Robertson: Atheists Want People To Be Miserable And To Steal “Your Holiday”

We have previously discussed the war on atheists and agnostics that seems to be accelerating with the rise of people claiming to have no religious affiliation or belief in God in the United States, according to recent polls. There is a steady stream of statements from the national and international campaign by leaders against atheists, who appear to be fair game for hateful, ill-informed rhetoric. While you may have seen this already, Pat Robertson pushed this trend to a new low: telling his many viewers that atheists want to everyone to be miserable because they are miserable. They therefore what “to steal your holiday [Christmas] away from you.”

Here are his words of wisdom:

It’s, well, Christmas all over again. The Grinch is trying to steal our holiday. It’s been so beautiful, the nation comes together, we sing Christmas carols, we give gifts to each other, we have lighted trees, and it’s just a beautiful thing. Atheists don’t like our happiness, they don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable, so they want you to be miserable. So they want to steal your holiday away from you.

There is obviously a rising concern among political and religious leaders that faith is declining in society. Thus, even though the non-religous is now a majority in places like England, politicians are ratcheting up such rhetoric. Robertson’s rhetoric is particularly raw and inciteful, as are comparisons of atheists and agnostics to terrorists. It is an ironic twist. The effort to leave religious expressions to each citizen (as opposed to religious displays by the government) is viewed as a war on religion. There remains an insistence that the government affirm religious — and generally Christian — values and objects of faith. Robertson’s comments not only reflect a surprising insecurity as to the place of religion but an open hostility to those who want their government to be secular-based.

146 thoughts on “Robertson: Atheists Want People To Be Miserable And To Steal “Your Holiday””

  1. (Ariel,

    Let me try again. (I feel so stupid, please don’t agree!) 🙂

    You said simply that you “´liked Pat R because he made you laugh.” (paraphrase?)

    I pulled Lenny out because I like Lenny too. In fact I have a nice lately collected stuff from Amazon.

    But even if I did like him, I would not give him carte blanche, which is what Pat R wants, and I felt you gave. My mistake there!

    An admittedly poor argument which I tried to take any sting out of, and should have pulled the plug on.

    My tendency to quibble is embarassing at times. Ach ach! mea culpa.
    =============

    All the rest of your answer: ” and by the jarring juxtaposition with “Your Show of Shows” and “The Steve Allen Show” etc., was totally not in play from my side. I don’t even recall him being mentioned by either of us. The only forcing I was referring to was Pat R’s desire to force the American citizenry to do his bidding. Nothing to do with you and I at all.
    ==============

    i posted a Wiki excerpt on the Shtetl and jewish analysis tradition and the possibilities to communicate paragraphs by just a nod or a glance between peers. (Doctors consulting over an ECG!)

    I did not make my point clearly then. Quoting the except was to point to the difficulties we have using just the blunt instruments of words here. My unfortunate attempt (obviously in terms of reaching you) to communicate reinforces at least my difficulty.

    Contrast this with the minimal way old regulars here exchange ideas—no names given.

    It is a complicated problem, including other personal factors. Congruency in reference points and POVs are important, but not always necessary either.

    Hope I have not added to the confusion.

    And thanks for the Lenny quote. Bingo!

  2. oh for gods sake, more religious & spiritual people trying to paint athiests in the Marx-Lenin corner. Most of us just like the sciences. All of them.

    Just because religious people have to control others in totalitarian structures does not mean the 21st Century agnostic or atheist has that same goal.
    Reality based people tend to move on when something is proven to be a failure. As Einstein said, ‘repeating the same action expecting a different result is insanity’. Sure, there are insane people of every philosophy. but stop using such a broad brush.

  3. idealist707,
    “I like Lenny Bruce, but I would not like my kids to go in his church/synagogue/nightclub/cussing class. Nor do I think thah Lenny wanted to force me to obey his own commands.” You did shake me up because I didn’t bring Lenny up, and by the jarring juxtaposition with “Your Show of Shows” and “The Steve Allen Show”. Cursing was never an issue, in fact Allen considered cursing as a comedic hook lacking in intelligence (if you look up Allen, this guy was the smartest and most well rounded of all comedians, while liking slapstick and silliness).

    Lenny, for all his cursing, gave us a quote that applied in 1770 America and all the way to today: “In the Halls of Justice, the only justice is in the halls”. If I could remember a good Mort Sahl quote I’d include it too.

