President Obama to United Nations: ‘We Do Not Ban Blasphemy’

President Obama has disappointed nonbelievers and those who take seriously the concept of church-state separation many times. In his participation in the National Prayer Breakfast, in his continuation and expansion of the Bush-spawned “faith-based initiatives,” and his general pandering to religious figures, such has his inclusion of the risible Rick Warren at his inauguration.

But there are times when the president shows a side of himself that should help seculars take heart. Yesterday, Obama addressed the UN General Assembly, primarily on the topic of the violent unrest in the Muslim world, ostensibly over the Internet video “The Innocence of Muslims.” I am among those who feared that the response of the administration to these events might be to work too hard to try and appease these scandalized rioters with pronouncements about how bad it is to hurt religious feelings.

Instead, he said the right thing. He declared with absolute clarity that no video or hurtful speech is justification for violence, and then stood up for free expression:

I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs.

In what I thought was a fascinating rhetorical choice, from a writer’s perspective, Obama then looked inward for a keen example:

Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views — even views that we disagree with.

And then he makes the case for free expression I have been waiting to hear from a world leader for a while now (emphasis mine again):

We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

So yes, he’s not perfect on all of our issues. But I was proud to hear him stand up for this most basic human right before the whole world.

About Paul Fidalgo

Paul is communications director for the Center for Inquiry, as well as an actor and musician. His blog is iMortal, and he tweets as @paulfidalgo, and the blog tweets as @iMortal_blog.
The opinions expressed on this blog are personal to Paul and do not necessarily represent the views of the Center for Inquiry.

  • Silo Mowbray

    Unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably, the theocrats will see the point that President Obama made so eloquently as nothing more than a “Fuck You, Sensitive Faith People.”

    Because sensitive theists are sensitive.

  • Tainda

    Sometimes I love that man.  Sometimes he REALLY frustrates me.

    This is a love time.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I can just imagine Putin thinking: “Da faque did that man just say? What the hell does he mean, you accept that people are going to say awful things about you. That’s not free speech, that’s a reason to shoot them in the street.”

  • Octoberfurst

     I fear you are correct. The Religious Right nuts will pounce on this and twist it to make it seem like Obama was saying he was applauding the mocking of religion.  Such people are hopelessly stupid.

  • Gus Snarp

    I’m so glad to hear him say this. I would make special note of the fact that he talks about the capacity of each American to practice his or her own faith. This is an important point. Not only do blasphemy rules encroach on free speech, but also on the right to religious expression. Blasphemy laws can easily be used against those who practice the “wrong” religion. Even if you write the laws to supposedly protect all religions, what effect do they have on the religion that holds as a point of doctrine that other religions are false and wrong? Are the preachers of that religion guilty of blasphemy? I am proud that my President has taken a firm stand in support of the First Amendment and against blasphemy laws.

  • Vision_From_Afar

     Already been done:

    Obama Declares the Future Must Not Belong to Practicing Christians

    A disgusting bit of rhetoric, that.

  • Jenny

    Of course, we all choose to ignore that Obama is talking out of both sides of his mouth…again…because he also said this in the same speech:

    “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shiite pilgrims. ”

    Yeah, I get that saying & doing mean things wrt other people’s beliefs, artifacts & experiences is not OK, but this statement effectively gives the greenlight to all religious folks the world over (including our own homegrown right-wing crazies) to go nuclear every time they think their favorite imaginary friend is unduly suffering the slings & arrows of satire or honest debate. That doesn’t really sound like freedom of expression to me.

    Since many on this blog maintain their right to criticize/discuss religion & its validity as one would for any other topic, it’s kind of surprising that Obama’s speech is being colored as a celebration of free speech when it’s actually not, taken in total. 

  • ZenDruid

    The Constitution allows everyone to stand up against any authoritarian hogwash.

    President Obama was a professor of Constitutional law, of course he should say that.

  • Wltdc

    Exactly. The devout sometimes neglect to critically examine the consequences if such laws. For example a xtian tellng me that i will go to hell could be charged with hate speech.

  • Tainda

    They have every right to be offended when someone desecrates something they love.  Once killings are done in response to said offense, that’s when it’s not ok and that’s what Obama is saying.  I don’t think he gave a greenlight for batshit crazy reaction at all.

  • John Hoover


  • Jay

    Actually that reads to me as a “take that” to the Islamic apologists. He’s saying that the people who rush to attack Bacile are being selective and should attack anyone who insults any religion in order to be consistent. 

  • Eric M Boucher

    wow wow wow, my head asplode reading that.  It doesn’t make any sense.  Implying that speaking out against a hateful video means you can’t also think it doesn’t justify violence?  How do those two things even connect.  And then stating the fact that there was violence in response  is somehow endorsing a violent response?  Shakes head.

