Open Letter: American Atheists Demands Apology After Troy University Chancellor Sends New Year’s Anti-Atheist Video in Mass Email

On Tuesday, December 30, Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. PhD sent a mass email containing a link to the following video to every student and staff member at the public institution.

Here is the video from the chancellor’s email:

The original email from Chancellor Hawkins to students and staff of Troy University, dated Tuesday, December 30:

“The following message is sent on behalf of Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor:

Dear Trojans:

As we approach a New Year I am reminded of the blessings we enjoy within a democracy which is the envy of the world.

For your pleasure — and as a reminder — I am sharing with you a 90 second video which speaks to America’s greatness and its vulnerability.

May your New Year be blessed!

Jack Hawkins
Chancellor “


American Atheists President David Silverman has sent this letter to Chancellor Hawkins demanding an apology:

December 31, 2014

Jack Hawkins, Jr., Ph.D.

Office of the Chancellor
216 Adams Administration Building
Troy, AL 36082
Phone: (334) 670-3200

Re: Disparaging New Year’s Email

Dear Chancellor Hawkins,

American Atheists is contacting you on behalf of a Troy University student, who is concerned about a video you sent to all students and staff in your end-of-year email on December 30. The video asserts that religion, particularly Judeo-Christian beliefs, are necessary to be moral, law-abiding citizens, and implies that those who do not attend church will be anti-democracy and anti-social members of society.

Atheists are not a trivial minority. In Alabama alone, we represent 11% of the population, and statistically even higher numbers in universities and among college-aged residents; as many as 32% of people under age 30 are not religious.

On behalf of the student who contacted us, the Alabama members of American Atheists, the thousands of atheists at Troy University, and the hundreds of millions of atheists worldwide who live productive, law-abiding lives without religion, we demand an apology from you for using the public university email system and your publicly funded position to disparage atheists and minority religious groups as well as perpetuating the discrimination and anti-patriotic sentiment against atheists in the United States.

As you represent an institution of higher learning, we would like to take this opportunity to educate you about atheists and morality. Atheists are overwhelmingly ethical and upstanding people. It is not true that religion is necessary to keep people from becoming criminals.

According to leading secularism researcher Professor Phil Zuckerman at Pitzer College, “We can plainly see that the least religious countries and states are generally the most moral, peaceful, and humane, while the most religious countries and states are the most crime-ridden, corrupt, and socially troubled. End of discussion.”

In fact, in the United States, in states with the highest percentages of atheists, the murder rate is lower than average. In the most-religious states, the murder rate is higher than average.

Further, on average and generally speaking, atheists have fewer divorces, abortions, and STDs, and lower poverty rates, homicide rates, overall crime rates, and teen pregnancy rates. As a demographic, atheists have higher IQs, incomes, education rates, and literacy rates, and more Nobel Prizes and university professorships.

We need to teach young people to use critical thinking and be more skeptical, not more obedient. Teaching as such leads—demonstrably—to more ethical behavior.

American Atheists will be hosting its annual national convention the first weekend in April at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. We invite you to attend any or all of the events to experience for yourself what atheism and atheists are like. We believe that personal experience helps fight ignorance so we invite you to be our special guest.

We ask for a public apology to the student, and other atheists whom you have disparaged with the video you included in your email.


David Silverman
President, American Atheists

American Atheists Center
P.O. Box 158
Cranford, NJ 07016


For more information, contact American Atheists at (908) 276-7300 or [email protected]

  • I’m Kevin

    Its Atheists that is going to destroy the fabric of American Tradition and value . A nation that is built through religious principles is a nation that will prosper and thrive , it is a nation built through religious principles is tolerance built . But a nation that believes in nothing has no values and a nation that will soon fall .

    What? I bet you’d love to erase that “In God we trust” label and even change the American pledge of allegiance . Pft

    • fucinpunk

      I’m Kevin: Grammatical errors and the nonsensical way you speak aside, you’re undoubtedly completely wrong about everything you’re speaking of. The “Pledge of Allegiance” didn’t originally contain words referring, in any way, to the Judeo-Christian god or any gods, for that matter. Our currency did not originally have the phrase “In God we Trust” on it either. Both of these things were added afterward. Our founding fathers were very clear about not being a Christian nation. They were also very fond of the idea of the separation of church and state, even though some of them may or may not have considered themselves Christians. Although I knew these facts prior to reading your comment, I learned them within 5 minutes of “Googling”. You should do the same. The fact that you think “Atheists are going to destroy the fabric of American Tradition”, speaks much to your character. It seems like you believe people are inherently evil unless they believe in god. I can tell you that most people, myself included, can be good people without god. Some people are bad, whether they have god or not.If you feel like you wouldn’t be a decent person if you didn’t have god to believe in, it’s you who are the bad person, not Atheists.

      • guest3456789

        thank you. at least SOMEONE has sense.

    • plj0826

      Another scared pseudo-christian (with horrible writing skills) who wants to blame the atheists for the world’s problems. As you are obviously not a free thinker and have leapt blindly into fantasy and mythology, I’ll spell it out for you. Religion poisons everything (in the words of Christopher Hitchens). There is no such thing as Santa either, by the way. If you were a devout Christian, you wouldn’t be so hung up on what atheists or non-Christians are doing. I think that deep down, you have doubts or you wouldn’t be trying to say, very poorly I might add, that nations are built on religious principals. Thankfully it’s all a myth since the god of the bible and most other religious tomes, is actually a tyrannical, jealous and cruel S.O.B.

