Pat Robertson and the Sikh Temple Shooting.

KnockEmOuttt's picture

The eternally obtuse Pat Robertson has blamed the recent shooting at a Sikh temple on atheism and atheists. What a myopic generalization.

It doesn't surprise me that Robertson would take a Christian man's attack on Sikhs whom he's mistaken to be Muslim as an opportunity to debase atheists. Pat Robertson loves a chance to tell the world he's holier than them. Unfortunately, he's still got a rather large following who agree. Still, his assertion that atheism is to blame for this attack has got to be one of the most ridiculous accusations I've heard from him in a while.


Now I could see him making such statements if the shooter had been an atheist. Religious folks have a tendency to hold all atheists responsible for the actions of one. The difference is that Wade Michael Page was likely not an atheist. He had tattoos of a cross and of a Celtic knot, commonly a symbol of the Holy Trinity. The evidence suggests that Wade Michael Page was far from an atheist. Add this to his white supremacist values, and the motives for his attack are rather clear.


But this, as Mr. Robertson would have you think, must certainly be the result of atheism. We're the ones to blame because we "hate God." I must, however, disagree on this sentiment. How can one hate something they don't believe to exist? Atheists do not hate God, we just simply reject the belief. We're certainly not "angry" with ourselves, in fact I'd go so far as to say many of us are quite content with ourselves. The only thing we're truly angry at is people like Mr. Robertson, who have made it their personal quest to spread intolerance and hatred in the name of their religion.


Robertson's use of such a senseless, tragic event as fodder for his propaganda is absolutely tasteless and, dare I say it, evil. Atheism is not to blame for this crime. Wade Michael Page is. Simple as that. Unfortunately, there are people like Pat Robertson to turn the issue into something it's not, and to use it for his own ends. It's despicable, and it speaks volumes about the message he's trying to send.


Jenkins, chap with wings there, five rounds rapid!

Brian37's picture

I started my own OP ED in

I started my own OP ED in another thread on this very topic. But do agree with everything you've said. My op was more about the fallacy of demonizing atheists.

Although we use the word "Christian" because Pat Robertson says he is. This demonizing of the "outsider" is an unfortunate evolutionary trait of our species. It is a reflection of "in group" vs "out group". Even outside our species we see fear of one species who are prey to another, so that natural fear is a coping mechanism to avoid harm. In humans it creates safety in numbers, regardless if the common belief of that population is false. Just like belief in the sun being a god, served the Egyptians well in safety in numbers for 3,000 years, even though the sun was never a thinking being.


Pat unfortunately is doing what our species has done, even prior to the invention of the myths of Abraham. Turn the outsider into an enemy, demonize them, and that makes it much easier to do horrible things to the "outsider".

Muslims do this to Christians and atheists and Jews and even to "outsider" Muslims. Christians do it to Muslims and atheists. Christians even do it to other sects of Christianity. It is merely an unfortunate anthropomorphism of our species evolutionary grouping, mistaking nature for the divine.

But with the age of the internet, and the growing skepticism to this attitude, long term, this is a losing argument on Pat's part. It is merely the flat earther refusing to move into the future. And unfortunately, for all labels of religious who want to cling to the past myths and traditions, it always takes the skeptic to drag humanity into the future.

I think the most important thing progressives, atheist or theists can do to undermine this insidious logic, is to promote the idea that humans are all individuals and one claim on one issue a person might make is not the entire person themselves. If we can get more humans to separate themselves from the separate issue of a claim they might make, we can develop a more healthy attitude of judging claims as individual claims, and judging individuals as individuals.

We have never ceased to be the same species and all of us have the same common ancestors. Once more people accept that, and that we are not, as individuals, automatically good or bad, by proxy of label, the more we can see ourselves as the same species.

Pat will never get this because he is living in an archaic past. But our younger generations are more in tune with global diversity and less likely to buy into this bigoted bullshit.









"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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iwbiek's picture

lol  christ, that old

lol  christ, that old fucker got sikhs mixed up with muslims.  he'd have both sides ready to cut his throat over that one!

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson

i get where your coming from

 1 out of two of my parents is cristian and ever since the shooting by that loonatic she has been bringing it up in random conversation and is using it to accuse athiests like myself.