S.E. Cupp: One Day, Americans Will Regret Our ‘Militant Atheism’

S.E. Cupp, one of the hosts of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” is a self-loathing atheist.

Though she oftens touts how she’s Godless and Republican, she repeatedly makes assertions that make you question her atheism.

Among her many on-air statements:

“I envy religious people… I envy the faithful. I would like to be a person of faith, but I’m not there yet…”

“Speaking of atheists, I find atheists — militant atheists — to be among the most intolerant people that I’ve ever come across in my religious-sort-of dealings…”

I am not one of these crazy, militant atheists — and I say crazy and mean it…”

And you know what? I would never vote for an atheist president. Ever… Because I do not think that someone who represents 5 to 10 percent of the population should be representing and thinking that everyone else in the world is crazy, but me.

I like that there is a check, OK? That there‘s a person in the office that doesn’t think he’s bigger than the state… I like religion being a check and knowing that my president goes home every night addressing someone above him and not thinking all the power resides right here… Atheists don’t have that.

And now we can add one more statement to the list.

In an interview with Politico, Patrick Gavin asked her this question:

What’s a common and accepted practice for Americans nowadays that you think we’ll look back on with regret?

Cupp’s response:

Militant atheism… and novelty ties.

I know what she means. Yesterday, I went to a coffee shop and wrote some blog posts for this site. Then I upvoted an article on r/atheism.


I know she’s reading this since she also told Gavin that she gets Google alerts on her name… So I’ll plead to her directly: Sarah Elizabeth, let me interview you. I need to know how you perform these mental gymnastics! You don’t answer my emails. It makes me sad.

(Thanks to Thomas 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.

  • Brian Westley

    Yeah, those militant atheists and their killing of ambassadors…
    no wait, killing abortion doctors…
    no wait, it was crashing airplanes into buildings…
    no wait, it was protecting child molesters…
    no wait, it was making S.E. Cupp uncomfortable.  Yeah, that’s it.  Bastards.

  • Joe Zamecki

    So S.E. Cupp is bad for us. Why give her more publicity? There are lots of important issues out there…

  • ortcutt

    I finally had to come up with a term for the collective pants-pooping that religious people and their fans (like Ms. Cupp) are having about the ongoing secularization process in this country.  I call it “Secularization Anxiety”.  They are really scared and disoriented by the fact that the thing that is central to their lives isn’t central to our society anymore. 

  • MG

    Cupp has made it clear that she wants nothing more to be religious – in many ways, she’s already halfway there with how many times she has engaged in the stereotyping of atheists (she would never vote for one because we think “all power resides right here” (?) and aren’t kept in check by belief in a deity; she might as well have said that we lack morals), as if she were already a religious conservative.  From her statements, it’s not much of a stretch to conclude that she is at least somewhat self-loathing, for whatever reason.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    In what Bizarro Universe are there enough atheists, militant or otherwise, in America to make it a “common and accepted practice.” Every poll shows that atheism is both uncommon and unaccepted by the majority of Americans. Cupp puts the “complete” in complete moron. 

  • Pete084

    She’s no atheist, she just hasn’t chosen a religion yet.

     She quite obviously lacks the disbelief to question belief.

  • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

     This girl makes zero sense. 

    Also, and I admit this is a ‘me’ thing, I have a hard time taking anyone seriously whose name looks like C-Cup. Probably she could have thought that Using the Initials thing out better.

  • Samantha Bishop-Strand

    She’s a faux-atheist. She’s recognized that she can make herself popular and well-paid by being the token atheist and still being conservative. She knows the Religious Right adore her because she says everything they want everyone to say … “I don’t believe what you do, but it admit what you believe sure is great, if only I could be a smart as you and believe those things too. Aww, shucks.”

  • LesterBallard

    I . . . .  don’t like her.

  • C Peterson

    Unaccepted, yes. Uncommon, not so much.

  • Baby_Raptor

    This lady ain’t no atheist. She plays a part to stroke theist egos. 

    Also, Ms. Cupp? Since I know you’re going to be reading this…You’re a fraud. You demonize real people with lies and strawmen for the personal masturbation of sheep. Have some Fucking pride in yourself, if nothing else, and get a real life.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    She’s making a career of godlessly Uncle Tomming it up. She is quite the entrepeneur.

  • Amakudari

    Seriously, when is her come-to-Jesus moment scheduled for? I’d just like to get this over with.

  • jose

    Obviously she has checks, because she hasn’t gone into a killing spree as far as I know. She hasn’t robbed a bank either, or hit the elderly. So where does her good behavior as a citizen come from? Why is she a good person at all if she has no checks?

