Cenk Uygur on Truth in Media and Atheist Missionaries

At the American Humanist Association’s 71st annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 8th, 2012, The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur received the Humanist Media Award. The following excerpts are from his acceptance speech:

Cenk Uygur

Now, I understand there aren’t a lot of open agnostics or atheists or humanists on TV, which is part of the reason I’m here. And I watch Bill O’Reilly from time to time, and whenever he uses the term “secular humanist,” he spits it out: those ssssecular humanists. I don’t get it — secularism is great. I mean, even if you’re religious, you shouldn’t want to mix religion and government. One, it hurts your religion overall; and two, which religion gets to dictate the law? And then with the term humanist — who’s against human beings?

The truth is, when agnostics or atheists or humanists come out on national television and say they don’t believe in a god it offends people. (You know what offends me? When people say I’m going to be eternally tortured by Satan, ostensibly because I don’t believe in him or his better half.) So why do I speak out when others don’t, on this issue and others as well? Because I think you should tell the audience what’s true.

What if we… sent missionaries all across the world saying, “Hey! This is not a dry run. Whether you believe in a god or you don’t, live this life.” United, we can make a difference, whether it’s in politics, whether it’s in the media, or whether it’s in this fantasy I have of missionary work for humanists.

(via The Humanist)


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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.


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