What annoys me about this interview is that Wolf Blitzer, for some reason, was insistent that someone say the “Thank the Lord” line so he could fill out his report.
He could have just said, “well, you have to thank the Lord,” and ended with that.
But, no! He insisted that the woman, who has just been through one of the most terrifying events of her life, had to say the words.
I admire her for being honest about the whole matter and shutting him up. Not everybody in the heartland is a Bible thumper, no matter how much Wolf and the CNN crew want to pigeonhole them into a specific demographic.
She could have just said, “Sure,” but if she’d done that, I bet Blitzer would have badgered her with a “You have to say the words.”
And then he follows with that condescending “but you made the right call.” Like people who don’t believe in God don’t have sense enough to find shelter when a tornado is about to take them on a one way trip to Oz.
This is the reason I stay away from television news.
Oh, and why is he a jerk?
Because he justifies other jerks like this one:
An atheist lawmaker’s decision to give the daily prayer at the Arizona House of Representatives triggered a do-over from a Christian lawmaker who said the previous day’s prayer didn’t pass muster.
Republican Rep. Steve Smith on Wednesday said the prayer offered by Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe at the beginning of the previous day’s floor session wasn’t a prayer at all. So he asked other members to join him in a second daily prayer in “repentance,” and about half the 60-member body did so. Both the Arizona House and Senate begin their sessions with a prayer and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
“When there’s a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a non-believer, don’t ask for time to pray,” said Smith, of Maricopa. “If you don’t love this nation and want to pledge to it, don’t say I want to lead this body in the pledge, and stand up there and say, ‘you know what, instead of pledging, I love England’ and (sit) down.
“That’s not a pledge, and that wasn’t a prayer, it’s that simple,” Smith said.
So the “Christian” lawmaker gets to overrule another person’s beliefs. And no one will stand up to him and say, “Screw you.”
Actually, someone did:
Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, who represents a northern Arizona district on the Navajo reservation, did take offense. She said Smith’s criticism of another member’s faith, or lack of it, was wrong.
“I want to remind the House and my colleagues and everybody here that several of us here are not Christianized. I’m a traditional Navajo, so I stand here every day and participate in prayers,” even without personally embracing them, said Peshlakai, D-Cameron. “This is the United States, this is America, and we all represent different people … and you need to respect that. Your God is no more powerful than my God. We all come from the same creator.”
(This week in religion was brought to you by the good people at Little Green Footballs.”)
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer tells atheist tornado survivor: ‘You gotta thank the Lord’ (rawstory.com)
- Arizona House non-prayer sparks Christian re-do (seattletimes.com)
- Atheist AZ Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Praying Before House Session (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Atheist State Rep’s Secular Invocation Done Over ‘In Repentance’ By Christian State Rep. (tucsonweekly.com)
- Why it’s called the ‘Stupid Party’ – ‘Arizona House non-prayer sparks Christian re-do’ (thelastofthemillenniums.wordpress.com)
- Blitzer talks religion (politico.com)
- Wolf Blitzer Asks Atheist Tornado Survivor Awkward Question (newsy.com)
- Wolf Blitzer Asks Tornado Survivor If She Thanked the Lord; Tells Him She’s an Atheist (richarddawkins.net)
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Asks Atheist Tornado Survivor If She ‘Thanked The Lord’ (mediaite.com)