  • Irevivify

    “All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.”
    Dalai Lama Sept 10 2012

  • LesterBallard

    Yeah, she’s fucking milking it. It’ll probably come around some Easter or Christmas, on Fox News. Then the book that is already written will be published. Speaking tours, interviews with major religious figures. All that good shit.

  • Gus Snarp

    How are you defining “uncommon”?

  • Tainda

    If I hear her name one more time, I’m going to scream

  • LesterBallard

     “This girl makes zero sense.”
    “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it” 

  • http://profiles.google.com/sullivanjd Jason Sullivan

    She’s a closet Christosexual.

  • Flounder99

     As soon as the offer from Faux News comes.  Soon the followed by the release of  her “I – Found – The – Lawrdah, – Screw – Them – Atheists” book. Then the Jebus talk show circuit and pat on the back from Pat Robertson.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_722JM2BE6YISLQ3KWROXGHBBXQ Joe Mama

    Atheists regret SE Cupp every day of their lives.

  • Octoberfurst

     I can’t stand S.E. Cupp. Every time she opens her mouth something stupid comes out of it.  And I totally agree with the others here who say that a “come to Jesus” moment is in her near future.  She is NOT a real atheist!   What atheist in their right mind would bash atheism constantly while saying how wonderful theistic views are?  She’s just a token faux atheist who is there to tell the Christians what they want to hear. “Golly gee, you believers are all just so wonderful & I just  hate the way those mean old atheists pick on you! I sure wish I could be a Christian.”  Yeah she will eventually “see the light” and make a fortune selling her book on why she converted.  Count on it!

  • Octoberfurst

    Heidi, I had the same impression about her name. Every time I hear it I think we are talking about some porn star.  LOL

  • C Peterson

     There are more atheists in America than there are Jews. More than there are Mormons. In most contexts, nobody would claim that either Jews or Mormons are “uncommon”.

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

    I’m proud to be a militant atheist … wait I am bit dyslectic and sometimes I get confused over the meaning of certain words.  ‘Militant’ means positing snarky comments on the intertubes, drinking beer and a debating which is the worst fictional character ever Howard the Duck or Jesus, right?  

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the three suggestions.

  • smrnda

    The more I read from this person, the more I think that she isn’t an atheist. She’s just an idiot who doesn’t think carefully enough to apply labels accurately. If someone actually interviewed her (as you’ve suggested) she would definitely be exposed as someone who hasn’t really given much thought to whether religion is actually true or not.

    As far as what she is, she’s probably someone that  just wasn’t indoctrinated with religion but who hasn’t actually weighed the issue of whether or not any particular religion is or could be true. She *thinks* she’s an atheist but she really just isn’t religious,.  She lacks the self-awareness to realize that the reason she can’t become a believer (which she wants to do) is that without a childhood full of conditioning, you can’t believe in nonsense so easily, and she isn’t a deep enough thinker to realize that if there was any truth to religion, she would believe it the same way you believe in anything – because of evidence.

    Her fear of a president who doesn’t believe in God is a bit overblown. Our government has checks and balances because we thought that the idea of a supreme ruler who answers to God just wasn’t adequate accountability. That’s why we have 3 branched of government. As for representing a % of the population, as a rich white guy Romney represents less than 1% of the population. What business does he have pretending to represent all of us (by her logic?) And the ‘atheists don’t have that check’ – then what’s her check?

    The only way this person has not been completely dismissed as an idiot is that she gets to talk and talk. Agreed, and interview would do everything to expose that there’ no thoughts or substance behind anything she says.

  • Forrest Cahoon

    OK, Cupp’s novelty act is old now. We all know she’s a caricature of an atheist designed to appease the religious. We don’t have to follow her every pronouncement from now on — checking in, say, once a year should suffice. 

  • Rosemary

     She is the type of “atheist” that goes through an emotional conversion experience and thereafter prefaces their proselyzing attempts with the phrase:  “I used to be an atheist”.   These people never acknowledge (or even understand) that the kind of “atheist” that they were before their emotional conversion has very little, if anything, in common with those of us who critically investigated our previous religious beliefs and rejected them as unsound.   She clearly has not objectively investigated and evaluated the religious beliefs of her Republican Colleagues and the consequences they have on their behavior and the welfare of others.  She’s sufficiently ignorant to be very good conversion fodder.

  • John Small Berries

    “And you know what? I would never vote for an atheist president.
    Ever… Because I do not think that someone who represents 5 to 10
    percent of the population should be representing and thinking that
    everyone else in the world is crazy, but me.”

    I’d really like to know, would she vote for a Jewish President? Because Jews make up less than 2% of the population of the United States. Is she unwilling to vote for ANY minorities because they don’t represent the majority? Or are atheists the only target of her bigotry?

  • The Captain

    Ah, the “House Atheist” speaks again.

