Bill Donahue is an asshole. Here’s video proof:
And here we go. Donahue says…
“Intelligent people, what we do…”
Bear in mind, the slight on Silverman’s intelligence is coming from a guy who believes a willingness to burn a person for all of eternity because they were unconvinced a guy rose from the dead amounts to “love”. How can David Silverman be intelligent if he doesn’t believe a guy rose from the dead, walked on water, and that an old guy elected by a panel of mortals is god’s vicar on earth?
When Silverman called Donahue on insulting his intelligence, Donahue responded “I’m not sure how much intelligence you have”, all with the smarmy smile of a second grader who thinks he’s won an argument by calling his opponent a poo-poo face.
Donahue then calls for tolerance. This coming from a person who thinks homosexuality is to blame for priests raping children. You can imagine what Donahue, who calls for tolerance when Silverman doesn’t just take the insult in silence, thinks about gays and their rights.
Donahue then tells Silverman he has to understand tolerance for his freedom of speech. Apparently the freedom to say whatever you want means the freedom for Bill Donahue to not get called out on it when he insults someone else. Silverman didn’t tell Donahue he couldn’t say incorrect or offensive things (the way Donahue has, in the past, said groups shouldn’t be allowed to say or post offensive things about the Catholic Church), he just said he was wrong. In Bill Donahue’s world this amounts to infringing on his freedom to say the flagrantly wrong things he does.
Then, referring to the billboard (which admonishes people to live a good life in the here and now), Donahue says “It says you don’t believe in anything”. This is immediately contradicted by the obvious belief that people should live a good life in the here and now. Even if we didn’t put out stamp of approval on 90% of the things on wikipedia on top of that, we at least believe in one thing. By not believing the impossible tales from 2,000 years ago we don’t immediately abandon belief in everything else. Obviously. This is the guy that insulted someone else’s intelligence just a few sentences before.
“If you want to say you believe in nothing, I say you could. I know you stand for nothing. I know you’re good for nothing. So we agree.”
For someone who is so sure of his own intelligence, it’s fascinating that reading comprehension eludes Bill Donahue. The billboard says “Enjoy life now: There is no afterlife”. Donahue reads this and gets an admonishment that atheists stand for nothing and are good for nothing (otherwise how could he “agree” with those sentiments?). I guess this shouldn’t be too surprising for a guy who reads the commands of the bible to kill various people and comes away thinking it says to not kill them.
What’s more, any fair-minded person with even a modicum of intelligence (read: not Bill Donahue) would read that billboard and, if nothing else, arrive at the conclusion that atheists support enjoying life now. So we stand for at least one thing – that one thing being the entire point and the entire content of the billboard. And yet he agrees that atheists stand for nothing…I can’t tell if he’s so determined to be an asshole that it overrides his kindergarten education, or if he’s just and asshole and an idiot.
Then, when the host points out that atheism is one the rise in America, Donahue says “Most of them aren’t atheists. They’re indifferent. They’re not like you.” I’m not sure what this was meant to achieve. I guess aside from not believing in god, atheists aren’t indifferent…sounds like an attempt at a compliment to atheists, even if it’s based on a conspicuously false premise. There’s no word for people who don’t believe in god, but are indifferent, that differs from “atheist”. All being an atheist means is that you don’t believe in god. There are atheists who are indifferent, atheists who think religion is grand, etc. They’re all atheists because they don’t believe in god.
Like Amanda Knief, Silverman keeps it classy (but honest) even in the face of a hyper-aggressive interlocutor. And any day now, religion will make the hyper-faithful Bill Donahue a better person. That’s what it’s supposed to do, right? Because right now, it seems like Donahue’s religion is making him much, much worse.