Top 10 Atheist Stories of 2013

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, reveals my Top Ten Stories of the year for atheists:

The list (with links):

10) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) swears in on the Constitution instead of the Bible.

9) Atheist bench unveiled in Florida in response to a Ten Commandments monument — and other non-Christian groups begin responding in kind.

8) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia admits he believes in the Devil.

7) Reddit atheism taken off front page.

6) Former Rep. Barney Frank comes out as an atheist after leaving office.

5) IRS gets sued for not enforcing rules forbidding churches from endorsing political candidates.

4) Joe Klein of Time magazine lies in a cover story, writing that Secular Humanists are nowhere to be found after a disaster — and the magazine only issues a half-hearted apology.

3) American Atheists’ President Dave Silverman becomes a regular panelist on Fox News Channel.

2) CNN’s Wolf Blitzer assumes tornado survivor is religious, only to have her tell him on live television, “I’m actually an atheist.”

1) The rise of the Sunday Assembly and atheist “congregations” everywhere.

Alright, let the debates begin!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!


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  • Dorothy

    did you intend for this to be only a US list? i’m a little disappointed that it’s not more global. only #7 and #1 are not strictly American

  • Randay

    You have a point, though I think that Hemant was directing his comments at the domestic audience which may be somewhat aware of these issues. Maybe another top 10 from outside the U.S. would be useful.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    very nice list hemant. i have put it up at a couple of blogs i read that aren’t atheism/religion centered. hope it goes viral.

  • WallofSleep

    “8) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia admits he believes in the Devil.”

    Like a 16 y/o that still believes in Santa Claus. Just sad.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Wolf Blitzer is #2? How underrepresented are we that we consider a lady saying “Actually I’m an atheist” the #2 story of the year? Makes us look desperate.

  • Jeff See

    Name one other person, during any broadcast showing of anything, (that wasn’t specifically notated as a discussion about to happen with an atheist), who came out and said “I’m actually an atheist”.

  • Taz

    To me the biggest element of the story is not the woman saying “actually I’m an atheist”, but Blitzer stating “still, you have to thank the Lord” even though he himself is Jewish.

  • Randay

    I wonder how many of those ex-soldiers helping out in Oklahoma are atheist. Joe Klein seems to have assumed that none of them are. If Klein and Blitzer looked a little, they could probably find some. A study of the rates of PTSD among soldiers between believers and non-believers might be interesting. It doesn’t mean that it would turn out in our favor and might not mean anything at all. They are all humans, so who knows how they handle extreme stress situations.

  • GeraardSpergen

    Joe Klein – overblown
    Reddit/atheism – big deal
    Atheist bench – meh
    Sunday assembly – non-issue

    My favorite story was the weeping Jesus tree that was really aphid poop… I thought that was right up there with Sanal Edamaruku’s debunking of the weeping Jesus statue (2012).

  • Jeff See

    Sweet, delicious, aphid poop.

    The biggest take-away from the aphid poop story? The quotes by people who stated that they did not care if people KNEW what the cause was; they intended to credit God with a miracle, regardless. Relentless ignorance, born of fear.

  • http://ripplingbrainwaves.blogspot.com/ Gideon

    I still can’t decide whether story 8 amuses me or irritates me. Because if the concept of a real Devil is so unbelievable and eye-rolling to the general public, then why doesn’t everyone react the exact same way to the concept of a real God? How do they justify the difference in treatment, other than their pure self-interested preferences?

  • Jeff See

    Because it makes people seem less crazy, when they believe in a ‘good’ guy, (Jesus, Santa, Spiderman), than when they believe in a ‘bad’ guy (Krumpus, Satan)? I dunno. Kind of like only believing a coin has one side.

  • emblues

    Not quite sure how I feel about the Sunday Assembly. I get really irritated when people call atheism a religion and thinking of atheist “churches” kinda rubs me the wrong way. But, I do think people have a right to do what they want as long as they are not hurting anyone else, so if they want to have an atheist “church” or “congregation” or whatever, they should be able to gather. I just hope it doesn’t give fodder to the idiots calling atheism a religion. Ugh.