  • LesterBallard

    But I bet Ann Coulter will be very jealous.

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

    An anagram of her full name is “A Perishable Chutzpa”

  • http://profiles.google.com/michael.laporte Michael La Porte

    She refers to “atheists” as other/self like people who refer to themselves in the third person.  Most atheists I know are that way because they place a high value on science and reason.  It doesn’t seem like she came to atheism that way (assuming she’s there at all).

    I wonder if there is any benefit from any discussion with here.  For example, is she capable of rationally discussing why atheists should have different reactions to people who believe that the world is flat versus people who believe that a sky god exists?

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

     Can we please just come out and say she’s not really atheist? We are too afraid that saying so is committing the No True Scotsman fallacy. It’s not.

    If there were a Christian who hated fundamentalists, the bible and everything it stands for, adored secularism and atheists, would never vote for a Christian president, lived in society where someone in their position would fill a unique niche roll and does everything they can to fill it to the full extent, I would probably agree that person isn’t really Christian.

  • Rosemary

    She describes herself as an atheist but says that she “wouldn’t vote for an atheist”.  That effectively insults and belittles all those who voted for her. 

    If she is convinced that atheists are unfit for government then she should do the right thing and step down. 

  • Tainda

    How about leap years?

  • Rosemary

     For a religious person that man makes incredible sense.

  • The Captain

    You know, I really don’t give a crap about what she says anymore, not getting too outraged by this stupid crap.

    What is starting to outrage me though is that this is what an atheist has to be like to get a regular gig on TV news! 

  • Grung_e_Gene

    This is true because atheism is the softer version, the lightbringer of islam. And everyone knows that unlike christians, muslims are going to impose their relgious hegemony on the United States.

  • LesterBallard

    Jesus, hands down.

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

    not really. Chris Hayes’s weekend show did an entire episode devoted to atheism in America. During it, Chris says that atheism is one of the last on the list of words he use to describe himself, because he has so many more values that describe who he is rather than what he’s not. So he’s an atheist, but is much more interested in non-religous issues.

  • ortcutt

     Mormons only make up 1.7% of Americans.  I guess that means she can’t vote for Romney.

  • b33bl3br0x

     I have to disagree with your sentiment Rosemary.  I know those people exist but we can’t denigrate them as Not True Atheists™; everyone is on a different path and just as there are religious folk who are religious for no good reason there are surely atheists who are atheists for no good reason.  That doesn’t make them any less atheist until their conversions.

    But I think the point that Samantha was trying to make, at least what I think to be the case with Ms. Cupp, is that she is only pretending to be an atheist to help along her along in conservative circles.  While they don’t like atheists at all, they do want to have a token atheist who fluffs up their egos and thinks that religion is really good even though they don’t have one.  It provides them with fodder for claiming that making government entities endorse religion is a good thing because even atheists really want religion.

    When the right moment comes along she’s going to have a “conversion” to some fundamentalist sect of Christianity and get her own show on faux news.  At such a time it might be fun to have a drinking game keying on her mentioning when she was an atheist, however that will mean having to watch the show in the first place so maybe not that fun.

  • RKHB

    Some folks make money by pretending to be religious, she makes money by pretending to be an atheist.  And then more money when she finally sees the light and becomes “saved.”  And then more money from  righting more books about how wonderful life is with Jesus and how sad and pathetic she felt when she didn’t have that higher power in her life.  Maybe there will even be a movie – probably as moronic and sappy as the “last ounce” tearjerker set to come out.

  • Gus Snarp

    Is this a joke, or something people actually believe?

  • http://twitter.com/brianrworley Rev. Brian Worley

    Well, it’s nice to hear that she won’t be voting for Mitt Romney: 
    ” I do not think that someone who represents 5 to 10 percent of the population should be representing and thinking that everyone else in the world is crazy.”

  • TiltedHorizon

    S.E. Cupp appears to be a disciple who has become frustrated in being unable to chose her dogma. Now she is angry that she cannot silence her own reason long enough to feel the bliss of ignorance.

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

    She might be a true scotsman.  But damn it, that true scotsman speaks with a french accent.

  • The Other Weirdo

     That’s from his book, “Beyond Religion”. I’ve read it. Trust me, he doesn’t mean what you think it says in that blurb.

  • The Other Weirdo

     I thought she was just some TV personality. What kind of office does she hold?

  • http://mittenatheist.blogspot.com/ Kari Lynn

    As a feminist, I really hate to say this but the only reason they listen to her is because she is pretty and has great hair. In other words, she’s Sarah Palin 2.0.

  • The Other Weirdo

    How about we check her pronouncements on Feb 29 every year?

  • Gwen

    I don’t think she really is an atheist. I think it is just her schtick.

