I looked on RationalWiki the other day for some information on Kent Hovind, and I got caught up in reading other articles on there. While I don’t know that I’m that keen on the name (everyone wants to think they’re rational, but coming right out and claiming you are strikes me as bordering on hubris), it’s the kind of stuff I tend to enjoy, like the debunking of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. I have sort of a love/hate thing going on with such ideas, in that I love the delightful wackiness while hating the fact that people in power actually use that crap in making important decisions. I loved the idea of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit!, although the episodes based more on opinion than on fact sometimes bugged me, as did the repeated position about how rich people shouldn’t have to pay taxes. Among other things, I found out that Atlas Shrugged contains a perpetual motion machine and holographic projectors. I guess L. Ron Hubbard wasn’t the only one who created a science-fiction-themed cult in the twentieth century.
The actual subject of this post, however, is someone who just recently came onto my radar, S.E. Cupp, who recently made what I think was her second appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.
She apparently used to appear a lot on Fox News, and is now a co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle (where I guess she’s the token Republican) and the host of her own show on Glenn Beck’s online channel. Perhaps the oddest thing about her is that she claims to be an atheist, yet claims she would never vote for an atheist for president. Also, she wrote a book about how the liberal media are persecuting Christians, and claims she’s not angry at God. How can you be angry at someone you don’t think exists? Okay, maybe that’s a stupid question; I’ve gotten angry at fictional characters in the past. Still, the “angry at God” thing is usually a charge leveled by believers at atheists, not something atheists themselves just come out and say.
In addition, Cupp has said she “aspires to be a person of faith one day.” It’s no wonder some people think she’s basically a living caricature of atheists. It’s sort of like a Jew personally taking the blame for killing Jesus. In an interview, she said of Christianity, “I loved the belonging. I’m a consummate fan; whether it’s with the Mets or with a religion, I really like to be a cheerleader, a supporter. I get really into it. I was really turned on by that sense of group identity.” Later in the same interview, she said, “In part, I became an atheist became I’m not really a big joiner.” So which is it? Does she want to be part of a group or not? Or does she just not want to join any religion that would have her as a member? Another possible contradiction is that Cupp has come out in favor of gay marriage, but if this review of her book is anything to go by, she has also accused the media of having a pro-gay bias. Is she a living paradox, or just full of crap? I’m inclined to believe the latter, but I’m still holding out a certain amount of hope for the former, because then she could make robots explode.
By the way, RationalWiki’s entry on Maher himself calls him out for his often weird views on nutrition and medicine, mentioning that he once claimed not to support the germ theory of disease, but later said otherwise.