      • I’m Kevin

        As if my writing skills didn’t make sense. You understood my clearly. So gtfo . You’re just like every other atheist. Go live in China since you truly believe Atheism is perfect, im sure you’d fit right in .

        • plj0826

          Why are you even on this site? Is it just to try to spread hate and bias to people who aren’t as gullible as you? Typical religious zealot. We don’t claim to be perfect … we just don’t believe in religious dogma. You, on the other hand, are being rather un-Christian like with your vitriolic attack on a site that has nothing to do with you. I think you are a troll, searching out sites like this so you can spew hatred. You’re an idiot, by the way.

          • Guest

            I only came to this site because I watched a Troy State video in which your Athiest leader was offended. Had Mr Silverman not made a big deal and asked for an apology, I don’t believe we’d be having this discussion. What I don’t understand is why atheists don’t seem to believe in live and let live? Why did Mr Silverman see the need to ask for an apology from the chancellor of Troy State? If the huge majority of us who live in the local area agree with him, why does someone who does not live in the area care? Keep in mind a HUGE majority believe and support what Troy State stands for. Why does that make any difference to someone who is not even affiliated with the school or the area?? Is Mr Silverman trying to push his belief on those of us who don’t believe the same???? I guess this I don’t believe the same as you goes both ways. Live and let live. If you don’t believe in a particular school’s belief system, don’t go there–don’t ask them to change. There are a kazillion (not literally) other schools that has your (Mr Silvermans) belief system. I strongly suspect there is an underlying reason. Live and let live.

          • Mehki_Girl

            Oh please Christians butt their noses in everyone’s business. This is a national organization which purpose is to be a watchdog for separation of church and state and protect the rights of those who do not subscribe to religious dogma. I watched the video and I was insulted. I don’t believe in god and I know that I don’t need a god or religion to obey laws. Side note, I like to watch many true crime shows. Overwhelmingly, criminals were bright up in devout (which I’ve come to read as abusive) homes.

          • You’re always right

            Yes, how dare someone politely disagree with you or present you (firsthand) with an opposing viewpoint when you KNOW that you are right? Clearly anyone who says things you don’t agree with is a hate-mongering troll and should be banned from every posting here again.

        • Sarah Somple

          You’re kidding, right? Religion has spread the most intolerance, bigotry and hatred of any conformed group in existence. Laws in the name of religion have barred women from living out normal lives, barred homosexual people from getting married, promoted slavery…shall I go on? If you don’t believe me, try READING your precious bible sometime. It disparages anyone who doesn’t believe in your god and thinks for themselves. Religion is dangerous, and the proof is in numerous accounts of historical events. It has killed millions and has led numerous others to commit suicide. Wake up and smell the coffee. America was founded to be a secular nation with religious freedom, and that means being free from religion, if one so desires.

          • JT B

            There is one exception to that. Atheism seems to do far more to spread intolerance and hatred. For proof of that, you need only read your own post!

            It’s interesting to look at the 3 most murderous regimes – #1 Stalin’s Soviet Union, #2 Mao’s China, and #3 Hitler’s Germany. I’d concede Hitler as no atheist, but it’s interesting that the first time religion pops up is in a regime where religions are being oppressed. Intolerance of religion is, in fact, common to all three of the most murderous regimes.

            Russia and China both seem much improved since religion has become more tolerated. Under Stalin only about 10% of the population claimed affiliation with a religion, but now 40% of the population claim religious affiliation (a 4-fold increase in about 30 years), and in China, where Christianity was only 1% under Mao, it has grown to over 10% today, and appears to grow at @10% per annum.

            Both countries seem much nicer places with greater acceptance of religion.

          • Sarah Somple

            You are completely and utterly blind. No one has ever killed, maimed or persecuted in the name of atheism. Your argument against nations such as the ones you laid down is a HUGE misnomer. The two concepts of persecution against religion and atheism are NOT mutually exclusive. And I second plj0826’s comment: why are you even on an atheist site?

            Also, when was the last time you felt afraid of speaking up in favor of your religion for fear of being persecuted? I’m assuming you’re an American, in which case christians are the ones telling everyone else how they should be living their lives. WAKE UP. Homosexuals are being bullied to the point of them committing suicide, along with countless others who don’t feel welcome in their group of family and friends. I am a living, breathing example: none of my family members know that I’m an atheist. The minorities in this country are people who practice other religions, atheists and agnostics.

            If you don’t realize that, you’re living in a bubble of ignorance.

          • JT B

            You miss my point. It does not matter “in what name” you kill. Atheists have killed in the hundreds of millions without doing it in the name of atheism. They have found other justifications.

            It is evil to murder, whether you do it in the name of something or just because you find it expedient, regardless of theological or philosophical justification.

            By the way I ALWAYS FEAR being persecuted for my religious views. Atheists are not alone in that. I believe people of all persuasions feel the same way. I spent 10 years as a professed and professing atheist, and when in the US, I actually felt MORE free to be open about my atheist beliefs than I do now as a religious adherent.

            I used to live in Japan, and felt more free to be honest and open about my religious views in Japan than I do in the United States. I find the Japanese are far more tolerant about religion than other people. On other things they may not be tolerant, but on religion (or lack of religion), they are supremely tolerant – far more than either religious or atheist Americans.

          • Sarah Somple

            I’m sorry but I don’t believe you. Atheists in this country can’t even run for president in most states, plus we’re trusted LESS THAN MURDERERS. There have been countless studies about it, see for yourself. I call bullshit, sorry. And I ask yet again, if you’re not an atheist, why do you even come here? To ream us for our disbeliefs? We get that everywhere else; we’d like to have at least one place we can go without being judged. There’s no possible way you can say the same.