  • The Other Weirdo

     Until the Martians attack, and then you still have 1 branch of government working for you, and that ain’t bad.

  • The Captain

    I’m certainly not saying there are no atheist on TV. What I’m saying is that to be “The Atheist” on a show, one that is supposed to give that opinion, this is the kind of caricature you have to be.

  • Allison

     Damn them! Damn them all! All those Atheists are just so up in arms ALL the time.   :p

  • Duke OfOmnium

    I accept that she’s an atheist, for the same reason I accept that the Nazis were Christians: she says so.  If you have a video of her praising Jesus and refusing her portion of roast babies, that’s different.

    There’s no law against self-loathing or holding heterodox political or moral opinions (to the extent that atheists have anything like small-o orthodox opinions).  And she serves as a useful reminder that even atheists can be moral bankrupts and intellectual cowards.

  • Tainda

    Even better!

  • Raylehmann

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking anything she says, about anything, is sincere. She has learned well at the feet of Coulter that the surest way to success as a conservative pundit is to show a little leg and continue to say “outrageous” things. 

  • 3lemenope

    What does he mean, then?

  • 3lemenope


  • Joe

    I found the image of the guy yelling at the laptop amusing… especially considering the feminist wars that have been going on between skepchick/ftb and… the other militant atheists. 

  • http://www.theartolater.com/ Jeff

    Do Jewish people have a general dislike of any religion that isn’t there’s?  Are Jewish people often self-important about their beliefs being not only better, but more “logical” and the result of “reason” and “freethought?”

    She has a significant point for those who want to hear it, and the knee-jerk reactions toward an atheist who misses the community and spirituality of religious belief is a great example of why people see the movement in general as non-inclusive.

  • Coyotenose

     “Not in the public’s consciousness”, perhaps.

  • http://www.theartolater.com/ Jeff

    So is being an atheist something more than simply not believing in a god?

  • Coyotenose

     Cupp is a talking head, not an elected official. But she is demeaning and demonizing what, 16% of all Americans on a daily basis. She’s either too ignorant to have a valid opinion on lack of religious belief, or is, as most of us suspect, faking her position as a setup for a career-boosting spectacle. Given how slimy her attacks are, it’s the latter.

  • Coyotenose

    Even on MSNBC!  So much for the myth of the “Liberal Media Conspiracy”, eh?

  • Coyotenose

     April 1st IMHO.

  • RobMcCune

     You betcha!

  • Coyotenose

     Nothing wrong with saying that as a feminist. It’s a symptom of why feminism is necessary when looks are not only almost a necessity for a woman to get national notice as a pundit, but are so important that every other quality is trivialized.

    There is also nothing wrong with an unhealthy Queen obsession, so you know. *pulls out album single of Another One Bites The Dust that he was given as a 6yo in 1980*

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1122752850 Dean Davis

    The closest I can think of a “Militant Atheist”, is someone who would sue to get “God” of off our “Pledge of Allegiance”, off our money as “In God we Trust”, or get “Creation Science out of our classrooms”. All of that’s alright with me, either/ or, I don’t care on 2 of 3 of those, Religion should stay out of Science class.
    “Militant” is some one who would bomb an IRS building for revenge of what the Government did on that day a year before; Referring to Tim McVeigh. 
    Timothy McVeigh was raised as a Roman Catholic, and fell out of the followings of the church, but still had a belief in a God. (So as I see it he could be at worst a “Militant Agnostic”).But if by following the Immortal words of Lennon counts me as being a “Militant Atheist” in Cupp’s world view count me in!:  

    “Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

    You, you may say 
    I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
    I hope some day you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one”

  • Coyotenose

    Hmmm, almost too good a Poe. I recommend adding a teeny clue in there somewhere to let us know it’s a fake.

  • Coyotenose

     Howard the Duck was in an issue of Marvel Team-Up with Spider-Man, where they fought an angry bald guy who lost a job opportunity to a minority or something, went nuts, and began preaching in Central Park about how evil all the people different from him were. He called himself Status Quo, and started a riot. I’m pretty sure that either Spider-Man or Howard ended up decking him to prove him wrong.

    Therefore, Jesus is the worse character.

    (Also, Marvel published that comic in like 1983. Surprisingly progressive, especially considering how dumb and hamhanded it was.)

  • Coyotenose

     Okay, let me preface this question by saying that the people I reference SHOULD NOT DO THIS, because some people are waaaay too interested in making up things about commenters.

    What are the specific reasons that the Slime Pit MRA atheists don’t ever go after Cupp? Obviously they have less motivation to go after her, because she won’t be reading anything they write, but I would think they’d froth about her SOME.

    Is it because they’re only in this to hurt people, and they can’t hurt her?

