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With "Crossfire" returning to CNN this Monday, September 9, CNN is taking a closer look into the hosts' lives with a series of Web videos.
In this first video, S.E. Cupp, a columnist, commentator and author, delves into her experiences with understanding religion and what it’s like to be an atheist and a conservative.
"To me, it never seemed like a contradiction," Cupp explains. "We have the same values," Cupp says of herself and religious believers. "I just think I get them from somewhere else."
Cupp, who has a master’s degree in religious studies, says she was always curious about religion. "I was just fascinated by the pomp and ceremony and ritual nature of religion, and yet couldn't completely get there ever; couldn't completely wrap my mind around the idea of God."
Cupp says she has been working on finding greater understanding for the last 20 years, and isn't giving up. "I want to get to the bottom of this story. It's something that I'll always be challenging myself on."
"Crossfire" returns to CNN on Monday, September 9, at 6:30 p.m. ET.
I'm not much for quoting the "Iinteresting" Bill O'Reilly But Like he said: "It's hard(Almost impossible.) To be an atheist and conservative at the same time. The two views are almost totally different and repel each other in almost every aspect. It's like not believing in the main Idea, but parts of it." They're huge contradiction. Two completely different ideas, views, beliefs.
How the hell do I get this woman's job? I already love to sit around on the Internet and type up dumb opinions to troll people, it'd be nice to finally increase my readership from 4 to 70 and make some money doing it.
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Legally, corporations are treated as individual people, separated from those who manage "it." So for those of you who scoff at the idea that supposedly conservative judges consider corporations to be people, they are merely following corporation law.
Can you imagine an atheists running for President in our secular government.
God is imaginary, so grow up and get over it. Don't believe me, read the bible from cover to cover. It alone is the greatest proof that it was written by primitive men based on their primitive beliefs.
She is such a phony.....about everything. There are not "versions" of athiestism. If you are an athiest you do not believe in a god. That's it.
Oh, I can't stand this woman!! I didn't even know she was an athiest until just now. That figures!
I didn't like her on the Cycle either. Damn Rpublicans! She fits right in with all the mean S.O.B.'s in the House!!
What is called conservative in this country isn't actually. A "conservative" amount of salt on your food would imply erring on the side of less rather than more. What the religious "right" in country do is actually reactionary, they're just liberal in a different direction. There is nothing minimal about having a government defining the beginning of life, marriage, or obscenity. There is nothing minimal about preemptive wars or invading privacy. The Republican party is not conservative, it is socially reactionary while being economically and politically liberal. There are plenty of conservative atheists, they're usually called things like libertarians, objectivists, voluntaryists, and capitalists.
Great post Matt, and let's not forget the "conservative" justices on the Supreme Court equating a corporation with a person.
Well said Matt.
This woman is a walking contradiction. If she was running for office as a Republican "conservative atheist", she couldn't get elected to anything because the Republican base would totally reject her.
And somehow her unelectability in your mind is the equivalent of a contradiction. Perhaps you're just being hyperbolic.
Why would it be a contradiction? Atheism is simply the absence of belief in the existence of deities. What in the world does that have to do with one's political views?
It might be a contradiction because "conservative" is associated with certain positions, some which don't have any rational basis from a secular perspective. Opposition to homosexuals, support for creationism, opposition to birth control, support for teacher-led prayer in school, and promotion of traditional gender roles are positions held almost exclusively by religious people. Yes, some conservative views such as free markets, massive military spending, military aggression, low taxes on the rich, and loose gun laws could be argued on a purely secular basis.
That does not make it a contradiction. Some people dont fit the mold you want to put them in, doesn't imply a contradiction in any sense really.
Please do show me an atheist who supports the teaching of creationism in public schools and their rational, secular basis for doing so. I'd be willing to bet that the Texas School Board members who are doing so at this very moment are extremely religious.
I'm not trying to put her in a mold, but I do think that Ms. Cupp needs to clarify what she means by "conservative".
I don't need to. Conservative is not equivalent to religious. Argument over. Go away.
Erik, its easy. Conservatives are people who love 'Murika. Everyone else are people who hate 'Murika.
