Tucson Atheists Message Board › No Atheists in Foxholes and Hurricanes Zones"

No Atheists in Foxholes and Hurricanes Zones"

A former member
Post #: 472
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2005

ABC HOST'S COMMENT ON ATHEISTS, HURRICANE ZONES
"INAPPROPRIATE, MALICIOUS" SAYS WATCHDOG GROUP

An Atheist civil rights group charged today that remarks made on the
Sunday edition of GOOD MORNING AMERICA by host Bill Weir that
there "No
Atheists in foxholes or hurricane zones" was inappropriate,
inaccurate
and malicious.

Mr. Weir, a co-anchor with ABC since 2004, made the statement during
a
news segment about how churches in Mississippi were holding services
despite the damage from Hurricane Katrina. American Atheists has
obtained a transcript of the program. Correspondent Mike Von Fremd
reported the story, closing with the statement:

"People know this will be tough and they are leaning on fellow
members
of their church to get through. Bill?"

Mr. Weir replied: "Thank you, Mike. No atheists in foxholes or
hurricane zones apparently there. Other headlines..."

Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists, said that Weir's
remarks
were both inaccurate and inappropriate for a major news network.

"There were many Atheists and other nonbelievers affected by
Hurricane
Katrina, and Atheists across the country are donating generously to
the
many secular relief organizations that are helping victims recover,"
said Johnson. She added that American Atheists had set up a resource
and contribution guide on its web site (http://www.atheists.o...­, and
that Atheists in the Gulf Coast region were also active in the relief
efforts.

Johnson pointed out that according to the American Religion
Identification Survey, nearly 13% of Americans identify themselves as
"nonreligious" or "secular," and many use terms like Atheist,
Freethinker, Secular Humanist or similar appellations.

"Mr. Weir was wrong on another point, too," said Johnson. "There
are,
and have been plenty of 'Atheists in Foxholes' who defend this nation
and our Constitution." She added that there are organizations like
the
Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF), and that on
Veterans Day, November 11, 2005, there will be a massive "Atheists in
Foxholes" rally in Washington, DC. (http://www.atheistfox...­.

Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists, said
that
Bill Weir and Good Morning America should clarify and apologize for
the
hasty remarks made on the September 4, 2005 weekend airing of the
popular news program.

"We don't make these kinds of inaccurate, stereotypical remarks about
sexual minorities, ethnic groups or other segments of American
society,"
said Mr. Silverman. "And it's just plain wrong to say that Atheists
don't live in hurricane zones, or help out when tragedy strikes."

American Atheists is a nationwide movement which defends the civil
rights of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state,
and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.


American Atheists, Inc. P. O. Box 5733 Parsippany, NJ 07054-6733
Tel: (908) 276-7300 Fax: (973) 625-6901
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