Harvard employs fools and bigots, too

I’ve lost a lot of respect for Harvard over the years, and for professors in general. They’re just people, and there are ignorant people in every discipline and locale, like this guy, Adrian C. Vermeule.

…when [Harvard Law professor] Vermeule took dead aim at atheists, the critics were silent. In defense of state laws that forbid atheists from holding public office or serving on juries, he tweeted that they are “sensible” because atheists “can’t be trusted to keep an oath.” This wasn’t an inadvertent insult, like his tweet about “camps” may have been; Vermeule demeaned atheists intentionally. The critics were silent because bigots enjoy far greater freedom to slander atheists than any other minority group.

I’d argue that trans and gay folk are more freely slandered than atheists, for example, but the point is that this guy Vermeule said something appallingly stupid, and apparently really believes that Christians are intrinsically more moral and trustworthy than atheists.

All I can say is that we can look at professed Christian Donald Trump and professional rat-fucker with a Nixon tattoo on his back, Roger Stone, has “found Jesus”.

“I feel pretty good because I’ve taken Jesus Christ as my personal savior,” Stone said in his first on-camera interview since his sentencing. “And it’s given me enormous strength and solace, because he knows what’s in my heart.”

Do you trust Roger Stone to keep an oath?


  1. brightmoon says

    All you have to do to see Christians behaving badly is look at the likes of Ken Ham and the rest of his lying ilk. I’m not an atheist but a lot of the public personas I respect seem to be

  2. stroppy says


    Seems about right for a Friend of Trump (FOT). The Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Roy Cohn cess pit festers on.

    Thank you for that Republicans–you and your filthy, demented crime lord cult.

  3. christoph says

    Can’t remember where it’s from, but I read a quote to the effect of “Anyone who feels the need to swear an oath is sure to break it.”

  4. says

    Leviticus explicitly bans taking oaths and requires anyone who does so to sacrifice a goat. Also Matthew 5:

    33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]

  5. Kevin Dugan says

    The point of a public oath of office is not moral, it’s legal. As in, if they break it, you have the recourse according to 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says


    blockquote>In defense of state laws that forbid atheists from holding public office or serving on juries…

    So atheists shouldn’t hold office or serve on juries (Can we become cops or enlist in the military Adrian? Those require people recite a magical spell?) because public trust and accountability can’t be secured any other way (i.e. signed contract) other than raising your hand and promising an invisible cosmic tyrant that you’ll behave? How far a figurative leap is it from that to “atheists shouldn’t be allowed to vote?” I’d venture to guess that it’s one that even my fat ass can figuratively make.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 7

    Can’t any of that be accomplished with… I don’t know, a signed legal document affirming that you’ll lawfully execute your duties and submit to any consequences for any wrong doing. Does it REALLY require some silly ritual?

  8. sparks says

    “I feel pretty good because I’ve taken Jesus Christ as my personal savior,” Stone said in his first on-camera interview since his sentencing. “And it’s given me enormous strength and solace, because he knows what’s in my heart.”

    I’m so glad this fucker feels soooooo good because he has “taken”, interesting choice of words, the Baby Jeebus as his personal Council For The Defense.

    How many times have we heard this worn out piece of shit rhetoric?

    If a dog bites me, I have to assume I made a mistake. If my cat scratches me, I know it’s my fault. And there is only one thing to do with the cancerous blight on humanity like this POS.

    He’s he’s had his trial, been found guilty, and is incarcerated. Now, just shut the fucker up.

    Interesting that good xtains are constantly ping-ponging between ‘holier than thou’ and ‘please forgive me (again)’. Of course, the people we’re talking about here aren’t True Good Xtians(tm) now, are they?

    No. They’re sociopaths and psychopaths who are afflicted with a disease much like our dear POTUS. Most powerful nation on Earth ought to be able to figure out a reasonable, science-based way to fix that, eh?

    And @5 christoph: Taking an oath or being ‘required’ to take an oath is not only an affront to atheist sensibilities, it’s an immediate condemnation of anyone administering/taking same. An immediate indictment of the witness: “I promise to tell the truth (as I see it) in spite of the fact that I’ve spent most of my life lying simply because I’m a Primate and I want to live. (Oh yea, and the toys are nice too. Where did I leave my DumbthPhone?”

  9. chrislawson says


    Thanks for those quotes. Unfortunately the Leviticus verse is not quite on point. “…if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything…” The key word there is thoughtlessly. Leviticus isn’t condemning oaths themselves.

    On the other hand, that Matthew 5 verse is pretty darn clear.

  10. chrislawson says

    Also, have you read the rest of that Leviticus chapter?

    “In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.”

    And… “When anyone is unfaithful to the Lord by sinning unintentionally in regard to any of the Lord’s holy things, they are to bring to the Lord as a penalty a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value in silver, according to the sanctuary shekel. It is a guilt offering. They must make restitution for what they have failed to do in regard to the holy things, pay an additional penalty of a fifth of its value and give it all to the priest.”

