On Gretchen Carlson’s show yesterday, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Catholic League President Bill Donahue, and American Atheists President David Silverman joined Gretchen to talk about a New York group’s plan to erect a statue of Satan at the Capitol Building in Oklahoma, opposite the recently built Ten Commandments statue.
Predictably, the atheist calls the Bible hate speech in his very first response on the panel. Silverman then tells the Rabbi what Judaism believes (with as much pomposity and self-righteous indignation as he can muster), what Christianity believes, and wraps up by calling all religions bunk. Unsurprisingly, he’s fully on board with the statue of Satan.
It’s Catholic League President Bill Donahue who makes the most salient point in the discussion. He points out that this group will readily admit that the statue is meant as a deliberate affront to, and attack on, Christianity. It’s not a true religious expression, it’s just a giant middle finger in goat form.
Silverman plays dumb and impartial, saying all religions are nonsense but should be treated equally. He lays no claim to what the so-called satanists are up to. But this is exactly the sort of thing that activist atheists do all the time. They try to get spaghetti monster monuments erected, they put up advertisements on buses and in Times Square saying “who needs God?” They aren’t celebrating their own beliefs, or lack thereof. They are mocking the beliefs of others. Sure, it’s not illegal. But it is pretty jerky. And it is certainly no secret. Atheist activist groups routinely go out of their way to stick their fingers in the eyes of Christians. And that is precisely the purpose of the statue of Satan. So Silverman glossing over that common cause is nothing more than self-interested dishonesty. He likes that this statue sticks it to the squares. He’s not about to object to it.
OH, one more note about the statue. On Twitter, Jonah Goldberg makes one more point that shows just how much this is not about religious expression, but is instead just a poorly thought out stunt:
Satan statue debate to take interesting turn when people realize Baphomet is a vulgalarization of Muhammed http://t.co/98B5nHujOZ
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) January 7, 2014