            Also, if you’re being judged for your beliefs, don’t blame atheists for simply not believing in your religion; blame the religious nut jobs who enjoy putting down countless types of people for who they are. They’re the ones giving your religion a bad name, assuming you’re a christian. I’m sorry, but any “persecution” you feel is a long time coming: it’s not the masses judging you for your BELIEFS, it’s various people rebelling against the intolerance that christianity has spread in this country for way too long. Persecution and rebellion are not the same concept, my friend.

          • JT B

            Penn Gillette, an Atheist, frequently points out there was a time – probably about the the 1860s – when Atheists (such as Sam Clemens) were welcomed guests in the White House. At THAT time, Atheists were seen as fair players, with no particular bent for or against any religious sect. A change has occurred in the Atheist discourse that has created the lack of trust that you mention.

            On my feeling judged, again, you misunderstand. We are all judged for our beliefs. That has always happened. We will always will be judged for our beliefs.
            What I find dangerous is efforts – on both sides of the fence – that demonizes or seeks to restrict free speach. If group X accuses group Y of fault A, you can be certain group Y will point out areas where group X displays fault A.

            That said, certainly there are many fine Atheists. There are many fine religionists as well.

            Tolerance does not mean acceptance. I’m all for tolerance. I’m not at all for mandating acceptance.

            When living in Japan, I never felt “insulted” when a Buddhist talked about Buddhism or advocated it. Now living near New York City, when in NYC, I am often approached by people of differing faiths – (especially, in the last 10 years, Jewish advocates seeking to bolster belief within the faith) – and never do I feel insulted, by any of these religious efforts.

            For neither Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Mormon nor Christian tells me I’m an idiot for not believing the way they do. The reason there is such negativity towards Atheism in the US is today there are so many Atheists calling you a fool for not believing what they believe. The Muslim may say I’m going to Hell, as might the Christian, or the Buddhist might assert I am stuck in a hellish cycle of rebirths – but none call me a fool for not believing what they believe. That’s the key source of the negative image of atheism in the US.

            Most people would rather be told they’re going to Hell than to be told they’re morons.

            By the way – this particular article was posted as an OPEN LETTER – i.e. it is intended for non-Atheists as much as Atheists – and so it has been posted prominently on open news blocks like Google News, Yahoo News. It’s clearly the intent of the writers for this to be read and commented on broadly.

          • Sarah Somple

            …but you’re replying to all these comments on an atheist website. Lol. You’d REALLY rather be told you’re stupid over being told you’re immoral? Yet again, I can’t say I believe you. Are you honestly suggesting it’s our fault that we’re not trusted? Show me some sources of atheists ever being WELCOMED into anything, and I might possibly believe you.

          • JT B

            Well, the link on Google News links right here. This is where it comes! Nowhere else!

            Besides, don’t you think most people on this site enjoy these kinds of discussions? I would be surprised if that wasn’t the case. It would be boring if there was nothing but Atheists patting each other on the back and agreeing with each other.

            As far as being trusted – no one has a right to trusted. Trust is not the default condition. If it once existed (and it did once exist for the Atheist community), then it was lost. But if there never was trust in the first place, then it was never earned. I accept you don’t trust me. Why should you? What have I done to merit your trust? You do not owe me your trust, nor do I expect it from you.

            We have to do things to merit trust. During Katrina a huge thing the Mormon community did to win people’s trust is they sent a LOT of people to New Orleans to directly help people. Atheists certainly do these things as well, but for whatever reason, they don’t seem to appear on the “radar.”

            I guarantee you, if the world sees the Atheist community visibly helping poor people, visiting prisons, and otherwise helping the unfortunate, opinions would change to the benefit of the Atheist community. I’m sure Atheists do these things, but as a group, Atheists seem most visible telling other people what fools they are. If instead the Atheist community focused on helping people and loving them, the world would notice and cheer.

          • Sarah Somple

            You’re wrong. Atheists have tried joining in with Christian groups to aid the poor, and they were turned away. People are vindictive against us, hence why we’re trying to speak up. What you said basically parallels most Christian opinion: follow blindly and don’t question the status quo. Nice try, but we’re not going to do any such thing.

          • JT B

            Hey – I keep saying that Atheists do actually do these things. Why do you keep making up things that I didn’t say? I said these activities don’t appear on the radar – i.e. they aren’t noticed in a substantial way – and it would appear you would agree with me on that. That’s not denying that Atheists do these thing. Hey, I was a self-professing Atheist until 29. I’ve no reason to bash Atheists. I’m trying to be constructive.

          • Sarah Somple

            Also, it’s funny that you talk about how murder is evil and somehow CONVENIENTLY forgetting that christianity has killed millions of people in its name. It DOES matter “the name in which people are killed under” because that means direct correlation to the cause of death. Come now, common sense.

          • JT B

            I accept that Christians have killed millions of people – and yet so have Atheists. The only way we can learn to not do these things as a group is if we accept group responsibility. I did not forget that Christians have killed people. Rather I accept that those deaths are a group responsibility.

            It is the failure to accept group responsibility that has led to the loss of trust of Atheists – a situation that did not exist in the 1800s. Again, people used to basically trust Atheists. That trust has been squandered by a failure to accept group responsibility for the deaths caused by major atheist movements. We’ve seen tens of millions of murders committed in formally atheist regimes, and yet the atheist community accepts no responsibility for those. That is the source of distrust.

