Monday, July 14, 2008

"It's a lousy night to be an atheist."

Did I really just hear this phrase during the MLB Homerun Derby on ESPN from one of the commentators? I may have been mistaken, but I believe I did hear this in response to Josh Hamiliton's success in the first round. He is said to have had a dream telling him he'd be playing in the Homerun Derby in Yankee Stadium shortly after finding religion and cleaning up his heroin and cocaine addictions.

Now I'm all for people getting their act together and becoming a better person for it. I also have no problem with those that have discovered religion is an answer for them. What I do have a problem with is a statement like "It's a lousy night to be an atheist."

I had not planned for this to be my first blog entry, but I must retort! It's never a lousy night to be an atheist! I know that I personally live a rich and full life without the need for religion to fill some sort of imaginary hole in my heart. There has yet to be a moment in my life when I've wished that I've believed in a god of some sort, especially not while watching an exhibition sporting event.

I mean who says something like that. "It's a lousy night to be an atheist." I just don't get what that has to do with it.

Edit 1: Having searched online after having initially written this, I've found others who have heard the same comment and thus can confirm I wasn't just imagining things.

Edit 2: I have sent an email to ESPN explaining my disgust with the comment and I've called for a public apology. Who knows, however, if'll they'll listen to just some random guy that no one cares about?

I would appreciate it if you find such a statement to be inappropriate for a live broadcast of the Home Run Derby to fill out a complaint at the following webaddress and ask for a public apology, and should you choose, for the line to be removed from future rerun broadcasts of the Derby.


エリオット said...

Comments like that go to show just how close minded people can be. It saddens me to hear such things.

Rodrigo said...

Its been my experience that people who find religion and give up drugs, already believed in God while they were doing the drugs anyways.

There is a certain degree of pressure among evangelical christians to have a "testimony" or a story about how Jesus worked a miracle through their lives.

The public in general loves these "testimonies," when I was religious I had one.

I would tell people about my shitty childhood and finish by saying "then I got born again."

I believed in God the whole fucking time, I just didn't go to Church.

Robert M. Price compares this to the tactics of Amway salesmen.

Storm Ravynn said...

Hello fellow atheist gamer!

I'm not a baseball fan at all but I really enjoyed Josh Hamilton's story and performance last night. I don't care if he wants to credit Jesus.

The comment came out of nowhere and just made my jaw drop. It was certainly uncalled for and would be front page news if any major religion had been mentioned instead of 'atheist'.

In any case, someone should tell Jesus that the derby has three rounds.

Leslie A. said...

I thought the same thing as did the original poster. My first reaction and that of my brother was "Did you just hear what I heard?" The comment just seemed so out of place. I thought that Hamilton's story was great myself. My family is Jewish - we thought that the story was great too. You don't have to be a Christian to appreciate one man's triumph over substance abuse. I did write a letter to both ESPN and Reilly himself. Hopefully, he will learn that atheists aren't bad people, and that they can appreciate religious people's successes in life.

Atheist Gamer said...

As others have said - I have no problems with the man dedicating his performance and thanking Jesus. I happen to think that Hamilton's return to the MLB, Jesus or not, is an amazing story and he's one of the few athletes that parents should tell their kids to look up to for what he's overcome.

The statement "It's a lousy night to be an atheist" was made by an announcer and is definitely insulting to atheists and skeptics. I'm not calling for anyone's job - I think it was said off the cuff and thus doesn't warrant any sort of disciplinary action.

Thank you all for the comments so far!

Ben said...

Such ignorance and thoughtlessness baffles me.

Red Letter Believers said...

Josh's story is pretty amazing.

Even an atheist can stand back in awe.

Here is the story about his faith journey:

esp. said...

Truth be told, Josh Hamilton's story has nothing to do with Jesus, apart from his silly belief in such a thing. Were Jesus on his side, he would not have lost the Derby to Justin Morneau. Furthermore, I had to rewind that comment by the commentator about 5 times before I could believe what I heard. I know how ignorant some people are, but that's just too absurd. Imagine if he said 'muslims', 'jews', or 'hindus'; the guy would be vilified. He probably doesn't even remember saying that, though.

Anonymous said...

Atheists: We know, you merely believe.

My retort: So if the entire world came to embrace the derision you profess, guess what? This won't be a free world anymore, dumbass - as you probably hindered them to believe and hope.

Atheists are really wee Hitlers in the making.

1stCalamity said...

I thought I had the only Gaming / Atheism blog! lol.