  • Coyotenose

     Ack sorry, Joe Mama, that was not meant to be a reply. I was laughing too hard at your post to post sensibly.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Yeah, I can accept that atheists, agnostics and the irreligious are common enough, but militant atheists, not so much. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700851737 Sam Kay

    I’m pretty sure that no real atheist envies religious people. An atheist president would better be able to represent ALL of the nation’s people than any religious one.

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    THIS ^^^^^^^^^

    Sooo much.

  • WoodyTanaka

    I’ve always been of the opinion that she’s in it for the wingnut welfare.  If you’ve no problem with spouting crap to appease the majoority of Americans who are patent morons, you could fatten a bank account pretty well.

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

     Nope, but it’s about context. She loves religion to the extent that she would happily accept the religious right’s desire for America to be a theocracy. And she pushes these lines out in the exact way they want her to. She’s a living, breathing right wing talking point. An atheist that loves religion and defends every religious intrusion into government and our lives. This is not so much a real personality as it is a fantasy. Conservatives crave all atheists to be as submissive and adoring of religion as she is. She knows it, she gets publicity from it, boosts her career on it, and makes money selling it.

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

     Nope, but it’s about context. She loves religion to the extent that she would happily accept the religious right’s desire for America to be a theocracy. And she pushes these lines out in the exact way they want her to. She’s a living, breathing right wing talking point. An atheist that loves religion and defends every religious intrusion into government and our lives. This is not so much a real personality as it is a fantasy. Conservatives crave all atheists to be as submissive and adoring of religion as she is. She knows it, she gets publicity from it, boosts her career on it, and makes money selling it.

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

    So basically you’re saying a snake oil salesman isn’t a selling snake oil if they don’t call it snake oil?

  • smrnda

    Comparing Jews to Christians isn’t a very good comparison – Judaism isn’t just a religion but also a cultural and philosophical tradition. There’s not really any emphasis on converting anyone and no consensus on how Judaism really applies to outsiders. There is no mission to turn the whole world into believers in Judaism among Jews.

    However, Christians do believe in converting everyone. They believe their ideas and beliefs are right, so Christians are making a claim that Jews aren’t – that everybody ought to agree with them. Once you start making claims like this, you’re asking for your beliefs to be put under greater scrutiny.

    On a Christian president versus an atheist president, Christians have a long track record of trying to force their beliefs on everyone. Atheists will try to persuade people that they are correct in many cases, but I don’t see atheists attempting to make the state promote atheism. Accusations of this usually come from people who see the absence of religion in the public sphere as de facto state atheism, but that’s just because they don’t understand neutrality. If Christians want to think they are right, that’s their business, but there’s a long track record of attempts to use the state to promote Christianity.

    On her points about ‘spirituality’ (which is just another word for ‘woo factor’ as far as I’m concerned) and community, there are lots of ways that non-religious people can have these. In fact, the lack of non-religious communities and community organizations can be a major problem since it excludes people who are not religious, and puts pressure on people to outwardly conform to get the benefits of community membership.

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

    Wikipedia: “In 2010, she earned a Master of Arts from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University with a concentration in Religious Studies.”

    I think she has evaluated those religious beliefs. She’s not ignorant, she knows exactly what she’s doing.

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

    I love that quote about why she wouldn’t vote for an atheist president. It really reveals why she isn’t really an atheist.

    Because I do not think that someone who represents 5 to 10 percent of the population should be representing and thinking that everyone else in the world is crazy, but me.

    So according to her, an atheist would be someone who thinks everyone else in the world is crazy, except other atheists? Yet, she herself contradicts this by being an atheist that doesn’t think everyone else in the world is crazy. How can one who so strongly insists they are atheist clearly demonstrate that they can’t even keep their own definition of what an atheist is for 1 sentence.

  • Nordog6561

    Even Rene Descartes thought religion had a useful purpose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    I just can’t get behind that kind of sweeping generalization.  I understand that it’s annoying when every theist you know seems to pull out that “you wish you had faith like me, I don’t envy you your empty and vain life without God, my pastor says you’re jealous of us” canard.  But don’t let that blind you to the fact that there ARE plenty of people out there who don’t have faith but would make themselves believe–if only they could.
    Consider for a moment the people who HAD faith and lost it–think about the clergy who lose faith.  Eventually, at least some get to the point where they’re glad they saw the light, so to speak, but what about the first year after they lose faith?  When they’re facing giving up family, friends, community, employment . . . . ?  
    Would it be honest to assume that none of them wish to get that faith back?

    I can hear someone now saying, “Well, but those aren’t really atheists, they’ve only just lost their faith.  Give them time.”  Two problems with that: first, whether claimed or not, they’re atheists if they’ve stopped believing in gods.  Second, there’s no evidence that every single one of them comes around to contentment with atheism no matter how much time they’re given.  