    As for this: ‘”Nor do I think thah Lenny wanted to force me to obey his own commands. You get the idea, so don’t take it personal.” I don’t want to force you to obey my commands, I have neither taser nor nightstick and my arms can’t reach to Scandinavia so your safe. How ever forcefully I may express myself, I just want you to argue back. That’s fun. Be as forceful as you wish on something you believe your arguments support, or what your sense of right and wrong demands. Just don’t deprive me of the same rights in argument…So, unless you do, nothing personal here. Lenny was a good point.

    You can’t force someone unless by the barrel of a gun, even if you try to force by will. It’s a metaphor.

  4. Bron,

    I have dictionaries going back to the 1930s, after searching on-line then hitting the books, I can’t find a justification for your “all people are spiritual and will fill that space with something. A tree, a frog, an elephant, whatever is handy. Atheists arent (sic) any different. They just fill that space a different way.”

    Spiritual is too specific in meaning. If you expand it to “filled with awe”, sometimes called spiritual, I can go for agreement. Canyonlands, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Red-Rock Country, and the ultimate awe the Grand Canyon, all humble me. But it is a materialistic humbling, not a supernatural one.

    Now as for dogma, the ultimate filling of that space is Marxist-Leninism.

  5. Ariel,

    Good points except the last one bothers me.

    I like Lenny Bruce, but I would not like my kids to go in his church/synagogue/nightclub/cussing class. Nor do I think thah Lenny wanted to force me to obey his own commands.

    You get the idea, so don’t take it personal.
    I like Obama too, but dislike his stance on NDAA, executions w/o trial, etc.

    If I hung myself up unnecessartily just say so.

  6. I always look at the question of atheism as a three-tined fork. Atheists: easiest and likely the best is that atheists do not believe in gods, no reference to religion other than that; the next tine is no belief in the supernatural, and I haven’t known an atheist yet that does though they may like the show (I do mythology can be fun); the last tine, dogma, any atheist can have dogma (a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds).

    As for the 700 Club, it’s like “Your Show of Shows” and the “Steve Allen Show”. Just totally oblivious to it’s precursors. I like Pat Robertson, he makes me laugh.

  7. ahhhh patty boy! I do dearly hate to write, but when I do I charge nothing and let the creative thinkers choose their ways.

    hitler did the same as patty boy is doing now which is waiting for the day that they die to find out if GOD is real or not.

    people do not know what I have done nor if I contacted the president to read this site or not, so they do not know why I write what I do.

    one nation under GOD would include all nations and every atheists to zulu learning that.

    something had to make the rocks in the universe and even patty boy and the poopy pope do not understand…

    …since the end of times could mean that the mayan calender was written. then the end of times could mean that the mayan calender could tell you about the past. or it could mean that the calender merely starts over…, you will all make your own decisions no matter what I tell you.

    the battle between satan and GOD would be done before your very eyes. do your congress men listen to GOD or the antichrists.

    I also see a lot of very creative thinking. and trust this: nobody wants to know every thing. to have to think about the future I have think about why you don’t have to worry about things because you won’t be here…

    the trend seems to be if I write a book and charge you for it you will believe it. you should get a hold of the one that said that I need to use a comma on television a few years ago.
    why should I meet with the president if he will kneel before ME.
    draw your own conclusions, but the secret service will not search ME.

    since I left off at john seems to have skipped this bit. you have to know that being GOD is a full time job and I am a carpenter. and on the eighth day I went to work again…

  8. For example; you must come to church service on a Saturday.

    wgeb ALL jobs require working on a Saturday..

    Hope you aaw my earlier comment summarizing all religions.

    One of the Dogs said he liked it.

    So, finally I ask—What was your point? I did not get it.

    Duh!

  9. Frankly,

    Thanks. I love Bible quotations, sometimes to console myself or to taunt “Christians”.

    I don’t remember the “hundred fold” increase in our time. Guess he could not deliver on that.
    But lets blame it on the church. But then the principles of obeying nutty ideas is in the theology too.

    For example; you must come to church service on a Saturday.

  10. 707 – not to make light of your situation but JC did ask this of his followers
    Matthew
    19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

    Mark
    10:29-30 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

    Luke
    18:29-30 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

    John seems to have skipped this bit

  11. With considerable irony, I thnnk Hubert for showing so well one confused version of what we were railing against.

    There he lay it, odiferously reeking, in the middle of the holiday cheer or the calm of being right with your fellow mankind (a little bit anyway). I won’t give it a name, but you know what object that I am implying.