Seriously though, that is easily the best criticism of SE Cupp, and the reason she isn't a useful voice to any conversation. She, either willingly or through incompetence, refuses to clarify her views on anything. She has called herself a conservative for awhile now, but I haven't seen her throw her weight behind any conservative issues. It's more like she is a cheerleader for her 'side', rather than a serious voice arguing real issues.
It's not all the complicated. On the surface, you've got glorified character education running rampant through our society's religious and political structures, each is used in a way that consolidates power and resources. Underneath, you have the quest for meaning, which will always be a spiritual enterprise.
The quest for meaning can occur both within or without religious structures because it involves ideals. Ideals are measured by their utility. If two different ideas produce the same utility, then we're arguing over vocabulary. Their a numerous utilities that the atheist position does not manifest, hence I personally remain a theist.
My dog was barking beside me at the top of his lungs as I typed, apologies for the errors.
Worship me or spend eternity burning in the fires of hell. Sounds like blackmail to me.
ExChristian, you are looking at the situation from the perspective of man. The situation really is: You're dirty, but if you get clean you can be with the Creator forever, and worship will naturally pour out of your heart. Or stay dirty and not be with Him.
By the way, to whom do you intend to accuse God of blackmail? Who will judge and sentence God? Good luck with that.
Hey Mr.HighandMighty, I personally do not doubt the existence of God, however I am strongly against religion. Why? Because I believe that there is no way on this Earth that one religion would have all of the answers. There's no way. There are no cookie-cutter answers to life. And as far as Christianity goes, Ive always wondered- if God is all omnipotent as Christians believe, then why would he create humans in the first place if he KNEW that humans were going to sin???? It doesn't make any sense. SO God created us, knowing that we would be imperfect so that he could send himself down (as Jesus) to go on a suicide mission to save humanity- which he knew would mess up in the first place, whats the point??? it doesn't add up. I don't adhere to any religion but I do believe in God (the universe, energy, whatever you want to call it) because I feel like its just something thats innate in all of us yet indescribable. Even atheist such as Ms. Cupp are curious because we will always be curious. WE ARENT SUPPOSED TO FIGURE LIFE OUT. And Christains sure as hell dont have it figured out.
TheTruthHurts, thank you for the thoughtful response. First, to grasp the logic of salvation through Jesus Christ alone, we need to remove the preconceived ideas and labels of "religion" and "Christianity" from our minds, and focus on the reality of one absolute perfect and sovereign eternal Creator (which is what God has to be to have the power to create anything), and ask ourselves how anything less than perfect can stand in His presence beyond this limited and created physical universe. Only the infinite perfection of God Himself (as Jesus Christ living as a man) could bear the righteous judgment for our fallen nature, and allow us to enter into God's Holy Heaven.
So why did God create Adam (and Lucifer) as fallible? The short answer is that God does everything for His own glory, most of which is beyond comprehension of created beings like us, but enough answers can be found in Scripture. Without evil, there can be no good as the contrast. Without imperfection, God could not display His Holiness. Without rebellion and judgment, God could not exercise His righteousness. Without forgiveness, God could not show His grace and love.
"...focus on the reality of one absolute perfect and sovereign eternal Creator (which is what God has to be to have the power to create anything),..." Why do you think God is perfect? What is perfect? Why does something have to be perfect to create anything? How do you know there is only one creator? What created the creator?
"God does everything for His own glory, most of which is beyond comprehension of created beings like us" How can you know what a god does things for since as you say it is beyond our comprehension?
"Without evil, there can be no good as the contrast. Without imperfection, God could not display His Holiness. Without rebellion and judgment, God could not exercise His righteousness. Without forgiveness, God could not show His grace and love." This is interesting philosophy but that is all that it is. As an explanation for the universe and our place in it, I will take a pass. For example, what is evil is defined by man and changes based upon the society/religion/time period etc.
biobraine, your questions were already addressed with other posters, and are in the same vein as questions that Satan asked Adam, doubting and rejecting the authority of God, and arising from pride and a desire to avoid submitting to Him. Since it appears that your heart is hardened, I don't expect that re-wording my straight answers can reach you, but I will try turning them around in case other readers are struggling with the same concepts.
How can there be anything created without a Creator? To whose or what higher standard of perfection would you hold God when questioning His perfection? The answer to both of these questions is a circular logic that will go around and around until you accept that it all lands on the existence of one self-existing, self-reinforcing, infinite, sovereign, perfect Power that was not created, and that has no beginning and no end. That's what God is. And evil is any rejection or rebellion against that perfection.
