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← Teresa MacBain on CNN - Faces of Faith

Teresa MacBain on CNN - Faces of Faith - Comments

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 1 by Agrajag

There is a bizarre time lag on the audio that makes this really hard to follow.
Steve

Mon, 07 May 2012 18:21:17 UTC | #940354

John P's Avatar Comment 2 by John P

I didn't have a problem with it, but I opened it in a separate window.

You have to admire someone willing to throw away a vocation, a career and a paycheck. But doesn't someone like her disprove Pascal's Wager quite handily, which assumes that one can make a choice (free will?) about what they believe? Belief seems to be something that needs to satisfy the brain. If it doesn't come, you can't force it.

Which then seems to reflect negatively on the intelligence of the believer, whose brain seems to readily accept such horseshit.

Mon, 07 May 2012 18:27:12 UTC | #940356

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 3 by AtheistEgbert

No time lag for me. Great to see no animosity or hostility from the CNN presenter. Imagine if she were to go on Fox News though? People really do underestimate the prejudice we atheists are subjected to. I am very lucky to not face it here in the UK, but I can't imagine the hate that atheists face in some places in America, and in Muslim countries.

Mon, 07 May 2012 18:37:40 UTC | #940358

CEVA34's Avatar Comment 4 by CEVA34

How the heck can anyone have a "call" to enter the ministry when they are six years old? Presumably they then remain at that mental age for the rest of their lives!

Mon, 07 May 2012 18:38:33 UTC | #940359

Elisabeth Cornwell's Avatar Comment 5 by Elisabeth Cornwell

Regarding the comment by CEVA34.

Perhaps thinking of it in other terms, children role play and often imitate those people who influence them. I can remember wanting to be a doctor when I was about 6 years old, my brother wanted to be in pro-football. We don't use the term 'a calling', but psychologically it is no different. Eventually I did become a doctor (can't say my brother went into the pros). It would be unfair to say that I stayed at the same mental age for the rest of my life. Teresa is an incredibly intelligent, kind, generous and extraordinarily brave person. Can you imagine going on national television to discuss something so very personal?

RDF-US has been the primary financial supporter for The Clergy Project. Those individuals I have met, either personally or via email, have been an inspiration. I have seen nothing by kindness and support among them. All of them expressed that the reason they went into the clergy was to help people, to be a support person in the community. Our society tends to suggest that only 'religious' people can fulfill that role - so they followed down that path. They now are aware that one does not need the supernatural to help our fellow humans. I think they deserve our support rather than unkind remarks about their struggles. They bring to our movement a unique view and experience that many of us cannot understand. We should welcome them rather than ridicule.

Mon, 07 May 2012 21:57:34 UTC | #940434

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 6 by The Truth, the light

Great to see an interview conducted in a calm, rational and non-biased manner.

Take note, Fox News.

Mon, 07 May 2012 23:20:11 UTC | #940450

alberto93's Avatar Comment 7 by alberto93

Comment 4 by CEVA34 :

How the heck can anyone have a "call" to enter the ministry when they are six years old? Presumably they then remain at that mental age for the rest of their lives!

That doesn't sound very respectful of other people. When you grow up in a very religious environment you have no choice but to have imaginary friends. That indoctrination is very difficult to escape from. If the chance to lead others is valuable to you, you will have the "call".

Tue, 08 May 2012 00:53:01 UTC | #940465

No Kidding Man's Avatar Comment 8 by No Kidding Man

This kind of interview should have a significant impact on those religious persons with hidden doubts about their faith. Professor Dawkins should sit with this lady and discuss how she managed to get rid of the delusion.

I was born in an Islamic environment, and at 16 I started to be strongly doubtful. However, I had to keep quiet about it. In Islamic countries, everybody knows what apostasy can lead to.

Life has been much more interesting without the nonsense...

Tue, 08 May 2012 01:05:00 UTC | #940466

Sara's Avatar Comment 9 by Sara

I wanted to be a nurse at age six. That eventually changed.

It wasn't a calling from god -- it was my mothers' wish, so equally compelling for a child.

Please note that Teresa's father was a minister.

Tue, 08 May 2012 01:35:21 UTC | #940468

Akaei's Avatar Comment 10 by Akaei

Comment 2 by John P
Belief seems to be something that needs to satisfy the brain. If it doesn't come, you can't force it.

Not exactly. Selection/confirmation bias make this possible. Consider Stockholm Syndrome. If the perceived benefit/threat is great enough we can rationalize anything. Sadly, smart people are even better at self delusion (rationalization.) This is why skepticism is important in consideration of information analysis.

Tue, 08 May 2012 04:21:42 UTC | #940482

sbooder's Avatar Comment 11 by sbooder

Not only was the interview carried out in a calm and unbiased way, it was well enough presented to ask pertinent questions about what others can do in the same position. Well done CNN.

