Illinois Democrat and State Representative: Atheism is extremely dangerous, contrary to America, and atheists have no place in politics
Illinois Democrat and State Representative Monique Davis recently aggressively maligned atheist activist Rob Sherman and all atheists with the following statement during a hearing over a $1 million state grant to preserve a historic Baptist church:
“I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings…I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois…This is the land of Lincoln where people believe in God…What you have to spew and apread is extremely dangerous…It’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!…Get out of that seat! You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.”
Keith Olbermann, for one, did not think much of these comments. In fact, he found them so ignorant and uncalled for that he gave Davis the honour of being his “Worst Person in the World” for the day. Olbermann was exasperated that Davis would accuse atheism of being dangerous. He charged that Davis owes the witness, Sherman, and everyone in the US who believes in freedom of religion an apology, “And if she cannot figure that out, she should resign, and take her prejudice with her.” Olbermann also suggests that Davis needs to brush up on her American History. Davis made her statements on Lincoln in the city of Springfield, which was where Lincoln was accused by his electoral opponent of being an atheist (…which is a bad thing, remember…). Olbermann’s response to this American History blunder was to say that Davis not only “spat” on freedom of religion in America, but also “made a damn fool” of herself.
A few additional remarks about Davis’ statements:
Firstly, I don’t know what she has against reason, but some of us don’t have much against it.
Secondly, atheism is not a philosophy any more than is a lack of belief in Santa Claus or martians. Atheism on its own is devoid of any ideas on morality, ethics, meaning, value, purpose, how to organize a society, raise a child, or live one’s own life. Atheist moral ideas, such as those embraced by Secular Humanism, are based on the application of reason to considerations of rights, freedoms and well-being of agents – the self and others. The roots of morality, essentially, are reason, empathy, and a genuine respect for oneself and others.
Hat Tip: The Friendly Atheist
Davis has apologized to Sherman. Nevertheless, her outburst is a reflection of a sobering mindset shared by many in America today.