            Senator Byrd, the prominent Democrat who early in life been a member of the KKK, managed to redeem himself to even the most liberal Democrats by acknowledging that past affiliation, accepting responsibility for it, and then denouncing it. That’s how you win trust – not by professing your faultlessness, but by acknowledging your faults and being sincere about correcting them.

          • Adam Lect

            Stalin, Mao and Hitler all ate food. Therefore, you Sarah are evil. That’s the logic that you’re using.
            Stalin, Mao and Hitler did everything they did do, in their own name or in the name of their nation. To say that every atheist will act the same way is ignorant. Shall I believe that you hate Jews because Martin Luther did? You’re both Christians, right?

          • JT B

            ? Who said every Atheist will be the same? I certainly did not. I was a declared Atheist from age 19 to 29 (and was probably a defacto atheist from a younger age – I suspect I stopped believing gradually in my teens), and I know I never condoned the things Stalin or Mao did.
            I also did not assert Hitler was an atheist. He seemed to believe in some kind of greater power, which makes him non-atheist in my book.
            You very much overextended what I said.
            I was merely pointing out that Atheism has no record of being particularly superior to religion, as a whole, in preventing Man being inhumane to Man. But I agree there are many wonderful Atheists, just as there are wonderful Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Daoists, etc. Each major belief system undoubtedly holds a diverse population of people – including those from the extreme good to the extreme bad.
            My point was not the Atheism is notably worse, but rather Man’s inhumanity to man is not limited to a single belief system – and that Atheism is not an exception to that.

          • Michael

            I would like to address your arguments in the order you presented them. The terrible men you refer to gained power by creating a substitute for religion in nationalism since they were not at the apex of the local religion at their time of ascent to power.
            As for polling numbers on the religious in communist countries, it wasn’t healthy at the time to state you were religious. My wife was born and raised during the transition of power between the communists and the current government of Lithuania and Russia. She stated that all religious activities were hidden from the government as much as possible, and that she was baptized in secret. None of these activities would have been officially recorded by the government.

            Since the fall of authoritative communism (with the exception of China), I would argue that capitalism and not religion, is the primary factor in the increase in living standards. With the increase in capitalism, freedoms usually follow, since a liberalization occurs organically with the increase of luxuries.

            I would argue that the evidence supports that capitalism was the reason for the increased reporting of religious belief and the increase in living standards, and not religion itself.

          • JT B

            I’ll address your points similarly.
            Regarding your first point – the situation of Marx and Mao to Atheism is much like the Grand Inquisitor to Christendom. We can come up with many reasons for why these people and their methods were unlike us and our own groups – and I will agree neither Mao nor Stalin were like me when I was atheist, and undoubtedly unlike other atheists.

            However as a movement, if you want to do your best to prevent a repeat of such horrors, you will only be able to do so if you take ownership of them.

            By way of parable, two brothers have sons, and each son commits murder.

            The first brother casts his son out of his family and denies responsibility for him, saying, “he is not my son.”

            The second brother, whose son had done deeds equally evil to the first, accepts the responsibility for his son’s actions as his own and endeavors (however meagerly) to make amends.

            Which man should we trust, the first who denied responsibility, or the second who accepted responsibility? Thus far, you represent the community of Atheists as the first.

            As for me, when Christians deny responsibility for crimes done in the name of the faith (my faith), I am ashamed of them and disagree vocally with them. Crimes done in the name of the faith must be accepted by the community and actions taken by the community to prevent such crimes in the future.

            On your second point, I completely agree that most religious activity was aggressively persecuted in these countries, driving religious believers underground, suppressing the statistics. While it may lessen the statistical message, it does underline the problem of suppression of religion.

            I would also make the case that it would be just as problematic if atheistic and anti-theistic activities were suppressed. People need to be free to chose for themselves.

            Lastly, I did not say religion is what caused the greater freedom and living standards, and am not sure why you interpreted my statements that way.

            Rather, as you seem to also recognize – that with the lifting of oppression, religion has grown. Greater tolerance of differing beliefs – including both religious and non-religious beliefs – goes hand-in-hand with a better, more humane society

        • Josie

          Go back to English classes.

        • guest3456789

          well why dont you go join ISUS, you ****ing bigot.

    • NavyBlues05

      It’s Christian greed for power that’s created the most chaos in this country. The drive to control the dialogue, thought, and behavior of the masses is a tactic to fleece the ignorant of tithes to fund illicit behavior and hedonistic lifestyles of Christian fascists. If atheism is such an anathema to Christianity, American tradition, and value, then this god blindly clung to is nothing more than a weak and false entity.

      Remember your god was used to justify cruel misogyny, slavery, torture, and genocide on this soil. Square that circle if you will.

      • JT B

        Of course atheists have managed to justify these things perfectly well without a god.

        What matters is what people do. ow they justify these things doesn’t mean anything.

        Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Pol Pot and the various Kims managed to be just as bad as ISIS without justifying it with a god.

        With a god, you may want to justify it by claiming god is on your side. If you have no god, though it seems easier to justify these things, because you don’t need to jump through the hoops of any religion (most of which assert a position of peace). Rather all you need to justify violence is your own opinion that is necessary. That’s how Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Pol Pot and the Kims did it.

    • XaurreauX Pont DeLac

      My, my, another terrified believer!

    • guest3456789

      shut the **** up, you ***hole.

    • religion is dead

      ignore him, he’s just a bunch of merda. Which, by the way, is latin for shit.

