The original title for this post was “Who the fuck is this guy, and how did he get on TV?” which is what I exclaimed when watching the clip. But I have an agreement with Patheos not to curse in the titles of my blog posts.
David Silverman was on Fox News the other day with some dude named Marius Forte to discuss the American Atheists billboard in Times Square. Forte didn’t want to do that. He did want to prattle on at tremendous length about all sorts of unrelated things. He opens with a roundabout way of calling atheists closed-minded.
The host wasn’t keeping Forte on point or stopping his monologues, so Dave took initiative. Good on him. Let’s just break down a few of the things Forte had to say. The first hint that this guy may not have shown up to the battle of wits with any weaponry was this exchange:
But then he kept going. He used the argument that atheists cannot perceive the truth of the bible because we’re not attuned to it. So while it may seem silly to us, if we were either just open-minded (which we are) or if we already believed it (self-fulfilling prophecy), it would seem perfectly reasonable.
Forte then says we must invite god in, which most atheists have done. We’re not opposed to the idea of god’s existence, there’s just no good evidence for it. I’m not opposed to the existence of smurfs, unicorns, gods, or anything. I just need evidence.
Forte then does what every other “War on Christmas” person has been doing: tries to insist that there is a proper way to celebrate Christmas. The irony is that while they’re telling others how they are to celebrate, they are offended at the billboard which tells others they can celebrate it in different ways. It’s a complete double standard. They’re allowed to dictate how others celebrate, but others aren’t even allowed to suggest that you enjoy it for egg nog instead of the Christian myth.
He then asserts that because Christianity has influenced part of our culture that we’re in a Christian nation. He tries the driver’s license example and points out that the government takes Sundays off. Apparently having a similarity to Christian groups of the past makes us a Christian nation. I wonder what the corollary of that would look like? The traditional Christian Sabbath was on Saturday, so by Forte’s logic this means the United States rejects Christianity. We do not forbid the creation of graven images, so by Forte’s logic the USA rejects Christianity. That list could go on and on, and it’s much longer than the list of things our laws share with Christianity (just look at how illegal it would be to implement most of the ten commandments). And this is ignoring everything our founders did in opposition to the establishment/favor of any particular religion.
Seriously, how did this guy get on TV?
This comment on my facebook from Sam Lamb had to be shared:
Of course, since the Gospels were written in Greek, and this guy probably doesn’t speak Greek, by his own Goethe argument, this man cannot possibly understand the Gospel.