  • Brad Thacker

     Words escape me from reading that article and it’s comments.

    Further faith in humanity lost…

  • Pete B

    What about freedom and self-determination within the US? It’s fine if American protesters get the Mubarak treatment, just not foreign ones.

  • Darrell Ross

    Unfortunately, we have a first-passed-the-post voting system in addition to our broken electoral college. This means that strategic voting while heeding the “spoiler effect” is the only true option.

    Without a voting system which does not suffer from the spoiler effect, like instant-runoff-voting, voting for a third party will actually only hurt the chances of the candidate most like the third party.

    Strategically speaking, if you dislike Romney the most of all the available candidates, then voting for Obama is your best bet. If Obama is your least favorite, then you should vote for Romney as the same logic applies.

  • Ubi Dubium

    He said “condemn”.  He didn’t say “ban the video” or “shut them up” or “arrest them”.  He said “condemn” as in “We disagree with what they say, and think what they said is horrible.  They still have the right to say it, though.”

    After all the faith-based nonsense, this is very refreshing.  Thank you, Obama. 

  • Keith Collyer

     how does a statement saying we should condemn hate when X happens give a green light for people to go nuclear when X happens? It’s saying the exact opposite.

  • Marco Conti

    I simply cannot read websits like that one anymore. Not good for my health.
    We will never be able to compromise with this people. 

    These people love our founding fathers, yet when a sitting president makes a speech that would not be out of place had any of them made it, they pick it apart and distort it as if it was itself blasphemous .

    Sometimes I really believe the only solution would be to split the country in two and give them their own half. This is not just a difference in opinions, they are mentally ill.

  • Octoberfurst

     Wow!  It sure didn’t take them long did it?  My head hurt from reading that article. Talk about twisting words around!  Those people are pathetic morons.

  • Fwkrueger

    This is more BS from the master. When he made the speech about race he almost had me. If he was so concerned about free speech why is this speech the only one to mention free speech since the violence broke out? In addition, what about using the FCC to require radio stations to broadcast both conservative and liberal points of view? It amazes me that anyone buys the BS he puts out.

  • Drewmherman

    ” I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so” – He really does like to make everything about him, doesn’t he?

  • pdcgimpy

    These people do not love our founding fathers.  If they did, they would not have hijacked their motto and replaced it with “in god we trust”.  Our countries original motto is “E Pluribus Unum” meaning One from many.

  • Joe_the_Troll

    That’s how you know he’s trying to govern for everyone, not just his base. I feel the same way.

  • Sam Ellens

    “why is this speech the only one to mention free speech since the violence broke out?”

    It isn’t.  Your ignorance isn’t a good argument.

    “what about using the FCC to require radio stations to broadcast both conservative and liberal points of view” 
    Is this something he’s proposed?  That is perhaps the most anti-free speech suggestion I’ve ever heard.

  • Sam Ellens

    By relating it to himself personally he’s hoping to make the Arab World realize that it’s not just speech against them he isn’t capable of stopping – he’s also incapable of stopping people from saying nasty things about himself.  It’s hard to imagine a more persuasive way to put that message across. 

  • Sam Ellens

    His point is rather obvious if you have any knowledge of global events.  Many of the states which have rioted so angrily frequently create content which slanders those of other faiths, and he’s telling them that they’re hypocrites to freak out over this video while they’re also creating offensive content pointed at other religions.

  • Roman Zaytsev

    More like putting a personal, familiar tone on a largely political issue. Read between the lines man.

  • Kevin Sagui

    It sounds like he’s referring to the Fairness Doctrine.  It’s something Harry Reid and some of the Senate Democrats dusted off shortly after the ’08 elections, but they got slapped down pretty quickly and as far as I know Obama had nothing to do with that nonsense.

  • Billygeneisnotmylover


  • Len

    That he states explicitly that the state allows dissent is awesome.

  • nighthawk

    Our motto is still “E Pluribus Unum” to me.

  • Dps395

    Wow you might as well send me to mars to chill with the rover if the world stsrts waging wars ovet this bull….

  • Dps395

    Sorry for typos. Mobile errors.

  • Wllmcnn

    Compromise should always feel like both entities involved are getting a swift kick in the gut.  Meaning, some sacrifices have to be made in order to achieve a greater goal.  To that effect, Obama has been a fantastic moderator for the American people.

  • Cameron


  • Nunya_business

    So basically you’re happy that Obama stands up for free speech but then you turn right around and bash those that exercise it.  I don’t understand.  Are you for free speech only when the people that are speaking agree with you?

  • Nothome

     What a twist. I guess there’s 3 sides to every story.

  • Michael Johnson


  • slice
  • B.A.

