ABC’s Nightline Devotes Nine Minutes to Blasphemy Promoting Atheists
On Tuesday night, the ABC program "Nightline" devoted almost nine minutes of air time to a group of atheists who are encouraging teens to take the "blasphemy challenge" and videotape themselves denying the existence of God. Although reporter John Berman did ask some challenging questions to the creators of blasphemychallange.com, he also tossed softballs, such as "What’s wrong with God?" Additionally, the ABC correspondent first related how atheists are actually an oppressed minority and yet also the wave of the future:
John Berman: "Two of the best-selling books on Publishers Weekly religion lists are by atheists about atheism. There's a hard-hitting documentary questioning the very existence of Jesus. There's even an atheist lobby in Washington."
Earlier in the interview, which aired at 11:44pm on January 30, Berman talked to Brian Sapient and Kelly [no last name given], who do an atheist podcast in their basement:
John Berman: "From this tiny basement in Northeast Philadelphia, these people are trying to wage a very big fight against religion. All religion. Why don't you believe in God?"
Brian Sapient: "I don't see any good reason to believe in God."
Berman: "It's that simple?"
Sapient: "Yeah. It's that simple."
Berman: "What's wrong with God?"
Sapient: "Nothing. What's wrong with the tooth fairy? You know, I mean, there's nothing wrong with something that, most likely, doesn't exist."
Berman: "Brian Sapient and Kelly, who didn't want us to use her last name, are co-founders of the Rational Response Squad. They're atheists. There are an estimated 20 to 30 million in the United States these days, sometimes, they say, a persecuted minority."
Later, Berman touted the growing success of atheism:
Berman: "Two of the best-selling books on Publishers Weekly religion lists are by atheists about atheism. There's a hard-hitting documentary questioning the very existence of Jesus. There's even an atheist lobby in Washington. And are you part of some atheist counteroffensive?"
Sapient: "You know, whatever. If we're looked at like that, that's fine, you know. You know, I want people to embrace reason. I don't care what you call it. If you call it a counteroffensive against religion, that's fine. I want people to embrace reason and abandon superstition."
Berman: "Brian and his cohorts seem to have an answer for everyone and everything. The way you're talking, it either seems like you're saying, 'You're with us, or you're against us.'"
Sapient: "Well, we're talking about things that are somewhat black and white."
Kelly: "Well, yeah, you either believe or you don't. You're religious or you're not. You're an atheist or you're not. So-"
Berman: "You're right or wrong, in your opinion?"
Kelly: "Well, yeah, I guess. I mean in that sense."
Berman: "How long will the challenge go on?"
Sapient: "Until the end of Christianity."
Apparently Borman didn't think to ask why atheists, who are opposed to "all religion," chose to single out Christianity.
For complete coverage of the the eight minute and 50 second segment, head over to the Culture and Media Institute’s website. They’ve also been following "Newsweek" magazine’s promotion of the so-called "blasphemy Challenge."