OKC Atheists on CBS Sunday Morning News

We were all so excited for this opportunity, but it wasnt supposed to be like this.

It wasnt supposed to be a piece on atheists, sandwiched between images of people mourning over slaughtered children and school officials.

But thats what it is.

And its fine– CBS didnt do a hack piece on us or anything… It was just supposed to be a happy “YAY! GO US **HIGH-FIVE**” moment, not a ‘Well I stopped crying because I quit watching TV, Facebook, Twitter, Newsfeeds, and now Im crying again’ moment.

Murdered people, devastated communities, were not supposed to be our ‘in’ to talking about atheism.

There are assholes out there. Not monsters, just thoughtless, heartless, soulless assholes who care more about their politics, more about painting their political/social adversaries as potential mass-murderers, baby killers, woman killers, than they care about their fellow humans.

This tragedy, I think it has hit many of us so hard because of the defining feature of humanity– empathy. We all have kids, step-kids, nieces, nephews, friends kids, grandchildren, neighborhood kids, the age of the kids killed. What would we do, if this happened to them? What would we say? Many of us have family, friends, who are teachers and school administrators (if we arent not ourselves). Literally my entire family is in education. What if my mother died this way? My father? We all have a friend, a relative, whos always been a little… off… What if I found out, through Twitter/Facebook, that my brother murdered my mother, twenty children, and six educators?  My cousin? My high school friend?

And then the guilt sinks in. There are kids dying all over the world, every day.  I dont cry for them the way I have been crying the past couple of days. Its easy to forget about the kids in Syria, the kids in Zambia, the kids in China being shot/bombed/starving/disease, theyre over there.  This happened over HERE. Why dont I cry for the kids over there? God there are so many kids who need help… and it all seems so futile.

Just last week, we were giddy– We cured a little girl, a little girl who was going to die from cancer, with a GMO HIV virus. Countless scientists and physicians and medical personnel worked together, and they saved this little girls life!!!

And like that *snap* 20 kids were taken from us, not by cancer, but for nothing. Six school admins, who had so much more to give those children and future children, gone.

Again, it just makes everything seem futile.

I am not an officer of OKC Atheists, I barely have time to show up for meet-ups anymore, but I can speak for myself saying that I in no way, shape, or form want to use this tragedy as an excuse to talk about atheism.  It wasnt supposed to be like that for the CBS show.

Comments

  1. #1 Andrew Hall
    Purgatory
    December 16, 2012

    “The church is one generation away from extinction.” Good.

  2. #2 Freddie Lloyd Case
    December 16, 2012

    “it wasn’t supposed to be like that…” I’m curious… What exactly is it “supposed to be like” in the random, purposeless, Godless world of the atheist?

  3. #3 Gumby
    December 16, 2012

    A wonderful post Abbie.

    Don’t worry about not being able to extend total and complete empathy to all the people in the world who have suffered tragedy. We live in an age where we are bombarded with tragedies because of instant global communications, and no person could possibly grieve for every bad thing that they become aware of. It’s human nature to feel more pain when tragedy strikes closer to home and feel less when the tragedy may be just as real but seems much more abstract because of geographic and cultural distances.

    Um, sorry to nitpick, but you misspelled “atheists” in the title of the post.

  4. #4 Gumby
    December 16, 2012

    Freddie: You’re an ass.

  5. #5 ERV
    December 16, 2012

    lol Thanks Gumby! Alas, the typo is preserved forever in the entry link :-(

  6. #6 Steersman
    December 16, 2012

    Excellent post, Abbie. Very difficult and narrow line to walk – which you succeeded in doing rather well – between commiserating and offering condolences, and using the tragedy merely as fodder in ongoing political battles.

    But if anything might redeem society in some small way for allowing that to happen, it seems that what might do it is some apparently increasing willingness to ask some serious questions about the social values that led to it – to do some serious soul searching. And while there are, no doubt, many roots that sustain that rather pernicious tree, I would say that a culture of the gun has to be a major one.

  7. #7 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    December 17, 2012

    ERV wrote, “There are assholes out there. Not monsters, just thoughtless, heartless, soulless assholes who care more about their politics, more about painting their political/social adversaries as potential mass-murderers, baby killers, woman killers, than they care about their fellow humans.”

    Freddie, thank you so much for providing such a clear example.

  8. #8 Rhology
    December 17, 2012

    <i.Freddie, thank you so much for providing such a clear example.

    LOL.
    Whiny atheist compares a questioner asking him a question that makes him uncomfy to a serial child murderer. I thought you guys were supposed to be rational around here.

  9. #9 bullet
    NOLA
    December 17, 2012

    No Rhology, that’s not what happened. Learn 2 Read, idiot.

  10. #10 ERV
    December 17, 2012

    Actually, bullet, I didnt read Rhos comment properly either. I think we are all on edge, after this.

  11. #11 John C. Welch
    December 17, 2012

    LOL.
    Whiny atheist compares a questioner asking him a question that makes him uncomfy to a serial child murderer. I thought you guys were supposed to be rational around here.

    Whiny theist gets pissy because his magical sky god is evidently a petulant git who lets kids die because they didn’t pay enough homage. Funny how said sky god also lets people in the “houses of god” molest little kids.

    But i’m sure the whiny theist will do what whiny theists always do when disaster strikes: sit on the couch and think happy thoughts up into the sky.

    Prayer – when you care enough to do fuck all nothing about anything.

  12. #12 Jason
    Corpus Christi
    January 3, 2013

    “Again, it just makes everything seem futile.”

    Not at all. According to the World Health Organization, the number of children under 5 years of age dying per hour on this planet has gone down from around 1,200 in 1990 to about 900/hour today, which is impressive given how much higher the world population is today vs. 1990. Everything else being equal, I think it’s accurate to give scientists all the credit for this.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.