Tue, 08 May 2012 06:20:29 UTC | #940490

peter mayhew's Avatar Comment 12 by peter mayhew

Yes, agree with all those comments: CNN did a good job.

Tue, 08 May 2012 09:19:50 UTC | #940505

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 13 by scottishgeologist

Sara pointed out:

Please note that Teresa's father was a minister.

A very good point. In my own experience, here in Scotland, there seems to be a very large number of ministers, whose fathers were ministers before them. I know of several. You even get dynasties of these people.

For instance, and this is a big one. the current minister of the Tron church in Glasgow (one of the biggest evangelical churches in Scotland) is William Philip. His father was a minister , again at a big famous evangie church. Not only that, but his uncle was also an evangie minister at a major Glasgow church.

There are many other examples as well. - the more conservative and fundie the denomination (or caucus within a denomination) the more likely you are to find these dynasties

SG

Tue, 08 May 2012 12:57:24 UTC | #940528

Dalmuti's Avatar Comment 14 by Dalmuti

I think the only part of this interview that bothered me was the implication and lack of clarification when asked the initial question: "...loose your faith and turn to atheism?"

What bothered me was the subtle re-inforcement by the interviewer of the misunderstanding of what atheism is, calling it another system of belief rather than a lack of belief. It's a seemingly small thing but as pedantic as it may sound they are two different ideas. It is true that atheist's often have a great deal of other beliefs in common the implication that there is an atheist creed or dogma is counterproductive.

Tue, 08 May 2012 14:24:54 UTC | #940537

CJHefford's Avatar Comment 15 by CJHefford

Whilst the reported made some errors (turning to atheism) that was a civil and impartial interview. If I wore a hat I'd take it off to CNN, that's the kind of neutral reporting that's needed.

Tue, 08 May 2012 16:08:45 UTC | #940553

Layla's Avatar Comment 16 by Layla

Comment 14 by Dalmuti :

I think the only part of this interview that bothered me was the implication and lack of clarification when asked the initial question: "...loose your faith and turn to atheism?"

What bothered me was the subtle re-inforcement by the interviewer of the misunderstanding of what atheism is, calling it another system of belief rather than a lack of belief. It's a seemingly small thing but as pedantic as it may sound they are two different ideas. It is true that atheist's often have a great deal of other beliefs in common the implication that there is an atheist creed or dogma is counterproductive.

Yeah, I noticed that too. They also refer to it as a decision, as though you can actually choose to believe or not believe.

Of course Christians have got to believe that people choose to believe or not believe because otherwise it would make God's punishment of those who don't believe in him seem unfair.

Tue, 08 May 2012 17:52:14 UTC | #940579

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 17 by All About Meme

The backdrop for this interview is recognizable as Austin, Texas -- the home of Matt Dillahunty and The Atheist Experience.


Y'all.

Tue, 08 May 2012 21:05:20 UTC | #940611

ewaldrep's Avatar Comment 18 by ewaldrep

I second comment 6 above, a delightful interview, calm, relational, non-judgmental. The more discussions we have like this the better. I am still annoyed by CNN's Piers Morgan and his demeanor toward Ricky Gervias when asking about his atheism. Hopefully we will see more interviews of this sort

Wed, 09 May 2012 16:29:49 UTC | #940744

RobertSkeptic's Avatar Comment 19 by RobertSkeptic

CNN`s Piers Morgan also stated that he became angry upon learning thatmagician Penn Jillette is an atheist. he is kind of a jerk.

Wed, 09 May 2012 20:04:01 UTC | #940768

isisdron's Avatar Comment 20 by isisdron

I can only imagine how difficult this has been for her. She is lucky that her family still loved her, so many other people lose their families. I am out to my friends and mom, but I still dont have the courage to come out to my dad. Put it this way: My mother's day card (and birthday, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving cards) has actual pieces of bible cut out and taped to the card. It's as if he doesnt trust me to read the verses or something. I want to tell him that I dont believe all his crazy Bible stories, but I am very scared that he wont want to communicate with me anymore. His mom (my g-ma) is dying, I am going to see her very soon, and it just wont be the time. I once dared to comment on a peacock's tail at a petting zoo as being solely for sexual attraction purposes and what a pain it must be to drag around...he went livid insisting to me that it's actual purpose was to "glorify God." I thought it best to be quiet after such a disproportionate emotional response. I also endured several "gay people can be fixed if only they would let God fix them" rants. Four days in Kentucky feels like forever. :(

Fri, 11 May 2012 18:32:00 UTC | #941062

Emmeline's Avatar Comment 21 by Emmeline

To CEVA34 - any chance of posting something supportive instead of insulting?

To isisdron - I hope one day you'll feel able to be "out" to your Dad. I don't know many people who've been shunned by their families after admitting they don't believe but I've read lots of accounts so I appreciate how difficult it must be in some situations.

Sat, 12 May 2012 19:12:39 UTC | #941221