CNN Discusses Millennials’ Doubts About God with Secular Student Alliance’s Jesse Galef

Did you all catch our friend Jesse Galef on CNN this morning talking about the Pew Research Center’s survey showing that fewer people “Never Doubt God’s Existence”?

I love how he worked the SSA plug in at the end :) I also thought he did a great job of steering the conversation toward the things he wanted to talk about instead of taking the bait from the host.

***Update***: The SSA is already getting threatening phone calls. You can alleviate the staff’s totally-seriously-hurt feelings by donating to them!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    That question about ‘indoctrination’ was pretty annoying, but Jesse did a fantastic job of keeping on point!

  • mjschmidt

    Actually, I found it more than a little annoying that he didn’t answer it, especially since she asked it more than once.

    When she asks “Aren’t you indoctrinating children at an age when they can’t really decide for themselves” most people watching will be like “Yeah, hey, they are!”.

    I wanted to hear him point out that making children go to one church only when they are young _is_ indoctrinating them, since they see/hear nothing else.

    The hypocrisy needs to be highlighted.

  • SpontOrder

    Why is the rate of belief among Gen X holding so steady (c0mpared to millenials)?  Gen Xers aren’t that much worse at using the Internet than millenials.

     

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      More social pressure, I think, and simple entropy: the longer you hold a belief, the more entrenched it is and the more force is needed for you to discard that belief.

    • One Man Damned

       I’ve wondered this myself.  I’m not encouraged by Gen-Xer’s tendencies to turn Libertarian, Ron Paul supporting, South Park Republican, either…

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthonyjwmoss Tony Moss

    I would have liked to see David Silverman responding to the comment she made about “indoctrinating” students.

    • CultOfReason

       He probably would have made his famous WTF look.

  • dangeroustalk

    If High School secular groups is indoctrination, what do you call what the Church does? I do think Jesse should have mentioned that briefly before going to his talking points.

  • David JW

    The cognitive dissonance on display here from the host is breathtakingly staggering. Has she heard herself? Absolutely clueless.

    • http://twitter.com/MaryWakulik Mary

       RIGHT!  All her worry about,” indoctrination”, would NEVER have been expressed to a minister, priest, or rabbi!

  • http://twitter.com/moother moother

    you’re right Hemant, he did a brilliant job by not taking the bait.

    whether or not religion is good or bad is another discussion entirely but Jesse Galef’s message is that (young) people do not wish to involve themselves in the discussion about age-old nonsense and just be kids without indoctrinating dogma.

    brilliant.

  • Steve

    I would have taken the bait on that indoctrination question. SSA helping HS students find a place to be free from possible hostility isn’t remotely in the same category  as people dragging preschoolers to church every weekend. 

    He could have said, “We don’t force our beliefs on students, we help them form a place where they can come to their own conclusions. Secondly, those same people who accuse us of indoctrinating students have most likely been taking their very young children to church every weekend since probably preschool. Telling very young children what to think affects their beliefs far more directly than simply allowing them to ask questions without fear of being attacked for it.”

  • Mandy

    What an astute young man! He makes me proud and gives me hope for the future of the atheist movement.

  • MegaZeusThor

    Gee, I wonder what her personal beliefs are? 

    Actually lady, religion can be harmful. For one, it’s the antithesis of critical thinking. (Obey, obey, obey, question-not…)

  • amycas

    So I fully expect her to have leaders with the FCA, the Good News Club and other Christian school clubs and ask them if they are indoctrinating kids. …wait…what’s that?…it’s ok if young children say they are religious? b-but if the same aged child said they aren’t religious, then they were indoctrinated somehow?

  • SeniorSkeptik

    WTF? The SCA is “shaping beliefs of young people” and “indoctrinating students”? Will someone please forward to her the Good News Club video of teachers indoctrinating first graders and ask her if that is appropriate?

    • SeniorSkeptik

       Sorry, SCA should be SSA.

  • ElizabethW

    Vindictive me would have like just a little “Well, Christian groups are actually the ones with goals of indoctrination”, but I’m impressed he didn’t take the bait.  I would have had no such self control!

  • Keulan

    I think Jesse handled that quite well, considering the blatant religious bias of that CNN host.

  • froodrick

    worst conversation ever. They’re both drunk.

  • Nunya

    Yep, pretty entertaining. “Aren’t they a bit young to be told what to think?”

  • DG

    Hey, where did my question about the Pew Researches findings on religious atheists go?

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I only see your one post here.  What was it?


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