    If it makes you feel better, I’m a Christian Republican and I completely agree with what he said. (We’re not all crazy!)

  • Avalidemail

    If you think that freedom of speech means that I have to agree with what someone is saying then you’re an idiot. If you think that disagreeing with someone means suppressing them, then you are an idiot who probably votes for republicans

  • slice
  • Avalidemail

    Just in case you thought I was agreeing with you, nunya, I was not. Bashing someone is entirely different then disallowing someone free speech

  • GuilleWrites

    Oh, wow… I think I just lost IQ reading that. What the hell?

    I think the only valid conclusion we can take from such is:
    Some are simply idiots.

  • slice

    I simply see lots of religious judgement and hatred out there right now.
    It just scares me.
    I think that most of the folks that these folks prayed to would want anything to do with them. 

  • Kilavibez

    And yet the majority of US states do not allow gays to get married and express their rights of love through gay marriage. Yes, the US really supports free speech and freedom dont they? Yet gays, lesbains and trans-gendered cannout express themselves freely.  Furthermore if you say anything critical about Israel, your an anti-semtic hate mongeror. But say anything against Islam and its free speech… 

  • Mike

    No one.  NO ONE said that he was against their right to spew stupidity.  Your fallacious reasoning, this straw man bullshit, is a problem that you should seriously think about.

  • Liangy2005

    Free speech cannot be without consequence.what happened to libel and defamation? When did free speech become the defence for hate speech?

  • Michael Lieberman

    Wow, I thought I was reading satire for a second. I mean because Obama said the image of Christ and didn’t list out every possible thing that could be blasphemed in the Christian faith that he’s attacking the Christian faith.

    Using his logic anyone could make a claim off of anything he doesn’t explicit state in his article.

    I would write more but I think it would end with me banging my head against the table.

  • Mike

    “A good compromise is when both parties are left dissatisfied” -Churchill?

  • apathy really though

    Do you know what condemn and condone mean?  Obama said that people need to have the freedom to express their beliefs but that doesn’t mean he will agree.  Plain and simple.  

    “gives the greenlight to all religious folks the world over (including
    our own homegrown right-wing crazies) to go nuclear every time they
    think their favorite imaginary friend is unduly suffering the slings
    & arrows of satire or honest debate.”

    That’s what you got?  You are unfairly projecting yourself upon “all religious folks the world over.”

  • Rotll

    conversely, Gary Johnson should be wooing Obama supporters in hard Red states (Mississippi, Alabama, etc) and Romney in hard Blue states (NY, MA, etc.) since their votes for their favs won’t matter much in the end…that could get his vote totals up to the 15% mark that he needs for the future.

  • Michael

    “We do not ban blasphemy”

    Right. We are just okay with detaining it indefinitely without due process.

  • Randy

    I found Bill Donohue’s response to this speech quite entertaining, and for the first time I actually (shudder) agree with Bill.  And he might even be a decent contemporary artist.  It’s on YouTube somewhere.

    As for Obama, like Romney or the Bible, he took every position.  Depending on what quote you choose, he either strongly supported free speech, or strongly opposed blasphemy.  One can’t credibly do both, but he did.

    It was most disturbing to hear him call Muslims the most attacked group in the world, or words to that effect.  Even if true (which I doubt) this speech, in response to Muslim attacks on Western governments and business, was not the place for it.

  • cruelclick

    I have faith in humanity. People suck.

  • cruelclick

    well clearly you want it to be about YOU, right?

  • Randy

    So it’s OK for the president (i.e. the executive branch) not just to disagree, but to actually condemn speech? 

    2. To pronounce judgment against; sentence3. To judge or declare to be unfit for use or consumption, usually by official order
    4. To lend credence to or provide evidence for an adverse judgment against

    Why use such a vague word, when speaking to foreign audiences?  Could it be so that everyone gets to hear what they want to hear?

  • Masquerader420

    The second sentence in your article is an incomplete sentence AND a run-on. Jesus Christ, Mr. Atheist, take a grammar course.

  • Alexandra

    I don’t really get the love here.  He condemned blasphemy.  He said it was a bad thing.  I kind of love blasphemy almost as much as my right to blaspheme.  I’m unimpressed by his speech.

  • Yannis Nikolouzos

     Now compare this viewpoint to the viewpoint of the Cradle of Democracy, Greece.

    Where they arrested a 27 year old man for Blasphemy last Friday. His crime: creating and maintaining a Facebook page satirizing a dead monk that many para-religious circles are trying to pass as a saint.

    Sometimes I am ashamed for my country so much that it hurts.

  • IndiePundit

    Well played. Blasphemy assumes the other person believes in the same thing you believe or that they have to. To ban blasphemy is the same as to say that free speech has no consequences and everyone must be bound by someone else’s restrictions or beliefs. Not everyone is going to adhere to the same ideals especially if they are from different cultures. People on both sides have to learn tolerance and ignore things that really don’t affect them.

