Link to the HuffPo clip.

Here’s a link to the HuffPo segment. They had a believer on! Oh what fun!  :D

Obviously I thought she was way off base with literally every word that escaped her lips.  I’ll do a post about it tomorrow, when I’m finally home again.  I also thought Frank got some stuff wrong, but was very pleased with Ron Lindsey.  He picked up on challenging the believer’s very suspicious “data” which allowed me to focus on holding her feet to the fire on what was true and about what real hope looks like.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Nate Frein

    My word…Carol was an idiot…

    • Nate Frein

      Excellent ending note, btw.

  • baal

    Holy Jinkies! Carol was really offended and she’s a psychologist? I expect people from that profession to have a tight hold on their emotional outbursts as part of the qualifications for the job.

    She was also suggesting that we should start with a fearful world view and that religious gives you structure to be less afraid of the world. This is so wrongful I have trouble forming my objection (JT did great at the end of the huff-po clip). Chiefly, why start with fear? You could start with the notion that you (the child) are a capable human being and you can rely on yourself and others to get through the problems that will happen. Shocking right?

    • baal

      Oh, Carol’s big stumper for the rest of the (heavily atheist leaning!) group was the atheists-don’t-exist-in-foxholes card and we all go crying to god the second we start mourning.

      • Glodson

        That’s bullshit.

        I know that when I admitted to myself that I was an atheist, my grandmother died. I mourned her, she’s dead and gone. She had a good life, a long life. It hurt, but I never turned to god. Nor did I turn to any god when my great-grandmother died.

        And I’m not the only one. By far. This stupidity is nothing more than projection, she should know better.

  • RobMcCune

    Like many online gatherings of atheists, this one was also derailed by a believer spouting tropes. JT, if you’re on with her again you might want to bring a bingo card.

  • cafeeine

    I just want to point out how different things are when there are two sides of a story represented. Carol may have been correct that she was underrepresented by the rest of the panel, but note how she was saying nothing else than what was going on 6 years ago in this clip fron Paula Zahn:
    Carol was expecting to get the same uncritical acceptance to her claims as Schlussel did in that clip and was surprised when people actually called her on them.

    • baal

      Wow, illustrative comparison cafeeine. I forced myself to listen to the 2 minute mark so that I’d hear from each of the panelists. #1′s first point, when will the atheist stop, at getting ‘in god we trust’ off the money and ‘under god’ out of the pledge, they already got god out of the schools. #2 I’m jewish but atheists need to recognize it’s a christian country like I have. #3 was a bit better with: believe what you want to believe but I believe in the lord like everyone here does.

  • Beutelratti

    I grew up pretty much the way Mr. Schaeffer described. I was read bible stories, I learnt about Greek mythology, but I was never told “There is no god”, and neither was I told “There is without any doubt a god”, yet I was never confused, I never missed anything and I never lacked any “tradition”.

    I think Ms Lieberman has a very debilitating view of children as a whole. What I experienced is that I didn’t need absolute answers. It was okay to hear “I don’t know”, it was okay to see that your beloved mommy did not have all the answers. It was totally okay. I didn’t need to be told all the answers. I was okay thinking about them myself, even if the answers I found might have been limited due to my age.
    I think that being able to tell your children “I don’t know” is a big part of enabling them to question the world around them, to learn about it themselves, to experience it themselves. That is what I learned by not being given absolute answers to all of my questions and I wouldn’t want to miss it.

    And as far as tradition goes I didn’t lack any feeling of belonging and neither did I feel like I didn’t know where I come from.
    We went to church on Christmas (and only on Christmas) for a while but my parents stopped once my brother and I said we didn’t want to go anymore. It didn’t take any sense of tradition from me though, Christmas was still the same Christmas. It was family, tons of cookies and presents. That was Christmas and it was fine.

    The difference between indoctrination and the way I was raised is simple: My upbringing was not an absolute. My parents always gave me the chance to find my own way. They didn’t baptise me but when some friends around me got confirmation they again told me that it was up to me, they would support me if I wanted to get baptised and confirmed. I didn’t. I chose not to do it, not because of my parents, but because I had acquired the skills to choose for myself.

    I also attended the compulsory religious classes in school. They are a lot less secular here than they are in Scandinavia though. You (or rather your parents) get to choose between protestant religion, catholic religion and ethics. Ethics was pretty much a comparative religious class. I went to protestant class but it was also not about teaching kids to believe in god. It was about teaching them about the bible and teaching them to form their own view. You weren’t ostracised for criticism, in fact many of my religious teachers offered their criticism and asked for our opinions. And yes, our protestant teachers discussed other world religions with us as well. I don’t know what went on in catholic class though.
    What I’m trying to say though is that you can absolutely teach about religions in school without indoctrinating children for either side. I never once felt pressured by my parents or by my teachers to pick one side or the other. I was on the middle ground until I had informed myself well enough to chose one side.

  • AmyC

    She kept making “gasping” sounds while everybody else was talking. What was that about? Was she surprised or offended that other people didn’t agree with her?

  • Fenicks

    If this panel is any way representative of the reasonableness of our country as a whole, especially with the comparison cafeeine provided us, then this video alone has given me hope. Who needs god for that when we have JT?

  • Bruce

    JT was great at the end, in pointing out that her appeal to “tradition” was invalid.
    If “children knowing where they came from” in terms of tradition were valid, that would imply that nobody could ever have a view on religion that was different from their grandparents. In addition to eliminating mixed marriages, this would have implied that no Jews, Greeks, or Romans should ever have converted to Christianity in the first century, because then their kids wouldn’t “know where they came from.”
    This is all just another example of a Christian being unable to imagine any situation other than their own dominance of the entire culture.
    And by the way, she had a pitifully weak appeal to two of the four commandments that are essentially human universals. She had no awareness of the issues, and appeared not to have ever absorbed anything from any comparative religion courses herself.