God's nature is difficult to comprehend for our created minds which are bound in time and space, but God in His infinite wisdom has chosen which mysteries to reveal and which to hide in this time, solely for the purposes of His eternal glory according to His will. Indeed, enough revelation has been made to us in Scripture and in Creation, and every day I give thanks and praises to God for providing and revealing the path to eternal unity with Him and His perfection.
"Judge" and "sentence". There you go again with the blackmail approach inherent to the brain washing practiced by evangelicals. Scare them and then save them. And your "you're dirty" comments reek of the same ol holy than thou attitudes that led to the dark ages. How many people have to be sacrificed in the name of religion, before you guys wake up?
ExChristian, you are still viewing from the perspective of man, but no doubt your blindness has been worsened by those "evangelicals" who preach with threats and carrots, promoting a false Gospel that man's actions can overrule God's absolute sovereignty. The purpose of speaking about God's wrath and judgment is not to scare, but to emphasize the inevitable outcome of imperfection before a perfect and Holy God. The purpose of speaking of man's depravity is not to exalt the saved above the non-saved, but to explain the utter hopelessness and inability of man's condition. What do you do with your guilt? Should your words and actions and thoughts against God and against your fellow man not be punished? Is that your idea of justice?
Also you need to brush up on your history, or learn the differences among "us guys" who are incorrectly grouped together as "religious" or "Christian". The Reformation that broke the Roman Catholic Church's grip on society actually brought the end of the dark ages, as people realized that Scripture shows the institution of the Church has no power over their eternal destiny.
By the way, there is no such thing as an "exChristian." You never really have been saved through Christ. You might have felt a temporary emotional conversion, you might have attended church regularly, you might have read the Bible and told people you were a believer for a while, but you were like a seed scattered on shallow soil, that withered and died in the heat of the day. I suspect that you were temporarily "brain-washed" and escorted into your foray into "religion" by a teacher of a false Gospel. God doesn't make mistakes, and He never lets His elected ones fall away. Perhaps He will call you later, at a time that best serves His will and glory. And if He does, it certainly won't be through a "brain-washing."
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.
–George Washington (letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792)
Well, I think she's perfectly consistent. As nearly as I can tell she's usually expressing her views "against" something rather than "for" something. Her "pros" always come after a blather of "cons". So unless God pays her a personal visit...
There is nothing odd about being a conservative and being an atheist. Ayn Rand, one of the holy saints of of the Libertarians, was an atheist. Karl Rove has admitted to being a non-believer. While Christopher Hitchens, ever the polemicist, found himself siding with conservative thought on a number of issues.
What's odd is a self described atheist saying that she agrees with the 10 commandments. Forty percent of the commandments are directly related to how you should worship God. I find it hard to believe that any atheist would think that it's reasonable to enforce that everyone keep the Sabbath sacred, or that we should put no other gods before Yahweh.
SE Cupp seems eternally battling against an atheist strawman. The politics of non believers range all across the map. Trying to declare that they are monolithic in any way is to show a complete myopia to the reality on the ground.
In her statement where she calls herself a conservative atheist and agrees with believers of the ten commandments showing she has common ground with believers, seems like she is implying the rest of us are savages. That believing that one shouldn't kill is a conservative or religious idea is ludicrous. All societies make laws that allow their members to govern their daily lives and work together in a cohesive existent. It's what makes a civilization civil.
From what I read, I do wonder a bit if she really is an atheist – or just someone who figured out some great marketing.
But – I'll go with it – nothing saying you can't be conservative and atheist. The only thing that would make her not an atheist is if she does believe in a god. Interesting credentials though.
I could totally see her selling a book about 'Finding God'. She kinda bass ackerwards like that.
She wouldn't be the first nor the last Christian to fake atheism – or have an "I hate god" atheism, then use it as great marketing for a "conversion".
One's true belief, one's true way pf life...one's true "religion", is seen in how one lives one's life.
What fundamental, core belief do you and all people embrace and worship?
...the FREEDOM to live according to one's self rights....that which one establishes and justifies to be right in their eyes.
