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Atheists: Religion does more than just hurt people - religion kills people

Atheists: Religion does more than just hurt people - religion kills people

December 9, 2013 - On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O'Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed "angry" atheists, asking, "Are they that bitter against religion?"

Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O'Reilly's charges, which were part of the cable host's annual protest against the so-called "War on Christmas."

"Bill O'Reilly has this fantasy that Christians are being persecuted," Muscato said, when in fact, "Bill O'Reilly is the epitome of a privileged person; a straight, white, cisgender American. The reason that he's obsessed with this 'War on Christmas' is because he knows there's nothing he's really being oppressed by."

When asked if he is an "angry atheist," Muscato laughed and said, "I'm a passionate atheist. And I believe that there is a place for anger in activism. Anger is a natural emotional response to injustice and I don't think we need to apologize for that."

He was careful to stipulate that it's not Christmas or even Christianity that is the issue, here, but the mingling of religion and government.

"It's not about attacking Christmas," he said, "it's about the mixing of religion and government, because that's a legitimate problem."

Raw Story asked if Muscato is "bitter against religion." He said that he is not, in spite of the fact that religion gives atheists plenty of reasons to feel that way.

"It's not that we were hurt by religion and we're bitter," he explained, "it's that we're concerned about religion hurting people now and in the future and we want to keep that from happening by keeping religion in the private realm."

"Religion does more than just hurt people," he explained. "Religion kills people. There are reports from all over the globe of religious persecution ending in people's deaths."

Right here in the U.S., he pointed out, Herbert and Catherine Schaible of Philadelphia allowed two of their children to die of entirely preventable causes because they would not take their children for medical treatment. The couple believed that God would heal the babies rather than allow them to die.

American Atheists recently launched a campaign to "Take Christmas Back from Christians," in which the group is reminding people that the bulk of our holiday traditions are pre-Christian pagan rites. Some Christians have contacted the group to complain, Muscato said.

"We've never had a problem with Christians celebrating Christmas," he said. "What we have a problem with is Christians trying to insist that the entire winter season belongs to Christianity."

"Winter celebrations have existed for thousands of years, since long before Christianity was even on the radar," he said. "Anybody can have fun and enjoy the season, it has nothing to do with Jesus."

Watch video of O'Reilly's anti-atheist rant, embedded below via YouTube:

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Atheists to Bill O'Reilly: 'Religion does more than just hurt people. Religion kills people.'

On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O'Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed "angry" atheists, asking, "Are they that bitter against religion?" Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O'Reilly's charges, which...

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  • Michael777#

    Michael777 wrote December 11, 2013 5:45:23 AM CET

    What a joke. The runaway biggest killers of mankind are GOVERNMENTS. Governments have killed over 300 million people in the last 100 years, yet these atheist nutters are some of the most pro-government people on the planet.

    Just read the comments below to see who the haters are.

  • properREDeye#

    properREDeye wrote December 10, 2013 4:05:15 PM CET

    Pateriot, you are so wrong mate. Those countries you just listed are all religiously conflicted in some manner of speaking and are all guilty of slaughtering innocents in the name of religion too. It does no side any good to reel off death tolls and say one is more responsible than another, apart from being inconclusive, it is unintelligent and futile. I will say that atheists do not run around killing people saying their encyclopaedia told them to do it, unlike the religious. Yes, people from all beliefs have in the past committed atrocities including atheists who no doubt used their 'knowledge' of no god as appeasement for their actions, but atheists do not have books that tell them what to think, what to do, who to tolerate/hate/kill... religion cannot in good conscience be considered beneficial. Some people live good lives in it's wake, who would live good lives with or without religion, so why should you need the threat of a vengeful god, of impending doom to live a good life?! All that is needed is a good moral compass, certainly not persecution, intolerance or segregation which is all religion seems to offer. If it was inconsequential i would stay quiet, live and let live but religion is the foundation of so much injustice and manipulation i need to speak up

  • Pateriot#

    Pateriot wrote December 10, 2013 12:19:16 AM CET

    We have many "panaceac", atheistic countries to compare to. Let's name a few. Russia (20 million of it own people murdered) China (tens of Millions murdered) North Korea (Millions murdered/still being murdered), and the list goes on to include Cambodia, Cuba, many African countries, former Soviet Block countries, etc. Hitler used religion to gain power but then lamented that Germany was not atheistic, and a-moral like the Soviet Union. In total there have Hundreds of millions of people killed in the absence of religion and in the name of atheism...just within the last century!

    Untold billions of kind, loving, and charitable acts have been committed in the name of Christ and other religions. There have been near zero on behalf of atheism. I think that the record remains stark and crystal clear!!!

  • Leland Judsyn#

    Leland Judsyn wrote December 9, 2013 9:39:31 PM CET

    @REDeye , exactly ! Yes because they acknowledge these awful sin's and ask for forgiveness. Bible is clear that no man who has lived a full life did so without sin. (including Atheists) It's not religion that's evil it's some people who corrupt it ! If a group of people carrying the Webster Dictionary beat you up and say the books words told them to do it does that make everyone who speaks English evil ? I agree with your finding the connection to the Pagans and Christmas. 3 Magi were the first people to visit Jesus at his birth it can't get any more obvious they have allot more in common ! My family celebrates with a dinner and everyone brings food instead of buying things we don't need or can't afford. Merry Christmas to everyone !

  • properREDeye#

    properREDeye wrote December 9, 2013 5:52:47 PM CET

    Christians... one of the most oppressive, murderous organised crime and paedophile syndicates ever to exist, fact!!! Are we supposed to take morality lessons from these people?
    It was originally the Winter Solstice that made Christianities' adoption of festivities at this time of year necessary, they could not convert the Pagans without offering a concession at this imperative time of year for them. It was a celebration of many things, including the fermenting of the summer's beer and the feast from the winter cull.
    It wasn't until recent history that it became the seasonal unleashing of the commercialism Godzilla that demands everybody empty their bank accounts to buy the most recent version of your favourite phone or whatever irrelevant materialistic rubbish is flavour of the year. It speaks volumes that the most iconic figure associated with Christmas is a character designed and manufactured by a giant global corporation.
    Think long and hard about what it should mean to you, if you still think the only answer is to work all year to finance this one day then you are not ready for the realisation that material goods are what enslaves the West

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