As the Christians in the world celebrate Easter this weekend, and the Jews celebrate Passover, some of the world’s Atheists will gather in Memphis, TN this weekend to celebrate their freedom from religion, something protected in the First Amendment (but apparently invisible to the religious zealots who think their faith is the only thing protected in the constitution).
As a self-described Atheist-Jew (atheist for my lack of religious belief, Jew for the traditions and history of my family), I have a problem with organized religion as a whole, and the seeming goal of the evangelical, dominionist and other groups who believe it’s their right to foist their beliefs on the rest of us.
That said, I do have a problem with some “militant” atheists demeaning others who don’t believe (or not) as they do. I believe everyone is entitled to their own belief system without the faith police demanding that only their beliefs are valid. There’s more than enough blame to go around…
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” into law in Indiana late last week, incurring the wrath of millions who see it as legitimizing bigotry, in this case against gays.
“So this is a yes or no question,” the ABC host noted. “Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?”
Pence is the recipient of today’s “World’s Biggest Asshole” award.
Perhaps he should read Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post about inclusiveness and tolerance. That’s a start, anyway.
To counter the religious bigotry, I invited American Atheists president David Silverman on the show today. Their annual convention, happening this weekend in Memphis, got the attention of comedian, radio host and Muslim-American Dean Obeidallah, who took issue with the convention’s keynote speaker as well as the billboards it has up in Memphis.
Since we discussed those two tweets from Dean, I invited Dean back on the show – to appear with David Silverman or alone. As a fan, I know he’s open-minded enough to do it. Stay tuned.
In the first hour, the Center for Media & Democracy Executive Director Lisa Graves joined me to address my concerns after last week’s conversation with Van Jones about his bipartisan effort toward criminal justice reform. I suggest you listen to her segment as I can’t paraphrase… but she did let me know that my concern wasn’t unfounded.
Today, we learned who will succeed Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show when he leaves later this year — Trevor Noah. Enjoy!