This "FREEDOM" also confesses that it is RIGHT to worship any 'god', any 'religion', any 'other belief' since "FREEDOM" declares that all beliefs have equal rights.
BUT the One Creator God, the One Who gave you and all others existence, has declared that there is ONLY ONE True Way of life....through His Son Jesus Christ....and he is the Only Way to eternal existence.
Man denies the preeminence of this One Uniquely Defined Creator and instead embraces a "god of fortresses" that confesses that it is right to serve and magnify oneself (the XES).
BUT it is Only Christ that will rule as the One King according to the Will of the One Creator and NOT according to the "freedom will" of man.
The "One True Creator", how hilarious.
I love simple minded people.
Opportunist. Who wants to bet that when its the right time she'll 'get there' and write a book about it. She's a charlatan people!
Unfortunately, too many people stay away from Christianity because they don't fully understand it, just like this woman. The fact is, no one will ever be able to fully "get to the bottom of this story" as she puts it. At least not in this life. I mean if we could fully understand God, then God wouldn't be God. There will always be mysteries that we will never fully grasp, like the Trinity for instance... But these same people don't stay away from all of science because they fail to understand some nuance, and they don't stop using money because counterfeits exist... No, you start with the "milk" then you move on the the "meat" when you are able to digest more.
"I mean if we could fully understand God, then God wouldn't be God"
Why do think this? Is it just an excuse you use to continue beleiving in nonsense? Who ever said you cant understand god? Why wouldnt you be able to undersand him if he was real? Would you trust your doctor if you couldnt fully understand him and he worked in mysterious ways? Please start thinking a little more.
She stays away because she doesn't understand it? She has a master's in Religious Studies for Pete's sake! she probably understands it a lot better than most "believers"!
"Morality" comes from where we humans and everything else come from! It is BUILT-IN in us.
We detect the "Rules of Nature and Morality" through "Natural Revelation" by our BUILT-IN Sentience, Basic Instincts, Intuition, and Common Sense. What we detect is the Sense of "Right/Good" or "Wrong/Bad."
I believe God created everything, of which is "Nature," and gave all creatures the "Basic Instincts, Intuition, and Common Sense, hence Morality," that fit their own species.
Girl...You need Jesus! Your so smart and educated you won't except the "simplicity " of Christ. "The truth will make you free". I hope (& Pray) the right person comes along and leads you in the way.
Mark, very true. It appears that Ms Cupp's masters degree was focused on the studies of the religions of man, not the religion of God. Adhering to all the pomp and ceremony and ritual of man's religions will not provide understanding of God, nor salvation from God's wrath. Thus Ms Cupp's God-given conscience tells her to keep searching for answers. At least she has not hardened her heart against her Creator, yet.
Mark, you need reason! The creator of the universe didnt show up to the middle east 4500 years ago to speak to a bunch of goat herders.
Mark, it appears to me that you take exception to the proper spelling of accept.
Truth sets no one free. Knowing that you are a slave does not make you free from whatever it is that holds you down. It makes you more painfully aware of the horror of your situation. Ignorance, truly, is bliss.
Itarion's post is a beautiful (if unwitting) illumination of the big points. Mark points out that despite Ms Cupp's education and intellect, she is still lost. Mark makes a spelling error, but shows more wisdom in his post than Ms Cupp ever has. God doesn't require a grammar test or anything else we perform as a prerequisite to salvation.
"Truth will make you free" is from Jesus' teachings, talking about spiritual freedom, not a physical escape from the temporary trials of this world. All of us are unable to please God, who is and demands perfection. But God in His grace makes an offer of forgiveness through our faith in Jesus Christ, according to His will. Accepting that simple truth is what breaks our slavery to sin, shame, and judgment, and provides us with freedom to live in God's love now and forever. But unbelievers and deniers are spiritually captive in chains forged with their own pride, and they know it, and show it.
I completely agree. She sure doesn't speak as if she has a master's degree in religious studies either. She's just another talking head. Furthermore, I believe that there is far more than 5% of the US population these days that is atheist, agnostic, non-believing.
Agreed. 5% would be more representative to those vocally opposed to religion of any form. Certainly wouldn't include the much larger percentage of those who refuse to believe in mythology, but don't want to be destroyed by the religous right intent upon purging the world of anyone who doesn't walk, talk, or believe as they're told.
