Monday, June 1, 2009
I couldn't let this go for some reason so I wrote a letter to the Tyra show. I don't even watch her show, but I just couldn't let this go without a comment. Here is my letter below:
I just recently caught a clip of the Tyra show that featured Steve Harvey and I was disgusted and appalled at his comments about atheists. I was more offended at the reaction that Tyra gave, laughing as he made disparaging comments about a group of people as having no "moral barometer" if they do not believe in god.
Let me introduce myself. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a college graduate, an activist, and a human being. I am also an Atheist. I do not believe in god, gods, goddesses, or any sort of divine creator of this universe. My husband is an Atheist, and we are raising our child free from religion. This does not mean that we are teaching him religion is wrong and that we are right, it means that we are teaching him that the world is a gigantic place, and the millions of people that inhabit it, all look, feel, and believe differently.
We are not "immoral" people. We love, we laugh, we cry, we yell and scream, we tickle, we eat too much, and we spend too much time on the internet. Our "moral barometer" is based on our human consciousness of what is right and wrong. We do not kill, or steal, or hurt people, not for fear of the wrath of some imaginary cloud being, but for the mere fact that, as human beings, our NATURAL intellect dictates that these things are wrong.
Steve Harvey's comments were bigoted and prejudicial. If someone were to juxtapose the words "Jew" or "Muslim" or "Asian" into his statements about Atheism, would the audience have been so quick to titter? And would Tyra have allowed such hate-speech to be spoken so freely without comment?
The reality is that this country is made up of many godless individuals. There are many of us who do not believe in god, who lead normal, productive, and yes, MORAL lives. The Freedom From Religion Foundation put the percentage of Atheists in this country at 14% at last count. We are still citizens of this nation. We vote, we pay taxes, and we deserve the same respect given to any other individual, whether they be god-fearing or not.
If Steve Harvey, or anyone for that matter, wishes to base their opinion on someone on whether or not they believe in god or not, I am sorry to say that they will be missing out on some very interesting people. Some of the greatest minds in the world are god-free: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the late great author Douglas Adams, astronomer Carl Sagan, scientist Marie Curie, James Watson and Francis Crick who discovered the double helix and the origin of DNA, Seth McFarlane of Family Guy fame, author Kurt Vonnegut, George Clooney, Lance Armstrong, Natalie Portman, Katherine Hepburn, the list is endless.
What a sad existence it must be to be so closed minded and believe that your god would allow such hatred.
My conscience is my guide. There is no need to cling to spiritual fantasy. Our lives and our child's life are enriched by reality, not illusion.