  • ArtDuck

    The quote from Borderlands 2, of all sources, comes to mind: “I feel my brain cells committing suicide one by one when he speaks.”

  • Gary Taylor

    you, are part of the stupid.. 

  • Just a dude.

     The irony is that “President Obama Declares The Future Must Not Belong to Practicing Christians” is 100% correct and exactly the way I want it.  There’s no denial here: the future MUST NOT belong just to Christians.

  • Taylor Smith

     You don’t believe in science even though the evidence suggesting it is peer reviewed and completely obvious.

    You’re not all crazy.
    But you all of you have to be at least some way afraid of the truth; and prepared to live in your own imagined world where anything is justified under an imagined being (and since the being was imagined by you; it’s really you who you suppose is God; who gets to live on forever in heaven just because you deserve it)

    And you openly support Mitt Romney, or you suggest you do by being Republican. Now that isn’t crazy; it’s just plain dumb.

    Sorry but no, you didn’t make Republican’s seem sane.
    You just made them seem like they are desperate to be seen as not insane.

  • bill

    And you just made every Atheist Democrat sound like an incredible tool. 

  • Taylor Smith

     I’m an Australian; a Greens party supporter.

    But please; enlighten me as to how I got across as an incredible tool :)

  • master

    wow you must have been raped by a priest. you are just as silly as they are

  • Xxcgunnerxx

    Sweeping generalizations perhaps? Blatant assumptions? Ignorance masked as enlightenment? The list goes on. 

  • Taylor Smith

    Thanks for your ‘intellectually nourishing’ input dude.

    Perhaps you explore your relationship with priests on a less public forum though. Because last I checked; child molestation didn’t come into this conversation until you did.

    Coincidence? I’d hope so.
    But yeah, you should talk to a professional about that one, not the internet ;)

  • Doug

    Yeah, that must be it… He couldn’t possibly just be expressing a rational opinion.

  • Taylor Smith

     So people shouldn’t make generalisations? Got it. Well that was a very general statment don;t you think… hmmm how do you go about not making generalisations bro? Seems impossible to me.

    And everyone should know everything to avoid assumptions based on their common sense. Got it.

    And I’m ignorant?
    To what exactly? :)
    The fact that Christians believe in the certainty of a God and you have to be ignorant to science and modern thought to accept such things?

    Well I’m not ignorant to that. But I’m only human.

    How can I be less ignorant Xxcgunnerxx?Because the less igorant I am the more I can tease ignorant people :D

  • Skippy9925

    why should i be tolerant of the religion of islam when these people are unwilling to tolerate any opinions or views they don’t like, they are so intolerant of anyone else’s opinion that they want to kill them……really……let them eat their oil,send them all home we don’t need them 

  • Jimothy Pimwell

    Actually the reason the right (religious or not) has not pounced on anything in Obama’s speech because it was comprised of something which Republicans love: a promise to keep American troops out there wherever needed. Looks like we’re going to Syria. But I was also pleasantly surprised by his affirmation of free speech. It was strongly worded, and clearly directed at nations which don’t heed such petty obstructions to the state’s desires.

  • B.A.

    Um. What? I went to Catholic school, where we were taught about evolution as a fact. I believe in science. In fact, I agree with many viewpoints held by liberals.

    While I identify as Republican and Catholic, I’m not blindly accepting what I’m told to believe all the time.

    I said I was Republican, not that I necessarily support Romney. And I think for a lot of Republicans this election, it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. (Yes, surprise! Many of us are far from thrilled with him.) I still haven’t decided who that is for me.

    As for your last paragraph, how do you judge me as desperate and insane? My response was one sentence, meant to be reassuring and to make others aware that not all religious people are crazy fundies, and that not all Republicans are judgmental and intolerant. But rather than seeing that, you would rather tear me down simply because there might be a few issues we don’t see eye-to-eye on. You’re the one who sounds ignorant here.

  • Michael Sundberg

     I don’t think you understood what he meant…

  • amycas

     Except he won’t get my vote. I’ve looked at the other candidates, and the one who I align most with is Jill Stein, so if I decide to vote third party, then I’ll vote for her.

  • amycas

     Ah, gone are the days of the Fairness Doctrine. Right wing radio exploded after they got rid of that…

  • amycas

     Libel, slander, and defamation are not hate speech. Learn your legal definitions.

  • amycas

     He’s religious, so I wouldn’t expect him to love blasphemy. Of course, he can not like blasphemy and still support our right to blaspheme, which was pretty much his whole point.

  • Taylor Smith

     I went to a Catholic school; Ignatius Park College.