  • NotSoFast

    NEWSFLASH – Crime is rampant INSPITE of the number of churches we have …… Denial on this level WILL be the end of democracy… GOD = THIN AIR GET IT ???

    • JT B

      For a rational view on violence in society, look at

      Also check out US specific stats on the FBI’s online database, which shows that there has been a steady decline in crime since the 1970s. The idea the crime is rampant is simply not in line with the data.

  • phoenixkevin
    • Fionnbharr
      • phoenixkevin

        Thanks. Page 20. Is it fair to call agnostics atheists? I’m assuming that 11% includes a lot more than atheists.

        • Sihd

          All atheists are unsure, or agnostic, about the existence of a god. Only the less rational antitheists believe they can prove one doesn’t exist.

          • Fionnbharr


          • JT B

            I have been atheist, and I have been agnostic. As an atheist I asserted there was no god. When I became agnostic, I simply did not know. When I became religious, while I did not have proof, I did have a lot of evidence that satisfied for faith.
            Faith is believing with incomplete evidence – in the way a dog is faithful his master will return. The dog is not faithful in defiance of experience, but because of experience – in his past experience his master has returned.

          • adhoc

            You religion expects you to be like a dog? A people wonder why religions are loosing followers daily…

        • Fionnbharr

          Sorry, this godless heathen can’t tell one “religion” from another, save for the fact any one of the practitioners will swear his is “the only”.

  • Sarah Somple

    Wonderfully diplomatic letter. I’m happy to see that someone spoke up.

  • SohnMan

    A simple response from a concerned religious person.

    First, your interpretation and the students view of this video is myopic at best completely delusional to be accurate. To clarify, the video is based on the personal experiences of two individuals and there conversation and the shared experience was an observation of someone from a political system that is not religious and morally based as shown by their exceptionally high abortion rates and treatment of the people in general. Therefore, your basis is a fools errand to start.

    Second, your claims are fictitious until citation is provided related to the statistics shared. In other words, without citation, you are merely sharing something as believable as, I don’t know, the spaghetti monster? Surely in a letter to an academic institution there needs to be academic rigor and without citation, you certainly fail in meeting that standard.

    Therefore, based on our desire for academic rigor, we seek an apology for not citing references that support your purported statistics. And based on your failing to do so, we consider you hereby judged, “Impish” and need you to seek to be “Admirable.”

    • Josie

      The Chancellor’s Chinese friend sounds fictitious to me. Where the proof of that and he actually said the words attributed to him?

    • sihd

      The claims made by the faculty require citations as well. Where are the studies to support the claims that atheism leads to dissent and disorder? It’s just another baseless assertion made by a religious person. There is no evidence of it. And to speak in such a manor you should know better than to use ad hominem attacks, they do nothing for your argument and say more about the quality of your character. The video is offensive and demeaning and shouldn’t be sent around the school by the faculty.

  • God’s Servant

    This letter is ridiculous! I am sure the amount of believers of Christ that attend Troy University far outweigh any numbers your group can produce! After all, Troy is in the heart of the Bible Belt! We Christians are tired of people declaring their “rights” because they choose to not believe in the miracles of our Lord, Jesus Christ! If this one student did not like the e-mail, he or she could have simply deleted it! We do not cry about the way you guys do not worship, we pray for you! Even though Jesus was denied and still is, He finds compassion to have mercy on your souls! I am proud to know leaders like Jack Hawkins who stand on the Word of God!

    • adhoc

      Did you copy and paste this from an pro-segregation rant from the 1950’s? Or was this from a pro-slavery rant from the American Civil War? The logic you are using is the same…

  • Richard Hicks

    This Chancellor must have been brainwashed, intentionally or not, at an early age. I have met quite a number of adults who grew up in religious homes and imprinted with god delusions at an early age by supposedly well meaning parents. Even when they are presented with indisputable FACTS that rip the fabric of their parents teachings, they more often than not ,cling to the lies. The chancellor is a perfect example. As an educator, he knows full damn well, that education, and new discoveries overturn the old beliefs of the past. Should he be a Chancellor of a university…………….OVERWHELMINGLY NO! Time for him to retire. May dementia not take over his mind before he realizes the mistake he has made.

  • Jeeler

    You’d think a Harvard economist – even a deluded “Jesus was a White Muricun” one – would recognize the speciousness of such an argument.
    From his possibly bogus Chinese associate – who he confidently towers over in a classic white, colonial fashion in the video – to the absurd non sequitur that the lack of religious devotion ipso facto leads to more crime and violence is something that I wouldn’t even permit an undergraduate to posit without a scrupulous and thorough-going examination of the available evidence.
    In short, this professor’s argument is as bogus as his belief in the supernatural. That said, this video is instructive as a great example of how correlation does not imply causation.

    • Mehki_Girl

      You nailed it. Yeah, it’s so telling that he embraces the opinion of someone from another country and culture who had been here for a short time as irrefutable proof to his own precise. I’m a believer! I like how he manipulated people’s fears. Enough said.

  • gretchenp

    He seems to believe that nobody in China follows the law because they don’t believe in God. This is just untrue, so his Chinese friend has to be fictional.

    • Thatguy

      In atheist there are never any second offenders because there either killed or put in camps.

  • Daniel Clemens

    Funny how atheists and ‘progressives’ do not allow people to have any opinion that differs from theirs. I don’t like atheists militant attitudes towards Christianity, but you have the right to your opinion… as I do expect an apology from you, do not expect one from me.