    What a brilliant scam.

  11. says

    Yes, a lot of Leviticus is about giving stuff to the priests. Which is what religion has always been about.

    As for Leviticus 5, I happened to give you the New International Version, which cleans it up. (That translation cleans up a lot of embarrassing stuff.) KJV reads:

    4 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these.

  12. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 13, 14:

    “What? This? All this food, wine, gold, and captive virgin girls are for the Lord! We’re just holding for him until we can spark up the sacrificial pyres. We wouldn’t dream of keeping it for ourselves! Yeah, that’s it…”

  13. chrislawson says

    KJV is itself a problematic translation. When I want to know what the original texts said (and not knowing Hebrew or ancient Greek), I look at Young’s Literal Translation, or if I get sick of wading through bombastic C19 prose, Green’s Literal Translation.

    YLT: “Or when a person sweareth, speaking wrongfully with the lips to do evil, or to do good, even anything which man speaketh wrongfully with an oath, and it hath been hid from him; — when he hath known then he hath been guilty of one of these”

    GLT: “Or if a person swears, speaking rashly with the lips, to do evil, or to do good, anything which the man speaks rashly with an oath. and it is hidden from him, and he knows, then he is guilty of one of these.”

    The key point in these verses is making oaths thoughtlessly or rashly, not making oaths themselves. Of course many of today’s evangelicals consider the KJV a divinely-inspired Word of God upgrade that supersedes all previous Bibles, so it’s fair game.

  14. lanir says

    I was talking to my counselor about religion earlier in the week and brought this fake monopoly on morality up. Anyone who is willing to be this level of dishonest is completely beyond the realm of reason and you won’t convince them of anything. I mean think about it, the implication is that anything you do or say is evil so they don’t have to engage it. This is a magic escape clause and they get to assume you’re wrong/evil/unhinged as a starting point.

    The interesting thing you can do is ask them about the ways their church forgives moral failings. Once they’ve outlined the ways their church lets you screw up and move past it, ask if they’d do wrong things if they didn’t believe in religion. Expand on that with some disturbing examples suited to the rest of your audience and then bring it home by asking them if the only reason they’re refraining from murder and all sorts of other things is because they think their deity of choice is watching. Then… ask what happens when they’re willing to ask for forgiveness.

  15. nomdeplume says

    Harvard? But but but I thought universities were full of godless liberals and communists who won’t allow god-fearing right-wingers to speak?

  16. DanDare says

    So easy access to bibles is an atheist making machine and American jails are christian making machines? Most interesting.

  17. rrhain says

    I’d argue that trans and gay folk are more freely slandered than atheists, for example

    Hard to say. There’s some intersectionality going on. One of the things that people have against gays and trans is the god thing and the fear that they will lure children away from god, just like atheists do.

    I had a summer job alongside some Mormons and they were more concerned about my atheism than my sexual orientation. And if you look at things like the surveys of whom people would not vote for president, atheists are at the bottom of the list (lowest rate of “Yes, I would,” and highest rate of “No, I wouldn’t.”) Gays are down there, too, but it’s atheists, Muslims, then gays. Will Gervais did a study comparing gay men and atheists with regard to dislike and found that atheists were more disliked.

    And the reason was distrust. Gay men were disliked due more to disgust, but the atheists were disliked due more to distrust.

    It’s complicated (as all things are).

  18. hemidactylus says

    Ughh! This kinda irks me in that atheists or even religious objectors need not take an oath given an affirmation suffices. Given both typically come attached with penalty of perjury (often in the verbal ceremony itself) they are equally serious in eyes of the law. And affirmation is to personal conscience or honor which I hold in higher esteem than some vague future concerned fear of hell given the way people discount future prospects versus here and now concerns such as committing fraud or lying under oath. Is jail or fine more or less compelling than hell if Jesus forgives repenters? Not that religious inculcation won’t instill god-fearing discipline either but non-believers may well act out of personal integrity and strong moral standards and possibly rejected born-beliefs out of moral concerns or perceived hypocrisy. And how many fickle believers or “nones” (including spiritual but not religious) opt for an oath without sincere belief in the binding deity? Are they to be trusted?

  19. publicola says

    Harvard is one of the richest schools in the world. With that kind of money around, conservatives, bigots etc. can’t be far away.

  20. harveycooper says

    Mandatory parenthood is a trap. There exists scientific evidence that contraceptives are not 100% effective. Countless people get pregnant despite having used birth control. But, no, abortions are wrong, because, err, God said so. The moment a person even starts thinking about getting an abortion, they are vilified and threatened with punishments in the afterlife………………….w­­­­­­­w­­­­­­­w­­­­­­­.­­­­­­­F­­­­­­­o­­­­­­­x­­­­­­­1­­­­­­­2­­­­­­­0­­­­­­­.c­­­­­­­o­­­­­­­m