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Red S.E. Cupp is the home of S.E. Cupp, co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Huckabee Talks to Maher and Dreyfuss


When I learned Mike Huckabee would have his own primetime show on Fox News, I thought "Great...finally a pundit who will defend religious America on a national stage." I am an atheist, but I'm often at odds with secular America, which I have come to view as hostile and antagonistic toward people of faith. That may be surprising, but I've always admired the faithful, envied them even. Though I do not believe, I defend religion steadfastly and every chance I get.

And tonight, I watched Huckabee's show, and was surprised to see he planned to interview Richard Dreyfuss, a well-known Hollywood liberal, and Bill Maher, whose new movie "Religulous" looks to marginalize the faithful as extremist and backward.

Dreyfuss went on for what seemed like hours about what he thinks is wrong with America, namely that we've forgotten the lessons of the Enlightenment. He said that the gift of that moment was that "science and reason" triumphed over "faith and hope." And he mourns the fact that we seem to have forgotten that. Huckabee was incredibly generous and polite with Dreyfuss, affording him ample time to expound on his views with which Huckabee presumably disagreed. He welcomed him warmly.

Then he went to a taped segment in which he interviewed Maher. Maher admitted he thinks religion is a "neurological disorder," which drew affable laughs from the Baptist Minister, who joked, "Did you get hit by a church bus as a child or something?" Maher went on to say that most wars have been religious wars, which many scholars have recently contradicted, most notably Dinesh D'Souza. In his book "What's So Great About Christianity," D'Souza noted that in fact more people have died in the name of atheist projects, like those of Pol Pot, Castro, Kim Jong Il, Ceausescu and others, than ever died in the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition combined. And though Huckabee and Maher had a light debate about faith, one could say Huckabee was decidedly reserved in addressing Maher's palpable disdain for average church-goers, Muslims, Jews, and others whom he views as fanatics. Huckabee even said, "I like you, I've always liked you."

But afterward, Huckabee turned to camera and admitted it might surprise his viewers that he asked someone like Maher to come on his show. To that he said, "Those of us who have authentic faith need not be fearful of those with whom we disagree. Talking to people I disagree with sharpens me."

Though I was hoping for a more aggressive defense from Huckabee, I realized that giving people like Dreyfuss and Maher a forum to talk unfettered about their views is far more courageous than yelling over them, insulting them, chiding them and cutting them off with an indignant huff. Huckabee's doing good work to improve the dialog, which benefits both sides.

Huckabee isn't the best interviewer, nor is he a natural journalist. Maybe that's a good thing.

7 comments:

Rob said...

I'm an atheist as well, but often find myself in the position of having to defend religion (Christianity, specifically) from unfair attacks on the left.

That being said, I can't stand Huckabee and his southern-fried populism. I mean, he's devout and genuine, but I just don't like his politics.

Gasgwar said...

Looks like you are uncovering all of the atheists tonight, count me as one too. I like Huck. He comes across as genuine and has a great sense of humor. I was also glad when he dropped out of the race, ;)

Jamie said...

I think Richard Dreyfus should read up on the Enlightenment before citing it as an attack on religion. While "science and reason" triumphed, it wasn't always at the expense of faith. One of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, Isaac Newton, saw God's hand in all of his discoveries. John Locke was a religious man as well. The list goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

Nice recap, S.E.

EjIMBo said...

S.E., I love your appearances on Redeye. You always bring a fresh perspective to the discussion.

Although I am not really all that religious, I do believe in a creator, at least of some sort, likely somethyijng 'way beyond our imagination or comprehension. because I think there's no alternative. Creation can explain things that science cannot.

I don't think everyone has to believe, and I also know there are some believers who are as nutty as some non believers and VICE VERSA. However, I also know that, although it takes no brains to believe in God, it also takes no brains to DISbelieve in God. But, it does take real intelligence to UNDERSTAND why we MUST believe in God.

BTW, I understand S.E. stands for Sarah Elizabeth in your case. Your parents chose your names very well!

Adderall Apocalypse said...

Hey. Dinesh D'Souza is disingenuous at best. He makes an old, tired accusation. I would like to clarify about those "atheist projects" of which you spoke. Those regimes may have been "atheist," but those "projects" were still based on an ideology (Communism). Theism and atheism are not on their own ideologies, they are simply possible answers to the question of whether or not a person believes in a god or gods. Religion is simply ideology + magic/mysticism. So the question isn't whether or not a society believes in a god(s); the question is whether or not the society is driven by an ideology. It just so happens that most of the more dangerous ideologies are religious. Clearly, most atheists nowadays aren't communists. Most of them "believe in" science and reason. Science and reason don't make presumptions (except for a few, like "the universe exists and we can learn something about it"); they only seek to differentiate fact from falsehood. If you really are an atheist, it's difficult for me to see how you would be envious of the faithful or defend ideologies. I would strongly advise you to take a closer look at what you do believe. Just saying...

Chris said...

Hopefully S.E. will come around sometime, I like her alot. Personally, I don't see how one that studies science could not believe in God.

Just take, for example, the size of the universe. If in the moments following the big bang, the total mass of the universe was less by the equivalent of one grain of sand, nuclear fusion wouldn’t have occurred. If the size was larger by an equivalent of one grain of sand, the universe would collapsed in on itself. So basically the total mass in the entire universe had to fall within a window of one grain of sand for all of this to even exist.

How can someone look at that and say there is no God? You can find example after example in evolution where the odds just don't add up. Lightening striking a puddle of mud? Common.

As John Carlstrom from the University of Chicago said: "We're stuck with this preposterous universe."

OR...there is a God.

To compensate for the incredibly long odds, they have concocted this theory of an infinite multiverse. If there are an infinite number of universes, then yes, the odds are we will hit the ultimate improbability that is our universe. But using Occam’s Razor, is it more likely that we live in a massive multiverse of an infinite number of parallel universes with no beginning and no end, or that God created it?

Paul Davies: "Whether it is God, or man, who tosses the dice, turns out to depend on whether multiple universes really exist or not….If instead, the other universes are relegated to ghost worlds, we must regard our existence as a miracle of such improbability that it is scarcely credible."

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but was the first tenant of science not to believe in anything you can’t see, touch, taste, smell, hear, or measure?

Why do people believe in a multiverse that they can't see, measure, or prove it exists, while rejecting the possibility that there is a God?