With Spearfish electing a Christian fundamentalist mayor, with Rapid City and Meade County insisting on unconstitutional public prayers on the taxpayers' dime, and with Rapid City school superintendent threatening to take Rev. Hickey up on his invitation to teach Bible classes in public schools, I gotta thank the Higgs boson that I still have the liberal media to fight for us secular humanists—
Speaking live to a survivor of the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., [CNN anchor Wolf] Blitzer declared the woman “blessed,” her husband “blessed,” and her son “blessed.” He then asked, “You’ve gotta thank the Lord, right? Do you thank the Lord for that split-second decision?”
But as she held her 18-month-old son, Rebecca Vitsmun politely replied, “I’m actually an atheist.” A flummoxed Blitzer quickly lobbed back, “You are. All right. But you made the right call,” and Vitsmun graciously offered him a lifeline. “We are here,” she said, “and I don’t blame anyone for thanking the Lord.” Nicely done, Rebecca Vitsmun [Mary Elizabeth Williams, "Tornado survivor to Wolf Blitzer: Sorry, I’m an atheist. I don’t have to thank the Lord," Salon.com, 2013.05.22].
I just got invited to join a Facebook group of atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers. (It's a closed, secret group, so we can hide from the FSB our plot to break Pussy Riot out of Putin's gulag and bring them here for a concert at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.) I worry about hanging without atheists, since I know they can be a cranky lot. But it's nice to hear a fellow non-believer, standing amidst the horrific wreckage of her community, able to keep her calm in the face of the thoughtless prejudice of a newsman and a nation. The lucky Ms. Vitsmun is a model of how to politely but firmly state our differences.