    I’m not defending Cupp specifically; her numerous statements give a cynical, dishonest impression.  I’m saying we should all be wary of our own tendency to force people into categorical boxes that might not fit.  The world is messy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    There’s no actual need to argue about whether she’s “really” an atheist, though.  If she’s a “true atheist,” what changes?  Would you begin to agree with her?  
    What if she’s not a “true atheist?”  Disagree more strongly?  Not me, says I.

    I don’t care whether she’s gaming or not.  Either way, what she said is wrong.  I can show that the statement is wrong, so what do I care about showing that the person who made it was being dishonest about someone else?  You’ll never prove a negative about a private belief anyway.

    In fact, let’s consider this:  what if Dawkins said what she said above?  That guy’s a “True Atheist,” right?  Would we therefore be unable to refute it if he said he couldn’t vote for an atheist presidential candidate for fear of having a member of a smug, militant minority bossing around the humble majority?

    Not me, says I.

  • Alex

    Eat shit, S. E. Cupp.

    Sincerely, an atheist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    Not at all. What he said was that it’s pointless to try to tell someone “You don’t really believe what you claim to believe.”  There’s no way to disprove that claim, and it really doesn’t matter.  Either the things she says are reasonable or they’re not.  If they were reasonable, nobody could score many points by changing the subject to “Well, you’re not really an atheist.”

    If they’re not reasonable, then that can be shown without ever resorting to the “true atheist” question.

    The Pentecostals will be glad to explain that the Catholics aren’t true Christians.  But do you care?  Are you willing to accept that?  I’m not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    So why not just say that?  It renders the whole argument about her inner beliefs moot when you simply focus on what she actually does and says, just like you did above.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I think Amakudari and you have nailed it. She’s an atheist like Marjoe is/was a Christian, and for the same motive, cash. It’s a gig, an act, a carefully designed persona that makes her the darling of the religious right, the “atheist” who says everything they want to hear an atheist say. It gets her more speaking parts on Fox “News.” It sells more copies of her book.

    And when her act finally begins to get old, when her ratings begin to drop, she’ll have a big, emotional, dramatic “conversion” live on Fox “News.” Then she’ll release another book and be able to milk that for a few more seasons, as the darling former atheist who saw the light and was saved.

    But after that will begin a long, slow decline, as she keeps referring to her “former days as an atheist” the way Kirk Cameron does, thinking it’s somehow a badge of credibility, and like him, nobody will take her seriously and nobody will give a crap about whatever she has to say.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    I would like to remind SE Cupp that Presidents Bush (43) and Truman had consultations with God when they had to decide to drop bombs on their enemies. Wow, I’m sure the Iraqi and Japanese people are glad that they both “checked” with God to get the a-okay. An atheist president might have just listened to educated opinions.

  • Duke OfOmnium

    That’s an inapt analogy.   We can analyze our sample of Dr. Bonheur’s Health Elixir and Car Buffing Compound and say, “By golly, this is pure Water Moccasin extract!” 

    We don’t have that ability with religious (non) beliefs.  We usually cannot really know more than she’s telling us.

    If she is praying towards Mecca five times per day, or praising Jesus at her local Church of God in Christ, or observing Shabbat, then she is engaging in specific activities that contradict her claim of being an atheist.  However, disagreeing with me (or you, or even *every other atheist in the world*) is not such a contradictory activity. 

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

     well if you want to pick hairs, catching her praying wouldn’t prove anything either. How would you know she really believes what she’s praying? A lot of atheists just go through the motions of religious traditions.

  • Marco

    I have been thinking the very same thing ever since I became aware of her.

    On the other hand, she doesn’t have to be necessarily dishonest in her claim she is an atheist. After all, to be an atheist the only prerequisite is to not believe in a god. It’s very possible she doesn’t believe in a god and therefore labeling herself as an atheist is perfectly fine.

    The lie will start the day of her conversion if she also does not change her mind and she truly starts believing in a god as opposed to just “believing” in a religion. 
    As we all know few Christians believe everything about their religion so it will be rather easy for her to “convert” and cherry pick the things to believe.

  • DaveDodo007

    How can she be an atheist when she hasn’t even eaten any babies yet. I call shenanigans.

  • Marco

    I think that at the very least we are putting on record what we think of her right now so that after her conversion we can point at articles like this one and prove we knew it would happen all along.

    As a bonus, we can use the same failed logic the theists use in regard to their prophecies. Our claim that she is a “fake” atheist that one day will publicly convert can only be demonstrated false on the day of her death. For as long as she is alive, she could always convert and make our “prophecy” come true. 

