A Growing Group for Atheists in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Atheists got some very positive coverage recently on a local news channel:

I know they want to appear fair and balanced, but was it really necessary to put a token pastor on camera to spout random phrases about God? He believes in God! Faith is important! He looks to the Bible for guidance!

Sometimes, you really don’t need to show an alternative side to the story.

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.ray.18 Roger Ray

    coulda been worse. coulda been on news9. a station that’s proudly and blatantly republican and fundamentalist. they woulda done a spin job so bad a tornado would fling us to Kansas.

    • Jim

      News9? Interesting comment because I was thinking the same for KFOR (4). (I wish KFOR could have one news story without using the word “shocking”.) Actually, I’m surprised that this aired on any Oklahoma City station. The atheist billboards from a couple of years back got slammed by all of the local TV stations.

  • Mario Strada

    At least they didn’t do a piece on Atheist without a single one being present as CNN did some time ago. I need to go find it on youtube but I am sure many of you remember it.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Overall, the report depicted the atheists as decent, positive human beings. The pizza and the companionship looked good too.

    Near the end, Reverend Random Pastor said, “There comes a time in our lives when we have to choose some things by faith.”

    Lately, I’m becoming increasingly aware of such cliché imperative claims about life or people tossed casually about, as if they’re utterly obvious and undeniable. These platitudes are so common I think we’ve come to ignore them like “Have a nice day.”

    Reverend, why is a choice based only on faith inevitable and unavoidable? Who says so, you?

    Recently I heard another of these: “Everybody worships something, so if atheists don’t worship God, they must worship themselves.” Uh, no, not everybody worships something, just as not everybody takes some kind of recreational drug, or not everybody drives some kind of a car, or not everybody wears some kind of plaid.

    Conceptual provincialism. There are more ways of dealing with life than just those available in your tiny inner mountain village.

    • anniewhoo

      Yes, I found the reverend’s comment about needing faith at some point to make a choice silly. I wish the reporter would have asked, “Can you give us one example?”

      • http://www.facebook.com/roger.ray.18 Roger Ray

        this Oklahoma just be happy he wasn’t strongly agreeing with him.

    • Haha USA

      Religion hasn’t been able to come up with any convincing arguments for its existence in several thousand years. It is therefore no surprise that this man of god is sprouting bullshit as justification for his childish beliefs.

    • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

      “Conceptual provincialism,” I like it! I’ll have to remember that one.

  • anniewhoo

    I hope I live to see the day when the mere notion that atheists exist is not newsworthy.

  • http://twitter.com/WoodwindsRock Emma

    You mean I’m not the only Atheist in Oklahoma? Lol… Just kidding, I know I’m not. I still feel so alone, either way.

    Anyway, this still came off a bit biased… Like by the announcer saying that the man needed more faith. If that wasn’t slanted, I don’t know what is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.bauman Roger Bauman

    Why did they have to have a Christian minister on? Why not a Muslim or a Hindu to vouch for the faith perspective? Oh yes, those are false faiths.

  • Cat’s Staff

    This follows the typical model for news reports talking about atheism. Maybe I’ll come up with a name for it, but it’s hard to find the exception maybe it doesn’t matter. It starts with religion, is interjected with religion, and ends with religion. See here for another example…follow along on your own…religion…atheism…religion…atheism…religion.

    • baal

      I was gagging on the intro from the newscaster, (paraphrase) “we here at the news station have right belief that OK is conservative christian, yes everyone of us, totally but…” The imagery of the piece was stained glass and the sound was Gregorian chant. Could we please have news coverage of atheists w/o the christian garb?

  • cipher

    I find it interesting that it’s acceptable for a TV anchorman to say, “Our state is conservative and Christian”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/roger.ray.18 Roger Ray

      to tell the truth. he likely would of received major hate mail if he didn’t start the story that way. hell as it is i can’t but wonder how many diesel trucks are headed his way for even doing the story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/garyacrowellsr Gary A. Crowell Sr.

    I love how, at the end, even the atheist’s desire to gather is apparently the will of god.


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