Libby Purves sneers at American atheists
The nation’s largest group of atheists and agnostics is suing President Bush, the governor of Wisconsin and other officials over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Friday in U.S. district court, arguing that the president’s mandated proclamations calling on Americans to pray violates a constitutional ban on government officials endorsing religion.
I read about this in Libby Purves’s Times Online column, where she wrote,
The Washington Post reports that a group of atheists in Wisconsin are suing President Bush for having a National Prayer Day. Its going to happen on the first Thursday in May and they tearfully say it will create ‘a “hostile environment for nonbelievers, who are made to feel as if they are political outsiders”.
Tearfully? Purves gets snottier about the non-religious by the week. There’s no mention of any tears in the article and, by using the term, Purves suggests that American atheists are a bunch of weepy wimps. The fact is that the US is supposed to be a secular state, that Bush has no business endorsing religion, and that US atheists are subjected to all sorts of abuse, even death threats. Since Richard Dawkins started his “Out” campaign, many more have bravely asserted their atheism, but the extent of the poisonous vilification they experience is probably something that Purves wouldn’t understand or accept. After all, she’s so nice to non-believers, isn’t she?