  • Unhappy doubter

    I have struggled with losing my faith in chunks and sometimes have felt utter despair over it.  Not because I would lose my job or my spouse or my family’s love, but because believing that this is it, that I am merely a walking bag of meat, of no real importance, and that there will be no judgment for truly evil people like Stalin or any reward for living kindly and well and sacrificially – it’s a huge and unwelcome mental adjustment.  

    I haven’t talked to my family about it, not because I think they would shun or disown me, but because I don’t want them to worry or hurt.  

    I love my church’s liturgy, the organization of the calendar, the holidays, the songs, the beauty of my church itself.  There is no equal cultural component for disbelief.  I’ve been in community groups, book clubs, other gatherings related to my interests – not the same.

    I loved it when people would tell me they would pray for me when I was in distress.  People who tell me they are thinking of me are equally kind, of course, but it doesn’t feel the same.  It’s not that I believed in faith healing, really, it’s just prayer is a different kind of connection between people.  

    I’m not posting under a name because I very much hope this is just a dark period of doubt that I will someday pass out of.

  • Coyotenose

     She doesn’t just miss community, Jeff. She actively libels atheists.

  • Keulan

    I’m still not convinced she’s actually an atheist. She sounds like a fundie Christian pretending to be an atheist. I expect she’ll undergo a “conversion” to Christianity and become  even more popular among Fox “News” fans in the future.

  • HughInAz

    “Godless and Republican”… oxymoron alert!

  • Sdd757

    Typical! Okay Samantha you’re a better atheist! 

  • Sdd757

    “no real atheist envies religious people.”

    “I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.” – Carl Sagan

  • Sdd757

    I went through that also. I dealt with doubt, unbelief, the feeling of being unanswered. Quietness from God. I practically gave up. My family didn’t really know. My church didn’t know (I was a Deacon). My friends didn’t know. I really considered myself faithless and an atheist. I did things to test a god that I believed was not there.

    What you’re feeling is part of a journey and it’s okay. Many people have seasons of their lives, where they change what they believe. For me it was the realization that things rarely turn out alright. That God rarely deals in the physical. This is a spiritual journey and we live our lives the best way we can. Most of the time life is hell and sorrow with a few times of happiness (and then we die). 

    I’m not sure where it will take you. You could try reading the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon ponders the same things. I wish you the best! I am happily assured in my Christian faith now. 

  • Sdd757

    You’re living in a dream world. What makes you think that most people even care about what you think and believe. Why should you care what religion other people want to adore and be submissive to. You sound like a self-absorbed elitist. 

  • Sdd757

    Is this an atheist excommunication? So what if she did do those things. Is observing a religious ordinance some type of atheist sin? You can’t know what she is believing inside. You guys act like fundamentalists. 

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I have a raised-evangelical-now-atheist relative who finds the thought of heaven comforting, and wishes they could believe.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    As an always-atheist I found Doug Philip’s story very interesting 
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Bad-People-Stole-ebook/product-reviews/B007VEC63W  Loss of faith (even partial) is a loss like any other.

    I don’t feel like cheering for atheism.  I’d rather cheer for you to find your comfort, with just enough discomfort that you keep moving.  I would however caution that neither atheism, nor theism, has to be ‘dark’.  Wherever you end up- be happy.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

     She’s not a weak Atheist, She’s a weak Christian or she’s just a liar! That’s my take on it anyway. She’s wiley & i don’t think that’s a bad thing necessarily, but i just think she’s found a gimmick that makes her stand out from the crowd. She seems insincere, even using that Hustler thing to her own advantage. Then again it’s possible i’m just being cynical. ☮

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

     yeaaah… no. I’m not feeding the troll.

  • cipher

    Well, he’s been saying for years that he thinks it’s possible to develop a system of ethics or morality not based upon religion. What I find interesting in this recent quote (which I’ve seen elsewhere) is the inclusion of the term “spirituality”. I wouldn’t presume to speak for him, but I wonder if he’s losing patience with organized religion. His own tradition is very patriarchal and hierarchical.

    Interestingly, I know a youngish (thirties) Buddhist monk from India who is a close student of his, who disagrees with him about this (at least he did the last time we talked about it, which was several years ago). He’s of the opinion that it could possibly work for individuals or small groups, but that for large populations, religion is needed as a foundation for ethics/morality. Actually, given what we hear from fundies – “If I didn’t believe in God and fear hell, I’d be out there rapin’, pillagin’ and plunderin’ ” – he may be right.

  • cipher

    Richard, although I agree with you, it’s possible that she’s an authoritarian personality who craves limits and hierarchy, but who lacks the neurological “hardwiring” to experience whatever it is people of faith experience.

    However, I think you’re probably right – although there may be a fair amount of cognitive dissonance thrown into the mix as well, so she’s able to convince herself at least in part that she really means what she’s saying.