Conservative and atheist are not necessarily a contradiction – but when she goes out of her way to tick every crazy right-wing stereotype about atheism (like that we're jealous of believers, or that we really believe and we're just in denial, or that atheists worship themselves as one would/should a god, etc.), I think people would do well to question Ms Cupp's aims. I expect a "dramatic conversion" when her claim of atheism ceases to bring in enough coin.
Ms. Cupp, I have two questions:
1) Do you REALLY agree with "pretty much all of the Ten Commandments"? The first three (no other gods, don't curse God, and honor the Sabbath) don't make any sense if you are an atheist.
2) "Conservative" is generally understood in the US to include opposition to gay rights, promotion of creationism in public schools, and support of traditional gender roles. Do you agree with these positions and if so, how do you make a secular case for them?
Erik– I don't agree with everything Cupp says, but on your point 1) the 10 Commandments– I think her statement can be defended, even as to the first 3 commandments– no other God before Me: if you don't believe in one God, you certainly don't put another that you don't believe in before the first one you don't believe in; don't curse God: why would you curse that which you don't believe exists?; and honor the Sabbath: a day of rest is a good idea, whether you believe in God or not....
The commandments have to do with things people might be inclined to do if not prohibited. They are a restraint on behavior. If Ms. Cupp does not believe in God, then why does she need a prohibition against idols? Why would she care about cursing a non-existent God? If she smashes her finger while alone and then curses God, does she really feel bad, as if she had made some sort of ethical lapse? And honoring the Sabbath is different from having rest. If that's what the commandment meant, then it would just say something like "be sure to take a day off once in a while; any day will do." And I'll bet you she doesn't actually follow that commandment. Journalism doesn't stop on Sundays.
The Sabbath is not a day of rest. It's a day of worship.
The secular case for the first and last point are easy to make. Genetically we are different. If we as a species were meant to engage in homosexual behavior then the genes for this behavior would have died out due to the inability to procreate. "Traditional Gender Roles" are based on the differences in the sexes. If you believe there is no genetic difference between being a female and male then I am not sure what to say. We have different bodies and therefore it makes sense that there could be different roles. We are told that Cavemen males went out and hunted not the females and that had nothing to do with any religion. It has to do with the genetic differences between them.
Your argument includes numerous fallacies and I'll try to address as many as I can:
1) I don't know what you mean by "meant to engage in homosexual behavior". This is either the naturalistic fallacy (homosexuality is unnatural and therefore bad) or a claim that everything we do should be narrowly focused on reproduction (I don't know anyone who actually does this, do you?). The claim that homosexuality is unnatural is false because there are other species that exhibit this behavior.
2) I never said that there are no genetic differences. Men are XY and women are XX, so there must be some differences. But "traditional gender roles" are not the same thing as genetic differences. Yes, men can (generally) throw things farther, run a bit faster, and punch harder. So what does this have to do with whether or not women should be doctors, scientists, politicians, or business people? Those positions were traditionally denied to them and they have nothing to do with physical strength. To tell women that they must remain pregnant, in the home, and submissive to a man cannot be justified by genetics.
S. E.'s belief her career is much stronger than her disbelief in god. And why shouldn't it be? God is irrelevant in the world, while religion carries far more weight than it should.
She doesn't impress or attract any adoring atheist fans and only impresses, disillusions, and panders to her real fans–the liberal religious people–who have no idea that S.E. is being inconsistent here. Not inconsistent because she is a conservative atheist (only fiscal conservative atheist can exist since there is no such animal as a socially conservative atheist in my opinion), but because she doesn't care to mention that the most important commandment to believers–the first one–is the one she has the biggest problem with.
Read the God Delusion C.E. that should put your questions to rest. And a question to CNN why would you put Newt on any show he has never been right on anything he has done in politics?
7 out of 10 commandments are bogus nonsense.
OK. I'll bite. Which are NOT bogus?
I suppose don't kill, don't steal, don't bear false witness. Even the one about adultery is pretty okay. The rest? Crap. The first half is spent reminding you of who god is and what you should be doing for him, and the last one is getting into thoughtcrime. Besides, without coveting, capitalism would be sunk.
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Author, documentary filmmaker, historian, Speaker of the House (1995-1999), and 2012 Republican presidential candidate
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