Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Prejudice against atheism

Gregg Easterbrook of Tuesday Morning Quarterback fame recently spewed some anti-atheist diatribe in one of his NFL columns for

In Easterbrook's twisted view, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are "anti-faith jihadis: they don't just want to argue against the many faults of Christianity, they want faith forbidden." Note the lack of supporting quotes in his piece for that claim -- that's because there aren't any. Both Dawkins and Harris argue for atheism, and against religious belief, but not once have they -- or any other prominent atheist I'm aware of -- ever claimed faith should be forbidden by government. Note too how TMQ calls atheists "jihadis," even though that term applies to a specific form of faith-based war. Oooh, clever.

Oh, and he also manages to sneak in another anti-atheist dig by noting that Europe's "worship-service attendance figures are troubling" -- right after spending a paragraph praising Europe for personal freedom and self-expression equal to America's, prosperity that is nearly as high, daily stress that is lower, cultural institutions equal to or superior to ours, and for being "more open-minded than most of America about enjoyment of our one brief chance at life." The fact that there may be a connection between those qualities and Europe's "troubling" worship attendance seems to have eluded him.

For bonus points, in the same column he also manages to offer some facile criticism of people who enjoy The Sopranos and spoil the ending to Harry Potter.

I used to enjoy reading TMQ. A few years ago, he got in trouble for railing against "Michael Eisner, a Jew" for allowing Disney to make violent movies, but I didn't hold it against him -- maybe because I'm an atheist. Now that I've been tarred too, I think I'm done with him.


Blogger AJH said...

Thanks for pointing this out. I like reading Easterbrook even though I don't always agree with him. I think I'll send him an email about this one. Did you know he's Judge Frank Easterbrook's brother?

1:09 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Yes. Interesting family.

9:47 PM  

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