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Fox News: Atheists = Communists

Some git named Alice Stewart has an op-ed on the Fox News website about the non-existent War on Christmas and she reveals both her irrationality and complete lack of ethics and intellectual honesty. Let’s start with the irrational part, in the very first paragraph:

Unlike the Norman Rockwell-esque family looking to trim the perfect tree, atheists are combing every schoolhouse, statehouse, and house of worship to destroy the spirit of Christmas.

Really? The “spirit of Christmas” is so fragile that it can be destroyed merely by having the government not promote and endorse it? So you can have nativity scenes on private property and hundreds of millions of people can celebrate the holiday with church services, caroling and gift-giving but if you can’t have the government involved, the spirit of Christmas can’t exist? How odd.

But here’s the really dishonest part.

In his book, “Culture Warrior,” Bill O’Reilly refers to those who are hostile to Christianity and traditional American values as “secular progressives.” Going on to say they are “the committed forces of the secular-progressive movement that want to change America dramatically; mold it in the image of Western Europe.”

The Atheist Empire doesn’t shy away from it, claiming, “Atheism is part of the Communist and Socialist doctrines…There is a strong belief in the values of freedom brought by a secular government.”

Atheist Empire? What the hell is that? If you follow the link, you’ll find that it’s the successor of a Geocities website with about a thousand members and only 122,000 hits in its entire history. Boy, that’s the official page of atheism, isn’t it? But leaving that aside, this quote is completely out of context. In fact, the page linked to is one that attempts to debunk false assumptions about atheism. You can see that by the very first sentence:

There is a lot of false information and social beliefs out there about atheists. This is the cause of the majority of the hate and prejudice felt towards atheists. Below are answers to the most common false assumptions about atheists.

And here’s the full quote, without the ellipses:

Atheism has nothing to do with political beliefs. Atheism is part of the Communist and Socialist doctrines, but atheists are not necessarily Communists or Socialists. Many point to the actions of Communist Russia, China and North Korea as examples of what atheists in political power would do. Communism uses an enforced stance of atheism to squash religious decent and instill it’s own supreme dictatorship. Most atheists would not replace God with an all powerful government, that would be hypocritical. There is a strong belief in the values of freedom brought by a secular government.

So pretty much the opposite of what Stewart is trying to make the quote say.

Biblical scholar David Barton shoots down the atheist argument in his book “The Myth of Separation.” He notes “the words separation of church and state don’t appear in any official government documents authored by the founding fathers.” Adding, “this concept and these particular words were invented by an ACLU attorney named Leo Pfeffer in 1947.”

Just another Barton lie. The phrase “separation of church and state” came, as I’m sure everyone here knows but Stewart apparently doesn’t, from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. That’s how he described the religion clauses of the First Amendment. It was also used by James Madison, who chaired the committee that actually wrote that amendment.

Oh, wait. I got to her bio. This explains her ignorance and irrationality:

Alice Stewart is a Republican strategist and currently serves as a Romney and Republican National Committee surrogate. She worked as National Press Secretary for the presidential campaigns of Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Mike Huckabee. She is spokeswoman for Conservative Women for America.

Comments

  1. eric says

    From the article:

    Christians should continue to light up the night, if we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?

    Funny, when anyone agrees with you and suggests that Christians should light up the night instead of the government, you get upset at the idea.

  2. says

    if we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?

    Well, the pagans would be telling it, if the christians hadn’t stolen their holiday and wiped them out.

  3. davidct says

    “The “spirit of Christmas” is so fragile that it can be destroyed merely by having the government not promote and endorse it?” Actually it took being adopted by the Roman Empire to kick start it. Maybe they have a point. I would be nice if it was just a matter of moving the nativity scenes to get ride of this superstitious ranting but it is not that easy.

  4. Chiroptera says

    Atheism is part of the Communist and Socialist doctrines, but atheists are not necessarily Communists or Socialists.

    And that isn’t even completely accurate.

    There are lots of socialists who base their socialism on their Christian or Jewish beliefs. Not all varieties of socialism stem from Marx.

    I will concede that atheism has been a traditional point among communists/Marxists, but even there I have met more than one Marxist who was also a Christian.

  5. billyeager says

    O’Really labelled us as ‘secular progressives’?

    And that is meant to be a bad thing for why?
    pro·gres·sive
    adjective
    1.
    favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters: a progressive mayor.
    2.
    making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.: a progressive community.
    3.
    characterized by such progress, or by continuous improvement.

