Ask the Atheist: Activist and Comic to Field Believers’ Tough Questions


For Immediate Release: June 22, 2018
Contact: Jim Underdown, Executive Director, CFI Los Angeles
junderdown@centerforinquiry.org - (323) 666-9797 ext. 666

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Hollywood: Despite the fact that the nonreligious are among the largest “belief groups” in the United States, most of what people think they know about atheists comes from believers. That’s why veteran atheist activist and performer James Underdown is launching a new column, “Ask the Atheist.”

“People who are atheists, they hate God,” says Pat Robertson to his daily audience of one million Christians. “They hate the expression of God, and they are angry at the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshipping God.”

“Wrong. Wrong. And wrong,” replies James Underdown, who became an atheist at the tender age of 10 after making his first confession to a Catholic Priest. “How can we hate God when we don’t even think he exists? That’s like saying you hate Homer Simpson. He’s not really a person, you know.”

Underdown, who became Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry in Los Angeles in 1999 after retiring from touring as a stand-up comedian, wants to open a legitimate dialogue between religious folks and the secular community, and provide an opportunity for both sides to get to know each other a little better.

“Look, just because people hold mind-blowingly different beliefs from each other doesn’t mean that they have to hate each other or consider themselves at war. Cubs and Whites Sox (and Mets and Yankees) fans share a city. It can be done.”

Ask the Atheist will be published every Wednesday at the website of the Center for Inquiry. For almost 30 years CFI has worked to advance science and skepticism and fought for the rights of secular Americans. Those interested in getting their questions answered by Ask the Atheist may click the link on the website or write to asktheatheist@centerforinquiry.org.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.