I don’t actually watch any television news shows anymore but I found this story here and there and I thought it was interesting. On a segment of a show called “Follow the Money”, hosted by Eric Boller reported on the efforts of the Freedom from Religion Foundation to compel a town in Texas to take down a nativity scene. Eric Boller interviewed Dan Barker, and the exchange became so acrimonious that Boller told him to leave, after only three minutes.
During a dialogue with FFRF spokesperson Dan Barker (who is married to FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor), “Follow the Money” host Eric Bolling was so dumbfounded by the group’s anti-Jesus views that he ended up booting the atheist-spokesperson off of the program. Mediaite’s Colby Hall called the moment a “‘War on Christmas’ miracle!”
At the center of the discussion was a Texas nativity scene that the Madison, Wisconsin-based FFRF has been demanding be torn down immediately. During the dialogue, Barker claimed that America is not a Christian nation and that the nativity should not be present on government property. He went on to say that the nativity represents “an insult to human nature that we are all doomed and damned.”
It was this comment that commenced the uncomfortable exchange between Bolling and Barker. “Sir, I have to take exception to the way you’ve described the nativity scene. It’s not an insult. It’s certainly not an insult to me. I’m a Christian,” Bolling explained. “It is an insult, sir,” Barker countered. At this point, the interview continued, as Bolling sought to move on to another question. But it didn’t take long for Barker to, once again, push Bolling’s buttons.
“Why was Jesus born? To save us from our sins. What an insult that we are degraded, depraved human beings — that Jesus created a hell — a place or torture,” Barker quipped. “And how would you feel if you didn’t believe that… superstition?”
Bolling interrupted the insults and abruptly ended the interview. Here is the video.
Conservatives seem to be overjoyed that Dan Barker was asked to leave. I am not so sure it was the right thing for Eric Bolling to do. This is sure to be spun as “ignorant Christian throws Atheist off show because he can’t stand the truth”. Still, notice how quick Barker was to resort to insults, when they weren’t necessary and even when asked to stop. I have to wonder, what is it about these people that they seem to be so angry and bitter? What knid of a person looks at a nativity scene and thinks it is an insult to human nature? This is one of the reasons that I am not an atheist. I always assumed, perhaps wrongly, that people in possession of the truth would be happy. I also have no desire to join the legions of the permanently aggrieved.
One interesting point. That town in Texas said they would take down the nativity scene when Hell freezes over. According to Dante, the bottommost circle of Hell, reserved for traitors, is frozen.
And, regarding Benjamin Franklin’s religious views, they are actually hard to categorize. He wasn’t an Atheist, or even a Deist. He admitted in his autobiography that he explored Deism in his youth but found it was not “useful”. He was not an orthodox Christian. The best I can tell is that Franklin was a practical worldly man who valued religion for its role in upholding public morality rather than for any spiritual truths.
Still, in the spirit of the holidays, I would like to suggest a compromise. The Atheists should let Christians put up nativity scenes to celebrate Christmas, and in return the Atheists can pick one day out of the year to celebrate Atheism and put up any appropriate displays. I suggest April 1.
- Atheists squeeze nativity scenes from Calif. park – CBS News (cbsnews.com) real nice of them