[FoRK] Scott Adams: "Atheists: The New Gays"

Stephen D. Williams < sdw at lig.net > on > Mon Nov 20 08:20:56 PST 2006

Too bad the first comment is from such a meathead.

http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2006/11/atheists_the_ne.html

Atheists: The New Gays

Is it my imagination or have the atheists come out of the closet (in the 
United States) since 9/11?

Prior to 9/11, it would have been career suicide for a public figure to 
come right out and say God is a fairy tale. Now it’s a feature of 
popular culture. You can see it on cable of course, in shows such as 
BullSh*t, Real Time, The Daily Show, and Southpark. But it’s also a 
feature of network TV. The main character on House is written as the 
most brilliant human on the planet, and he’s an atheist. The new show 
3lbs has a similar character. I can’t remember anything like that ten 
years ago.

Famous atheist Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion is #5 on 
Amazon.com. Sam Harris is right up there with his books The End of Faith 
and Letters to a Christian Nation. They aren’t selling in numbers 
anywhere approaching the top religious books, but they are best sellers. 
When was the last time two books promoting atheism were best sellers at 
about the same time?

I think the hidden benefit of Islamic extremism is that it freed the 
atheists from their closets. The old mindset in the United States was 
that almost any religion was good, and atheism was bad. But since 9/11, 
atheism has moved above Islam in the rankings, at least in the minds of 
Christians and Jews in the United States.

Ask a deeply religious Christian if he’d rather live next to a bearded 
Muslim that may or may not be plotting a terror attack, or an atheist 
that may or may not show him how to set up a wireless network in his 
house. On the scale of prejudice, atheists don’t seem so bad lately.

I think that in an election cycle or two you will see an atheist 
business leader emerge as a legitimate candidate for president. And his 
name will be Bill Gates.

By then, Bill Gates will have done so much good for the world through 
his charitable works that combined with his business success he’ll 
appear more qualified than any other candidate. His early bachelor life 
and some of his business practices will come back to haunt him if he 
runs, but he can still win with this simple slogan: “Who would you 
rather have on your side?” He’ll confess to all of his past 
imperfections and say that presidents are poor choices for role models. 
He’ll advise you to look to your parents for role models while you let 
him run the country.

I doubt Bill Gates is considering a run for president right now, largely 
because it’s so hard to make a difference from that job. His charities 
will have more impact. But I think he’ll someday realize that the world 
needs a rational thinker in the top spot and no one else can win.

At least you’d know he wouldn’t be in it for the money or to speed up 
the Rapture. He has my vote.


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