wars against other countries in the name of Jesus. Robertson does not speak for me, but I get lumped in with this creep, because I am a Christian. If there is a God in heaven. He would be doing the world a huge favor if He called Robertson home. The sooner the better.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Hi fordneri,
      Please see my reply to Christian Demographer, above. Your voice is welcome here, and we understand your frustration.  Your voice would be more effective to make an actual difference if those who support Robertson heard your voice as a Christian, rather than those here who already oppose him. Instead of wishing that God would do the world a huge favor by calling Robertson home, you could add your smaller favor to the world by calling him out. If you already do that, then you have my deep thanks and admiration. If you speak only here, you only have a little sympathy.

  • Joe

    Christians cut down a lot of old trees when they first gained power because the indigenous Eurpoean pagans worshiped in sacred groves.

  • Yundah

    Thanks for not cutting down all the trees, guys!
    Sheesh!
    From a Wiccan who has obviously gotten it wrong lo these many years…


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