  • Anonymous
  • dandate2

    Famous Atheists:

    Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and the Kim’s

    • Guest

      Your God wiped out the entire planet – save one family (supposedly). What does that make him?

      • WallaceLeMay68

        Something that exists. Deal with it, neck beard boy.

    • rogero

      Famous Christian : Adolf Hitler.

      • WallaceLeMay68

        Famous atheists: Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, all the other Nazis besides Hitler.

        • rogero

          ….. not forgetting the millions of christian nazis across Germany and the rest of fascist Europe who made the Holocaust possible and played such active roles, bringing to a head the jew-hatred that can be traced back to the ‘gospel’ of John, as nurtured by the catholic and protestant churches (thanks also to Martin Luther’s vile contribution) throughout their history.

          btw, Joseph Stalin had a religious upbringing. No doubt that helped bring out his totalitarian tendencies to the full.

          • WallaceLeMay68

            I thought atheists were supposed to be the ‘reality’ based community, why do you spend so much time making crap up? The Holocaust was the result of Nietchean notions of the will to power and creating the Ubermench, combined with DarwinIan notions of survival of the fittest, etc. “Without God, all things are permissible. ” Even the Holocaust and your lies about it.

          • rogero

            No, the Holocaust was ENABLED by the actions of all those who were successfully indoctrinated with nearly 2,000 years of virulent Christian anti-Jew propaganda for which the Vatican only in recent times issued a grovelling apology. If your God existed and yet the Holocaust happened, then quite clearly “With God, all things are permissible “, even the Holocaust and your misconceptions about it.
            In any case, I can hardly take your contribution at all seriously, troll, when you can’t even spell Nietzschean properly.

          • WallaceLeMay68

            Thanks for this steaming nugget of regurgitated, pseudo-intellectual, neck bearded blather you preening, faux-analytical, Hitchens-Dawkins parroting, basement dwelling clown.

          • rogero

            A comment copied from elsewhere, I think, which wasn’t clever or even funny the first time around. Lazy as well as stupid, it seems.
            Go away and play with your toys; you are clearly incapable of debating with the grown-ups.

          • WallaceLeMay68

            You have, inadvertently, given me the empirical evidence I have been looking for to support my new proof for the existence of God: the argument from douche.
            P1: if a maximally douchy entity exists, there must some transendant, countervailing entity which embodies all that which in not douchy. Otherwise, douchiness would have overwhelmed the universe.
            P2: non-douchy things exist, such as Jesus, America, freedom, baseball, Ronald Reagan, etc.
            P3: a maximally douchy entity exists (proven by your last comment ).
            P4: maximal douchiness does not dominate the universe based on the existence of P2 + sunsets, babies, Chuck Norris, etc.
            P5: the transendant embodiment of maximal non-douchiness, which allows for existence of P2, must be spacess, timeless, immaterial, omnipotent, in order to overcome the maximal douchiness of P3.
            That entity is what classical theists call God.
            Thanks again neck beard boy. In all your pseudo-intellectual, teenage angst ridden butthurt fury, you have proven the existence of God.

    • DamnedLiberal

      More famous atheists:

      Jean-Paul Sartre
      Isaac Asimov
      James Baldwin
      Albert Camus
      Robert Heinlein
      Robert Louis Stevenson
      Gore Vidal
      Kurt Vonnegut
      H.L. Mencken
      Ron Reagan (son of the President)
      Andrew Carnegie
      George Soros
      Mark Zuckerberg
      George Carlin
      Moshe Dayan
      Golda Meir
      Yitzhak Rabin
      Barney Frank
      Jesse Ventura
      Alfred Nobel
      Stephen Hawking

      …and the list goes on and on


      • dandate2

        @DamnedLiberal:disqus Now do these people deserve recognition? Let’s pick out Stephen Hawkings:

        Stephen Hawkings explains that “Negative-Mass” is fundamental to Black Holes and The Big Bang

        Negative-Mass is an irrational, illogical, untestable, unprovable, unobservable, magic religious concept Mr. Liberal.

        What does this say about your religion?

        • DamnedLiberal

          The people I mentioned have been recognized by their peers, the public, or groups, for their accomplishments. Whether or not you agree with that recognition is moot.
          BTW, It’s “Hawking” (singular). Here’s more information about him. And, BTW, Hawking remarked on the opposition by some Americans to Universal Health Care by noting he has been kept alive by England’s National Health Service (national health care). Despite being stricken by the usually-fatal ALS at an early age, Hawking is now 72 years old. He attained that ripe old age without praying to some deity.

  • Mary Zinkiewicz

    Every day millions float swiftly towards the gates of Hell

    Every day millions of souls, at the moment of death, float swiftly towards the gates of Hell; powerful people, leaders, rich, poor, singers, actors, terrorists,
    murderers, rapists and those who have had abortions. The one common
    denominator all of them share is this. None of them believed that Hell exists.

    Your loving Savior and Teacher

    Jesus Christ

    Satan recruits young people through pop culture
    Saturday, June 4th, 2011 @ 17:00

    • adhoc

      “None of them believed that Hell exists.”

      So your belief in a mythical place, keeps you from doing evil deeds? It sure seems to be the case for you. If so, keep on praying. The rest of us are moral without threats of mythical places. Your views sound like something Andrea Yates would say.