    It was a shock to see. To take it in through all the channels that MikeS reminded us that we are composed of, each according to how they are.

    Hubert is beyond cure, and perhaps also dangerous. Certainly emotionally to others. The list of potential examples are endless.

    A personal one. His followers of Jesus succeeded in enticing my pop to follow them and abandon his family, with a newborn and a ten year old.

    Now that was nice of them. Jesus needed the father’s proselytizing more than his family did his support. Thanks Hubert and JC.

  12. all people are spiritual and will fill that space with something. A tree, a frog, an elephant, whatever is handy.

    Atheists arent any different. They just fill that space a different way.

  13. Raff,

    It’s always been my contention…. After being burned….. Life’s experience that is…. Those that proclaim to be the most devote are the ones you need to watch out for…..

  14. What Gene said!

    Hubert – I get what Patty’s game is, there are huge bucks to be made shearing the flock, but your angle escapes me. All I ask is that you do not use OUR government to push YOUR religion on me. I repay that by not having OUR government push MY religious beliefs on anyone. How that constitutes a suppression of your free speech is an exercise best left to magicians.

    Neither I nor any atheist I know has ever started a conversation with something like “Have you rejected god from your life?” Neither do we knock on doors demanding to discuss out lack of belief in a Great Cosmic Muffin. No standing on street corners screaming verses from “The God Delusion”. We do not demand money from non-beliveres to support a useless class of clerics nor appear on TV telling you how to think, vote, not-pray or . . . well just about any of the laundry list of sins foisted on us by the God botherers.

    I’d say I am much more content with my beliefs than the God botherers are. They appear to be so insecure that they insist I believe what they do. Thats where we come to contretemps. Celebrate the pagan rituals of Solstices (Since Jesus was not born on Dec 25) any way you choose. Just don’t ask OUR government to pay for or promote your Pagan rituals Saturnalia trees Yule logs etc

  15. 1) Atheism by definition is not a religion, but an absence of religion. It is a choice protected by the same clause of the 1st Amendment that also protects your choice of Christianity.

    2) Our government, and by extension the courts, is a secular institution by the the terms of the Constitution and this intent is evidenced by multiple writings of the Founders on the subject of separation of church and state, most notably James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. The Free Exercise Clause guarantees your personal choice on whether and what god you choose to believe in and the Establishment Clause prevents the government from forcing others beliefs upon you and others from having your beliefs forced upon them by force of law.

    3) The myth the Christmas is “under attack” is just that: a myth. No one is stopping anyone from celebrating Christmas if that is their choice. It’s simply a fact that not everybody celebrates Christmas nor are they required to by law. Why can’t Christianity be happy with their own beliefs?

    4) Enthusiasm is not required.

    5) By definition, atheism has no dogma as atheism rejects authority:

    dogma /ˈdɒgmə/, n.,
    a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true:

    That being said, there are fanatical atheists who thrive on attacking those who practice religion, but they are the lunatic fringe of atheism much like those Fundamentalist Christians (or Fundamentalist Muslims, or Fundamentalist Whatever) who attack those who don’t share their beliefs like say atheism, but no one choosing atheism is required to do anything – from wearing magic underwear, to kissing a ring, to believing the Bible is the literal word of God, to persecuting others who disagree with their religious choices to the point they do something really annoying . . . like proselytize.

    But there is no “War on Christmas” ™ (c) (FAUXNews, 2008).

    Celebrate it how you wish.

    Or don’t.

    Your choice.

  16. Frankly bleated:
    “Yes, unless these God botherers are allowed to ram their beliefs into everyones lives they are being threatened.”

    Let’s contrast Christianity with atheism. One attempts to enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of religion while atheism twists and inverts and perverts laws and uses the courts and activist judges to “ram their beliefs into everyone’s lives”. Anyone who can read news articles on the internet and watch news on the TV can witness the examples of freedom of religion being stifled. Of course now we have the usual attack on Christmas, this time of the year.

    The religion of atheism is miserable. Apparently it cannot rest unless it is debating the existence of God. Wait, I thought atheism was the belief there is no God. Why can’t atheism be happy in its own belief? There is no enthusiasm in atheism. Well, there can’t be enthusiasm, since the word “enthusiasm” is rooted in meaning “in or with God”. The religious, dogmatic beliefs of atheism must require it to actively pursue people of faith, and force its warped view on everyone – with the help of the court system.

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