  • cipher

    BTW, if by “he doesn’t mean what you think it says in that blurb”, you mean he isn’t giving up his Buddhist beliefs any time soon – you’re right, but that isn’t his meaning.

  • DougI

    She’s an Atheist and has a vagina yet supports Republicans.  Therefore she can qualify as one of the most stupid people on the planet.  For not being a Christian she certainly does have a huge martyr complex.

  • Brian Stewart

    Any excuse for a drinking game is a good excuse. Love the name, btw.

  • Will Ross

    Ah yes, the Auld Alliance…

  • Sdd757

    seriously, why do you really think that people care about your beliefs or lack of them? They don’t. It’s like buying stuff at walmart. The people at the registers don’t care.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Marco and cipher,
    You both might be correct that Cupp is sincerely an atheist in one part of her mind, and is otherwise just very confused. But what makes me suspicious that she is a conscious, deliberate fraud is the nature of her highly publicized statements. They’re not so much about the nature of her own confused beliefs, they’re reiterations of the cliche negative stereotypes that uninformed and/or bigoted believers hear, repeat, and want to hear again. As an atheist, Cupp would immediately realize that these stereotypes are false, yet she repeats them even as she fails to personally confirm them in her own behavior.

    The other telling feature is that she is very consistent with her anti-atheist statements. If she were simply confused or conflicted, I’d expect her to be all over the map with such statements. Professional liars are very carefully consistent in their stories, not letting a single contradiction be an opening for a challenge to their veracity or sincerity. Even an unconfused truthful person would  have some variation in her repeated statements, as her thoughts and feelings about her opinion and position would develop and evolve. Cupp’s remarks seem almost mechanically unvarying.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Marco, please see my reply to both you and cipher below. Thank you.

  • Miguel

     “[...] knowing that my president goes home every night addressing someone above him and not thinking all the power resides right here” – Apparently she prefers someone who goes home every night thinking that he or she knows “God’s will”.

  • Antinomian

    “I like that there is a check, OK?”
    The only truth in any of her statements; if she was speaking of the money she makes shilling as an atheist in christian panties.

  • cipher

     Yes, good points. Again, I think you’re right.

    In any case, that young woman is an atheist in the way a fry cook is a sous chef at L’Escoffier.

  • Antinomian

    An aside: As a militant, shouldn’t I know the militant salute?

    But really Ms. Cupp,  I prefer to be called an insurgent atheist.

  • Antinomian

    I’ll get right on that Honey.

  • http://twitter.com/AlmostAmbitious Almost Ambitious

    So presumably she wouldn’t vote for other groups whose religious views differ significantly from the majority of Americans? e.g. Muslims,Jews, Mormons…

  • http://twitter.com/Inrideo Mike ‘Case’ Wagner

    She can speak a carefully worded truth and profit heavily from it. She’s got an education in religious studies, so she’s aware it’s a pile of hogwash. So she can be an atheist and say “But I wish I had faith”, and truthfully acknowledge that what she knows about the history of religions is a barrier to believing in them. If she practices the lies of omission it benefits her as it would a politician.

  • John Ring


  • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

    Indeed. I would love to meet someone that has known her for the past few years. 

    Are we should she would know those claims she made are false? Sounds to me like she obviously does not identify as a member of the “atheist movement”, but just as an atheist. 
    What she repeats and reaffirm is what she has been hearing, in her relatively short life, religious people say about atheists. 
    Considering she is a conservative, presumably she hangs around with other conservatives and her opportunities to interact with atheists are limited and lately largely confrontational.

    She has obviously learned that in the company of her conservative peers declaring herself an atheist clearly does not go over well, but reinforcing their preconceptions about atheists clearly makes her more accepted, even praised. 
    Her friends can say platitudes like “I have atheist friends and even they say [blah, blah]“.
    Plus her claims that she envies their faith and that she wished she could become religious one day, must go over even better because they figure she is ripe for the picking and ready for conversion.

    on the other hand, her isolation from other atheists has sheltered her from our better  arguments and the way we think and behave around religionists (not that a trip to youtube wouldn’t fix that, but still one has to have the time and will to go seek it).

    Either way, I am not trying to justify her or her positions. I despise what she stands for, but I am at the same time fascinated by what may be going on in her mind.
    I cannot wait for the day she converts.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    She’s as much of an atheist as a person who hates Jesus is a Christian.

  • Bad_homonym

    I too love the name 2aph0d!

  • godlessveteran

    If she’s an atheist, I’m the Pope.

  • Sunset1938

    I believe she has a degree in religious studies….Hmm.

  • Sunset1938

    There are some great comments about S.E. Cupp here, read further…..strange girl.