      • WallaceLeMay68

        Thanks for this steaming nugget of regurgitated, pseudo-intellectual, Hitchens-Dawkins parroting, neck bearded blather you preening, faux-analytical, basement dwelling clown. This comment really opened my eyes. I mean, this is powerful stuff. After all, we are all atheists towards Thor, right? Some people are just enlightened enough to take it one step further. And we all know Darwin has already explained how the entire universe can function without any need for a creator. Except, well … the Kalaam Cosmological Argument, teleological argument, First Cause / Unmoved Mover, the impossibility of infinite causal regress, the necessity of at least one unconditioned reality, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality, Plantina’s modal ontological argument, the free will defense to the problem of evil. … Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and logic half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life!

        • rogero

          Thanks for this steaming nugget of regurgitated, pseudo-intellectual, Michael Behe parroting, neck bearded blather you preening,
          faux-analytical, basement dwelling clown.

        • Bible Belted Betty

          Stop giving yourself upvotes. It isn’t humble.

          • WallaceLeMay68

            On some level you tacitly know that it’s time for you to shut your neck bearded head. Search your feelings, butthurt boy, you know this to be true. Yours is a worldview so petty, so trivial, so localized, so earth bound, so unworthy of the universe.

        • jmpo’lock

          “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” – Matthew 7:2

          What a glorious book that can be so masterfully wielded against any type or subject one selects… indeed it is a magic tome! …”you preening, faux-analytical, basement dwelling clown.” hahaha! funny shit

          • WallaceLeMay68

            Psalms 14:1 – (To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David.) The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.

            Romans 1:19 – Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.

            Romans 1:20 – For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

            1 Timothy 4:1-5 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devil….

            Ephesians 4:18 – Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

            Revelation 21:8 – But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

            Colossians 2:8 – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

            Own it neck beard boy! You’re the one who quoted the Bible!

          • jmpo’lock

            Brilliant! You just proved my two points. 1) Anyone can find quotes in that old book to suit their preconceived motives. 2) You are a foulmouthed jerk.
            But I forgive your ignorance, fear and naivety

          • WallaceLeMay68

            Well this comment really opened my eyes. I mean, this is powerful stuff. After all, we are all atheists towards Thor, right? Some people are just enlightened enough to take it one step further. And we all know Darwin has already explained how the entire universe can function without any need for a creator. Except, well … the Kalaam Cosmological Argument, teleological argument, First Cause / Unmoved Mover, the impossibility of infinite causal regress, the necessity of at least one unconditioned reality, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality, Plantina’s modal ontological argument, the free will defense to the problem of evil. … Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and logic half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life!

          • jmpo’lock

            Reason is deplete of “God(s)” Nice of you to be so concerned with my worldview though, however rest easy that I sleep blissfully, even with my full acceptance of the abyss that is mortality. I’m guessing it is exactly that fear that keeps you up at night, and imagining/hoping for magical sources of meaning. Fact is, meaning just is, being just is, stop trying to muddy it with kooky theories and just accept it and live a fear free life while you have it.

          • WallaceLeMay68

            I guess God is imaginary then. Check mate, monothesim! Religion flies people into the moon! The Jesus story was stolen from Thor! If only believers just understood evolutionary cosmology better! Aquinas’ Five Ways were disproved by cosmic background radition. Oh, you don’t know about cosmic background radiation, you poor ignorant theist. Something about Zeus, Baal, Apollo… One step further! Dogs and bees can smell fear…. Baah! Allah also died and resurrected. Oh, you say he didn’t, well why should I have to know theology if God is imaginary. Baaah, the emperor has no clothes. Existence is not an attribute. We know now from quantum mechanics that nothing has a cause. The human head weights 8 pounds. Yada yada.
            Did I just pretty much sum up your entire view of reality?

      • Mary Zinkiewicz

        actually, that msg was from God Himself. God gave us all free will. u decide where u spend eternity in smoking or non smoking.
        Hell is no myth. Tell me what u think when u get there

        • adhoc

          “actually, that msg was from God Himself.”

          Odd, I thought you typed that message.

          “God gave us all free will.”

          Omnipotence and free will don’t mix.

          “Hell is no myth.”

          Sure it is a myth, just like Santa’s workshop is a myth.

          “Tell me what u think when u get there”

          Thanks, how smug of you. Threatening me with hell is as affective as threatening me with a bogyman in my closet or under my bed. Sorry, I have no fear of your imaginary people or places.
          Actually, it’s rather silly:

          “Hell The bogyman is no myth. Tell me what u think when u get there he gets you”

    • jmpo’lock

      Cool (or should I say hot?), with a God like that, I’m presuming that’s where all my friends are! Sounds more fun anyway…

      P.S. The Pope has demolished this autistic view of theology.

      Not “believing” or not knowing is cool with his God, you get judged on your actions and deeds, not stupid dogmatic rules… i.e. one doesn’t go to your “hell” on a technicality. That would be un-Godlike to lack such basic forgiveness. This should help you sleep better at night believer. Don’t worry so much…