    Why does which schools we went to have relevance?

    I don’t think you realised the subtitles of my language; maybe it’s because I speak English and you speak American, I’m not sure.

    To quote me: ” Sorry but no, you didn’t make Republican’s seem sane.
    You just made them -seem- like they are desperate to be seen as not insane. ”

    Now “Give the impression or sensation of being something or having a particular quality” is the definition of -seem-. So :) It was just the impression I got.

    I chose to ‘tear you down’ because it’s 2012 (surprise!). Religion is the precursor to science. We have science now, it’s kinda… backwards to keep religion around. Look how great Islam’s doing right now; if only they believed in science…

    Jesus Christ was a cool dude; love thy neighbor! But he was around before The Church. What came after the Church? Hitler? :

    You should have the right to believe whatever you want to believe. I just wish you were smart and open enough to accept that science makes the world beautiful and worth it. And it makes us critical, which is pretty much the opposite of ignorant.

    So please tell me how I’ve been ignorant (as to emit the supposed ‘ignorant sound’) and how I can ‘sound’ less ignorant :)

  • Thanhnguyen86charizard

    As an athiest all I have to say is let people believe what they want to it only becomes a problem when people start trying to enforce their views on others. Having faith in something that has no scientific proof does not make on ignorant it just means they’re human. Superstition and science have always been a part of our culture. Just cause you choose science over religion or vice versa does not mean you’re any better or worse it just means you are human. The most beautiful thing about humans is that we can sit down, contemplate and make a decision based on the results of our thoughts. No other species on this planet can sit down to think and all of a sudden decide to be vegetarian but we can. We have the ability to go against our animal instinct so instead of fighting over who is right or wrong let’s just enjoy our ability to say no and have a good day

  • DCC

    Its not that you’re ignorant or completely wrong, you’re just being extremely abrasive. 

  • DCC

    I agree with you, Taylor Smith is just going out of his way in search of conflict. He’s taking the same Christian fundamentalist attitude and applying it to his own atheistic beliefs = He’s an asshole.

  • Lloyd Mongo

    I’m an liberal and an atheist. As such I value reason above all things. It’s dishonest to claim his conclusions based on a respectful one-sentence response are rational. He’s not expressing a rational opinion. He’s expressing that he’s a smug, insufferable, douchebag bigot. Taylor Smith – your post amounts essentially to hate speech. You are most definitely not doing atheists any favors with your bullshit. Kindly let the grown-ups do the talking.

  • mem

    Its what internet atheists are best at.

    Taylor is just a prejudice idiot, every group has them unfortunately dont lump all atheists with nasty people like this one.

  • Mem Namefix

    Hi I am also an Australian and I apologize for this incredible tool, he does not reflect the typical Aussie nor the typical atheist.

  • Mem

    Every group has “nuts” blindly pushing their own agenda and using their groups message as a cover, we have Taylor Swift below demonstrating that atheists as a group are not excluded from this below.

  • Bradley Betts

    I should preface this by saying that I’m from England.

    “Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so.”

    I am sooooooo jealous of your President. That was genuinely the most awesome thing I’ve ever heard a politician say.

  • Meraxes75

     In other words, a typical supporter of the Australian Greens.  You forgot “massive superiority complex” as well.

  • Irishcitizen

    I would just like it to be noted written into the Irish Constitution, into our freedom of speech clause is an exception banning Blasphemy….

  • Taylor Smith

     and while you’re bring a rational cool guy

    religious people are slaughtering the innocent; religious or otherwise.

    I can say without a doubt, as a batptised and confirmed Christian; there are people out there in the world who wouldn’t think twice about killing me if it came down to a choice between actual morality and their religious faith.

    It’s 2012, is it so much to dream of a rational world? Or is it wrong to be so audacious as to demand it!?

  • mike

    Atheism is as much a set of beliefs as not collecting stamps is a hobby.

  • mike

    So pandering is better? Ridiculous ideas warrant ridicule.

  • mike

    “I’m an liberal and an atheist.”

    Good for you.

    “He’s not expressing a rational opinion. He’s expressing that he’s a smug, insufferable, douchebag bigot.”

    “Bigot” — you use that word. It does not mean what you think it means.Ridiculous ideas warrant ridicule.”Taylor Smith – your post amounts essentially to hate speech.”

    What? Because he points out actual Christian dogma and what he dislikes, it’s hate speech? I suppose I shouldn’t discuss how much I dislike Nazism lest I offend Nazis.

    “You are most definitely not doing atheists any favors with your bullshit.”

    You don’t speak for all Atheists. Must be cold up there, given how tall your horse is.

    “Kindly let the grown-ups do the talking.”People should really read their own statements as though they were aimed at themselves.