  6. says

    The Taliban are monotheists, and so are Christians. Therefore Christians are guilty of everything the Taliban does.

    Right? I mean, this is the same logic as “Communists are atheists, and you’re an atheist, so you’re guilty of everything the Communists did.”

    Somehow, when I point this out to some Christians, they always seem to change the subject.

  7. says

    She is spokeswoman for Conservative Women for America. — Really? You mean that the CWA actually has women in it now? And that they allow women to speak for them? Progress marches on…..

  8. says

    reverendrodney,

    If Atheism = Communism, Christians = Nazis, Nazis = Fascism, Obama = Communist, and Fascism = Obama. Then Atheism = Christianity.

  9. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    I keep on saying, this isn’t the case: “This explains her ignorance and irrationality”. It’s NOT ignorance and irrationality (at least, not entirely), it’s deliberate. Much of what the Christian Right (and the Right in general) does is intentional, designed to deceive those in their base that ARE ignorant and irrational. But those in leadership positions, I think, know full well that they are saying. They are lying, pure and simple, to get their way. All you have to do is look at the recently completed election to see that.

  10. brucegee1962 says

    So how did she end up with the quotemined Atheist Empire as the spokesman for communist atheists? Sounds like a textbook example of confirmation bias at work.

    Obviously it’s an article of faith for her that all atheists support communism and socialism, because … umm … we all love Stalin or something. So she turned to her trusty google and asked it to find atheism + communism to bolster her argument. This was the first thing she found that was somewhere in the ballpark, so she ran with it.

    The interesting question from a psychological standpoint was whether she knew that she was turning the argument on its head when she quotemined it, but did it anyway because she figured none of her readers would bother to check it, or whether she was just fast and sloppy and didn’t bother to interpret the article in its most obvious sense because that would contradict her preconceptions.

  11. says

    “Just another Barton lie. The phrase ‘separation of church and state’ came, as I’m sure everyone here knows but Stewart apparently doesn’t, from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. That’s how he described the religion clauses of the First Amendment. It was also used by James Madison, who chaired the committee that actually wrote that amendment.”

    Yes. In 1947. We’re through the looking glass here, people.

  12. says

    Actually, the “dishonesty” part also starts in the first paragraph already:

    atheists are combing every schoolhouse, statehouse, and house of worship to destroy the spirit of Christmas.

    Really? Atheists are barging into churches now? Does she have some evidence for that? Of course not.

  13. maudell says

    Citing O’Reilly and Barton as experts? She might as well add the Protocol of the Elders of Zion as a factual document… A few things are interesting though:

    -I’m sure it would blow her mind to find out that the roots of socialism is utopian socialism, started by… gasp! a catholic saint!!! (Saint Thomas More). I guess the pope just made a mistake in naming him saint. Socialist!

    -Western Europe doesn’t have the separation of church and state. Moving towards their system is actually moving closer to papa bear’s ideology.

    -I thought Christianity was not a religion but a *philosophy* and anyone who disagree is a pinhead!? What happened?

  14. raven says

    Atheism is part of the Communist and Socialist doctrines, but atheists are not necessarily Communists or Socialists.

    Not necessarily.

    Communism and socialism are economic arrangements and orthogonal to religion. There are a lot of xian socialists. A lot of what the christofascists would call “socialist’ European countries like Scandinavia and the UK, have…state churches.

    It just so happens that the Marxist variety of communism looked favorably upon atheism from time to time.

    Democracy isn’t mentioned in the bible. Communism however is mentioned in the NT, and quite favorably.

  15. raven says

    This is just one long hate filled rant. Atheist haters are dime a hundred.

    Fundie xianity is based on hate. No hate = no fundie xianity.

    This is a very reliable rule with high explanatory and predictive power. It was also noticed over a century ago and frequently ever since. Even Bishop John Shelby Spong mentions it in his books.

    PS: Bishop Spong would know firsthand. One of his book covers mentions that he is the recipient of several awards and 16 death threats from other xians.

  16. abb3w says

    Jefferson swiped the idea from the theologian Roger Williams of Rhode Island, who wrote a century before; and Madison was more eloquent on the topic. And there’s the whole slew of other phrases like “checks and balances” that have non-verbatim expression in the Constitution.

    Additionally, the phrase “separation of Church and State” can be found in pre-1900 (post Civil War) platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties, showing the phrase in vogue well before Leo Pfeffer in 1947.

    But these quibbles are just preaching to the choir.

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