One of the more disturbing features of Facebook is when a friend “likes” a link it shows up in my newsfeed. A few days ago, I was “blessed” to see the following appear:
I love the headline – so sensationalistic! “ATHEISTS VICIOUSLY ATTACK…!”
I admit, I was a little intrigued, so I morbidly decided to research this story. Who are these atheists out there viciously attacking Ms. Underwood and her song?
I followed the link from the Facebook page to the story on the Americannews.com site (full text of the article follows):
Interestingly, the article points out in the first sentence that “atheists have founds [sic] a new target: Carrie Underwood.” But it never goes on to say who or what they’ve done – only that Ms. Underwood has a message for detractors. That quote comes from a different site: The Blaze. Maybe it goes in to more detail there?
Under the innocuous headline “Famed Country Singer’s New Tune Tackles Some Major Christian Themes — and Ends With a Rendition of One of the World’s Most Popular Hymns,” there is a another bread crumb to follow.
“As Deseret News noted, Underwood has always defended singing about religious themes, telling Glamour magazine in the past that country music is generally more welcoming of Christian themes.
“Country music is different. You have that Bible Belt-ness about it,” she said. “I’m not the first person to sing about God, Jesus, faith [or] any of that, and I won’t be the last. And it won’t be the last for me, either. If you don’t like it, change the channel.””
Surely in the Deseret, I’ll finally find who are these dastardly atheists that dare attack Ms. Underwood and her faith? Um, unfortunately, no oasis of insight to be found in the Deseret.
The song concludes as a choir joins Underwood in singing the classic hymn “Amazing Grace.” Despite its spiritual message, Underwood hopes that all fans will enjoy the song regardless of their religious beliefs.
“The song is hopefully uplifting no matter where you are on your spiritual journey,” Underwood told radio DJ Cody Alan. “Hopefully, it can still just make you feel happy.”
So despite the sensational headline and the appeal to good Christians to fan their hatred of atheists, there is no story there. Paul Loebe summed it up well in his article Carrie Underwood: Not a Single Atheist Cares What You Sing.
The story itself is of such little value – largely because it is so amazingly contrived. If an atheist is viciously attacking Ms. Underwood, surely there would be blood – or at least a pointed quote attributed to Richard Dawkins, or some similar horseman of the atheist apocalypse… No, the story isn’t there – the story lies within the thousands of comments in the Facebook link itself.
Staggeringly, as of today, there were 25,888 comments to the original link posted by The Patriot. While I don’t have the time to read each vitriolic comment, a random sampling suffices (quoted with original typos):
– Atheist [sic] offend me I want them banned
– Screw the atheists
– To heck with them.the atheists are crazy.That is the reason they are atheists.
– Time to tell the atheists to shut up. I am tired of the MINORITIES trying to tell the rest of us what to think…when and if and who we can pray to.
– Have not heard it yet, but if it annoys atheists then it must be good!
– Again go live where they don’t want God…
– Why can’t we just ban the Atheists?
– I think all atheist [sic] need to be band [sic] from our country, I know that is not possible but it sounds good.
– They need to move somewhere else and start a country of their own. Because this country was built on the foundation of Christianity
– Tell the Atheists to go to hell
– Atheists are probably some of the most ignorant people on this planet
– Atheist [sic] needs to go to hell
– All Atheists ; Go join the muslims …… You have more in common then you think
Even if some atheist out there was critical of Carrie Underwood’s song and for whatever reason felt that demanding it shouldn’t receive air time due to its religious content, I think we could all agree that that person is simply a nut and is not representative of an entire group of people.
Unfortunately, people such as the ones expressing their views towards atheists, as noted, fail to understand the importance atheists place on the Constitution and most especially the 1st Amendment – the freedom of speech and the separation of church and state. It’s based on this principal that 99.99% of the atheists in this country would defend Ms. Underwood’s right to sing about whatever she pleases and to make sure that people of all religious beliefs have the freedom to pursue their religious liberties without government interference or coercion.
Alas, these same individuals fail to see that by begging the government to endorse their religious beliefs places their religious freedoms at risk. Conflating secularism with “evil” as many outspoken religious leaders have done in the recent past, is simply the proverbial road to hell, paved in good intentions. It’s almost enough to make me feel sorry for them, but then again, this is America and intelligence is not necessarily our strongest attribute…
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”- unattributed