      • WallaceLeMay68

        The problem with the stereotypical Dawkins-parroting basement dweller like yourself is that their very participation in the discussion – indeed, your existence itself – is incoherent and must be explained before any serious discussion can occur. As a precondition to any conversation, the neckbeard should first be compelled to first answer the following: 1. Why is the atheist even engaging in the debate/discussion? On atheism, there is no objective basis for even ascertaining truth; there is no immaterial aspect to consciousness and all mental states are material. Therefore, everyone who ever lived and ever will live could be wrong about a thing. By what standard would that ever be ascertained on atheism? Also if atheism is true, there is no objective meaning to existence and no objective standard by which the ‘rational’ world view of atheism is more desirable, morally or otherwise, to the ‘irrational’ beliefs of religion. Ridding the world of the scourge of religion, so that humanity can ‘progress’ or outgrow it, is not a legitimate response to this because on atheism, there is no reason to expect humanity to progress or grow. We are a historical accident that should fully expect to be destroyed by the next asteriod, pandemic, or fascist atheist with a nuke. In short, if atheism is correct, there is no benefit, either on an individual or societal level, to knowing this or to spreading such ‘knowledge.’
        2. Related to this, why is the atheist debater even alive to participate. If there is no heaven, no hell, no afterlife at all, only an incredibly window of blind pitiless indifference, then the agony of struggling to exist, seeing loved ones die, and then dying yourself can never be outweighed by any benefit to existing. As rude as it may sound the atheist should have a coherent explanation for why they chose to continue existing. Failure to adequately address these threshold questions should result in summary forfeiture of the debate, and/or dismissal from the discussion.

  • DonW

    Most religious leaders, elders, and influencers are more worried about losing their positions of power and control over the multitudes of deluded people that continue to look for the imaginary man in the sky, than whether people actually believe in him… I was a Christian all of my life, and am now an Atheist, because it’s “obvious” to me now that this guy doesn’t exist, or he would have shown himself by now…I am only sad that I wasted so much of my life in dedication to this myth, So now, as religious people all over the world continue to argue over which sections of the myth are true, I can just stay out of it, and live my life without giving control to these jokers…Deconversion is a wonderful thing…try it…

  • Scientist and believer

    I’m surprised Mr. Silverman didn’t also claim that atheists have whiter teeth, fresher breath, and fewer cavities than believers. By his logic, being a minority is also “bad” since minorities have higher crime, dropout, STD, etc. rates than whites. Perhaps we should deport any demographics that don’t measure up to Mr. Silverman’s standards.

    Oh, and as a former university professor with multiple graduate degrees and numerous NSF and other prestigious / competitive grants and awards in my (scientific) field, I would caution Mr. Silverman (who does not possess these academic credentials and is not himself a scientist) against assuming that all educated people are atheists or implying that believes are somehow less intellectually capable than atheists. All too often I have seen people embrace atheism (their choice, of course) for no other reason than as part of a vain attempt to prove that they are “smarter” than everyone else.

  • Anti-Millitant Agnostic

    We can plainly see that the least religious countries and states are generally the most moral, peaceful, and humane

    Thats funny I guess the humane peace loving countries such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Cambodia, etc. Were examples of the beauty of Atheism. They have very low crime rates and no second time offenders! Lets just forget the mass killings. To put it bluntly American Atheists is a despicable organization. You keep rattling your saber about seperation of church and state and how the university guy violated it in his public position( he has the freedom to express his opinions believe it or not) I guarantee you that if that had been a pro atheist video you wouldn’t be complaining. I’mut ironicaly organizations such as this are pushing me back to christianity. Some atheists are ethical. American atheists is not. Yes religous people can be bigots but so are atheists this bigoted organization is proof. Ill bet no one here had read about your glorious founder Murray o harry. She was a pretty messed up person and her own son became Christian! Oh and guess what religion is not the opium of the masses thats not even what Karl Marx meant You Millitant atheists are just as bad as the christians you rant about. When awnsering you dont need to attack my grammar ir my intelligence as Atheists love to do, address my arguments without getting into a scathing rant abour religus ppl ar dum stupid racist biguts whi hte everyoen if they didnt exist thered be no wars and stuf jesus is dumb lolz

    • Mehki_Girl

      Sometimes it is difficult to discern a person’s point when the grammar is poor. I’m having a hard time figuring out your points. I think you are basically saying you moved away from religion to becoming agnostic. However, the militancy of this atheistic organization is turning you off and you are now leaning toward becoming Christian, yet Christians can also be obnoxious. Although they have a right to their opinion which this organization had no right to quash and this upsets you greatly while admitting Christians do the same to those that don’t share their beliefs.

      But doesn’t this organization have a right to express its point of view and opinion? From what I’ve read Atheists want people to use their rational minds. If you are rational, shouldn’t your choices be based on you truly believing there is or there is not a god and new how these two groups behave?

  • Anti-Millitant Agnostic

    Sorry for the mistakes on my last comment, Im typing this on my phone so it got messed up some.

  • Mike J

    All this talk about philosophy, atheism, grammar, and religion is making me hungry! It is also, if i may add for all those who are in search of a down right fight of two rivals, that there multiple miss leadings in these comments and will leave you most confused about our glorious country America!

  • Derek

    Want to hear something good in the news? Go to an atheist website, and see what they’re complaining about. Great video, and so true. “If God does not exist, all things are permissible.” – Dostoyevsky

  • denzuko1

    To some extend, I agree with the Chancellor that religion tends to make people obey the law. However, there is a dark side to this.
    I was volunteering at a Buddhist temple and at 1 point part of the committee. One thing that I notice is that the “commoners” in the temple tends to be very obedient and obey the instruction of the monks or nuns, without question. This to the extend of incapability in decision making and will not proceed unless they get a node from the Sangha.
    Things were made worse when the nun assigned to the sub-committee was young, inexperience and disconnected. Her proposals have nothing what so ever to do with the issues on hand. Worst part is that no one dare to question or challenge her opinions.
    Moving to a bigger picture, the effect of religious on human behaviour in law obedience ultimately leads to mindless individual who obey without questioning the validity of the instruction and thus the beginning of the fall and high chance of emergence of totalitarian country.
    I would certain not want this to happen to my country.

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