  • Taylor Smith

    Good for you being an atheist in America! :)

    Sorry to do ‘the atheist team’ a disfavor; but thinking I represent atheism (and not anarchism or some bizz) is missing the point of atheism I think.

  • Marc Adler

    This defense of free speech should’ve been the first thing we heard from Clinton and Obama after the riots, for a very simple reason: it’s the truth. Why raise expectations among the non-sane segment of the Muslim world by denouncing the video in the kind of language that extremists are used to hearing right before a ban?

    The WH’s handling of this whole situation has been abysmal.

  • Marc Adler

    You’re as much of a science-denier as he is. I’m willing to put money on it. 

    Also, how smart is it to attack someone from across the aisle who’s agreeing with you? 

  • Taylor Smith

     Welcome to…

    The internet! where cowards can pretend to be anyone!
    But fair call I am being quite the loud mouth up and down this comments section.
    For science?

  • Marc Adler

    They’re not mentally ill. Are people really so narrow-minded that they think someone has to be mentally ill to disagree with them? That’s nuts. 

    As for splitting the country, I totally agree, but let’s split it into as many groups as people want to form, instead of just two. Live and let live. 

  • mom

    I don’t know about you all, but as a religious person I make sure I kill at LEAST 5 “non-believers” before I leave for work.  Every day.  Because us “religious people are slaughtering the innocent”.

  • Gary

    What gives you the right to represent the “typical atheist” or “typical Aussie” ??
    You politically correct douchebag!
    Well done for stating an obvious cliche.
    I’m an Aussie and an atheist , and he represents me and many people I know!!

  • NickDB

    Free speech does have it’s consequences, and using this movie as an example, the consequences could of been no one saw it, he got sued, got angry hate mail it etc it would of been fine, but when the consequence include people and property in other countries no way related to the movie get killed and burnt then there is a problem.

    I don’t think a single person would of complained if people just went on a protest march about the movie.

    I can go on a completely homophobic or racist rant and I’m allowed to, your are also completely allowed to call me a F(*&ing arsehole, boycott my business, tell your friends and family to boycott my business etc,  for doing so. You’re not allowed to shoot me because of it.

  • Jasonnikolic

    I’m with you guys too (Aussie here) Religion is escapism same thing as in nerds glued to WoW. Face reality people, It’s truth is far greater than any religion could hope to explain.

  • Paul Tunnicliffe

    Calling Atheism ‘a group’ is missing the point somewhat

  • Lew Mills

    WOW!!! Civility, and Civil Discourse…What Concepts!!! Too Bad, No One Believes or follows them, Here, in this context!!! 

  • Taylor Smith

    i knew it! :P

  • Taylor Smith

    How much money?
    And what are your bank account details Marc? :P

    Well to answer your question; it is not very smart at all to attack someone from across the aisle who is agreeing with you.

    That was a very… interesting question though, thanks :)

  • The Other Weirdo

    If you think you’re speaking English, I’ve got news for you, buddy. It isn’t English, at least not in the way you think it is. I love it when foreigners judge Americans on their political choices as though they have some great insight that nobody else possesses. I get all tingly in the morning.

  • Tyler Hopkins

    Atheists are a group, numbnuts. We don’t have a dogma or any leadership structure, but “group” is just categorization, it doesn’t require consent. We don’t reject theism because we hate authority and don’t want to be a part of something larger than the individual. That’s Anarchists.

  • vbscript2

    “I don’t think you realised the subtitles of my language; maybe it’s because I speak English and you speak American, I’m not sure.”

    Wow, must be. In “American,” subtitles are the secondary titles of publications or the display of dialogue as text at the bottom of the screen on a TV program or movie. I think, perhaps, “subtleties” is the word you were looking for.

  • vbscript2

    I’m a Christian and politically conservative and I don’t think I know anyone who would disagree with what Obama said here.

  • Taylor Smith

     Congratulations for being able to think for yourself!

    That was the word I was looking for!
    I could edit my message and delete proof of this (horrific) mistake; but that would ruin your moment in the sun.

    The moment you corrected someone’s error and therefore established yourself as a worthwhile contributor to a conversation.

    Thank you!
    Again, congratulations on your contribution.

  • Taylor Smith


  • Rebecca Lea

     Dude, he was in agreement with people. You’re just looking overzealous. Also using plurals with apostrophes? *facepalm*

  • Rebecca Lea

    Greens aren’t exempt from being arrogant hypocrites. The party has turned from environment to mostly kissing up to Muslims.

  • Tcolec540

    This may come across as ignorant as well but I will try to avoid that. I’m an atheist but I’m also an anti-theist.(not sure if that is an actual categorization or if I just made it up.) I don’t believe we have the right to believe what we wish about the universe simply because it is comforting to do so. I don’t believe that people are the problem. It is the religion itself. Moderate Christians, Muslims etc, are generally not bad people. They believe things that seem to me fantastical, but they would not think to harm anyone for simply disagreeing with them on their beliefs. However, the more someone becomes observant of their faith the more they find their faith compelling them to do or think terrible things in the name of it, or because of it. I’m sure most people are aware of the Steven Weinberg quote “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” I’m sure that there are at least a few islamist extremists or westboro baptist church members that if raised without the fear of an angry god, might be here having a conversation with us as opposed to trying to make the life of someone else non-existant or miserable in the name of said god. Indeed we can’t even say that religion has been misused, it is after the extremists or fundamentalists that are following perfectly in line. I think it’s time we put these fables back on the shelf and instead of being christian, Muslim, etc, we just all agree to be human.

  • Tim Ostrander

     Actually, the UN has been considering blasphemy laws recently as have other countries. There are many people around the world in positions of power that want to make it illegal to disrespect religious beliefs.

  • B.A.

    This exactly. I think he’s trying to get me upset, but I’m too busy laughing at him.

  • B.A.

    It’s like you didn’t read a thing I said. My point was my school taught about evolution as a fact. I take it as fact. I believe 100% in science, and surprise, that includes global warming!
    And I don’t know who you think you are, but don’t try to tell me what I believe. Just because I identify a certain way does NOT mean I agree with every issue that goes along with it. As DCC said, you’re “just going out of [your] way in search of conflict. [You're] taking the same Christian fundamentalist attitude and applying it to [your] own atheistic beliefs.” He’s entirely right.As for me, I’m NOT going to preach to you, or to anyone else, for that matter. Why? Because I can 100% understand why one can look out at the world and deny the existence of God. There is no proof, the Bible was written by humans, etc. There are countless reasons! I get that; I just happen to have faith, anyway. If it shocks you that I believe God and science go hand-in-hand, then you are simply a moron.And here, we have an example of a Christian being tolerant and understanding, and an atheist being unwilling to understand. But the brilliant thing is that I CAN think for myself, and what I’ve come up with is that you are not a representation of atheists as a whole; you are just a douche bag all on your own. I don’t hold any contempt for atheists, but I certainly don’t like you.With that being said, you’re getting too stupid to argue with, so I’m doing to stop here.

  • B.A.

    And wow, not sure how my formatting got so screwed up. I swear there were paragraphs in there! Sorry about that.

  • Buckgoose

    “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”  – Radical Fundementalist… nope, just kidding, Barrack Obama

  • Arthur Byrne

    Playing with the GSS, (variable SPKATH), in the US of late (post 2000) such attitudes are somewhat more common among those politically conservative by self-identification, older cohorts (especially pre-boomer), the strongly religious, those who consider the Bible as Inerrant (rather than Inspired or mere Fables), the less-educated, people from or living in the south, the less-intelligent, women, and non-Whites. Your personal circle of acquaintance seems unlikely to be a nationally representative sample across all these.

    US Muslims may also be particularly bad on this, though due to the fractionally tiny sample it’s not clear how much worse they are than Catholics or Protestants.

  • Vernard Mercader

    // President Obama has disappointed nonbelievers and those
    who take seriously the concept of church-state separation many times.
    In his participation in the National Prayer Breakfast, in his
    continuation and expansion of the Bush-spawned “faith-based
    initiatives,” and his general pandering to religious figures, such has
    his inclusion of the risible Rick Warren at his inauguration. //

    Really? You ‘were’ disappointed of the president because of these? I see this as a political strategy.  Obama, since 2008, is not a Rick-Perry-Religious guy;  Hell, I still don’t think he’s religious. He’s very much secular and a political strategist that subscribes to the religion of the week.  Ignorant people will buy that.  Bleeding-hearts liberal atheists who see things in black and white will see him as a disappointment, but rational people will understand how he operates.

  • Arthur Byrne

    Looking at Wikipedia: the Fairness Doctrine was killed in 1987; there have been several attempts by some Democrats since ~2005 to dust it off, with no success and limited support even within their own party; and the 2008 Obama campaign came out against reviving the doctrine.

    In short, Fwkrueger seems either willfully ignorant or delusional.

  • Thegoodman

     Please enlighten us all as to how the leader of the free world operates. You seem to have many answers, I beg you to grace us with your wisdom and insight.

    I love our president and I think he is a beacon amongst the political darkness that is Washington D.C. That being said, I have been disappointed at times in his pandering to the religious.

  • Thegoodman

    What a positive, optimistic, mature world view you have there Skippy. I hope you enjoy the 4th grade next year.

  • Bill White

    Obama seemed rather timid in his response to those who rioted over a YouTube video. He should have called them loonies, thugs, and idiots.

    He also took the time to emphasize America’s acceptance of other beliefs including Islam, but I note he never, ever takes the time to defend Christianity bashing in his own Administration or party.

    I believe the separation of Church and State as implied by the authors of our Constitution and the Founding Fathers was to keep the State out of the Church, not the other way around.

  • Tony Reed

    Glad to see people hear using their freedom of speech.

    Sad to see them using it for petty flame wars.

  • fatal

    I’m all for him saying this, and I completely agree, but he has been a firm supporter of “hate speech” regulation. This is the same type of thing as blasphemy laws. While I believe we should be allowed to talk shit about religion, I also believe people should have the same right in reverse. People should be able to say how they feel, even if you or I disagree. 

  • axzaxis

    <3 u POTUS

  • Vernard Mercader

    Having been on public for quite some time now, including his Personal and political life, his history of speeches as a Senator (the “People don’t read their bibles!” comment on the ridiculousness of Deuteronomy laws), his Father, Obama, Sr. is an Atheist, an open Atheist, his mother, Agnostic, his comment about “[our family] we don’t have a particular church we go to”, he is familiar with Muslim greetings and he celebrates Jewish Holidays—it should be obvious that Obama is an Agnostic.

    Now, being the president of the United States, he has to be very careful with the religious Majority that resides in what we know as “United States”.  His “Pandering to the religious” you accuse him of, is definitely a political strategy, and he’s good at it.  He doesn’t say anything alienating to the Atheist and secularists, but he doesn’t discriminate the religious as well (regardless of what religion they follow).

    Patience.  It doesn’t require an all-knowing, Omniscient seer to “grace you with wisdom and insight” to what Obama is on Religion.

    But just because he mentioned “god” in a sentence, doesn’t mean Atheists should cry in agony, thinking “Oh, Obama is such a religious BIGOT!”

  • Martavis Deon Parker

    To comment on your previous statements, science has not proven everything so no human can truly explain how life came about. The Big Bang is not an excuse because there had to be something to start it, correct? With that, we only have our beliefs. You believe what you believe and I the same.

  • Kelley

    Bill… you just exemplified the word “prejudice” by  implying that every “Atheist Democrat”  appears to be a “tool” based on the comments of one person.  It makes me wonder…does your penchant for prejudging groups based on the actions of only some of that group’s members extend to Muslims?  Jews? Blacks? American Indians? Blondes?  I believe we should all rise above it.  Prejudice has never benefited any one person nor group.

  • Montesblues

    free speech my ass, tell that to the occupy protestors getting beat and pepper sprayed everyday.

  • Blacksheep

    You are rude, and don’t seem like a nice person at all.

  • Blacksheep


  • Iamtherealwilso

    The Australian Greens are as zealous as any religious nut. And most are only green on the outside. They’re deluded dreamers one day, and dangerous extremists the next.

  • John Bentley

    Sorry BA. There are somethings that you have to confront saying that you are a catholic, but dont blindly accept things. I went to Catholic school as well. The doctrine of infallibility requires a Catholic to accept certain nonsense ideas, as infallible truth, or not be a Catholic according to the dogma of the church. I am not saying you can’t be a Christian and reject nonsense (Although I found it impossible). In fact I am not saying you can’t be a Catholic. The church says it…

  • John Bentley

    People that make that argument about the big bang usually don’t understand the argument. The default position for investigation should be “I don’t know so let’s find out”, not “God did it, now let’s prove it”. What evidence do we have of God in the universe? If you put aside religious texts, where do you begin? To say that “I don’t understand X, so God did it” has proven foolish with everything from evolution to Rainbows. So tell me again… Where do rainbows come from?

  • Daniel

    As a Dem myself, let me just say how foolish you make yourself and the rest of us look to pretend you know anybody’s beliefs by affiliation alone.  I know plenty of Christian Republicans who fully believe in science, just as plenty of science following liberal Dems that spend every sunday in church.  

    How ignorant for you to lump and stereotype someone and then act as though you possess any kind of superior intelligence.  Seriously.  What a giant load of b.s.  Somebody has some growing up to do.  If not literally, at least in mind.

  • B.A.

    I get what you’re saying, but the church changes its mind about little things all the time; going along with what it tells me to believe is silly. I’d rather think for myself.

    And yeah, it’s true that I can’t 100% call myself a Catholic, but at this point, it’s mostly what I’m used to. It’s actually becoming easier lately for me to be able to pull away from that title. Still a believer, but honestly not sure if I could fit into a certain religious group at this point.

    Who knows? I’m just lucky enough to work Sundays so that I can avoid going to church with my family.

  • Troy Boyle

    Hear, hear! The freedom to express opinions, even unpopular opinions and vulgar opinions is absolute.