Ron Reagan Comes Out on National TV

Posted by Jim Newman on June 3rd, 2014 – 10 Comments – Posted in atheists, Famous People

ron-reaganRon Reagan, the liberal son of Ronald Reagan, has done a coming out atheist commercial that aired during The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

“I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed by the intrusions of religion into our secular government,” he says in the 30-second ad. “That’s why I’m asking you to support the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our founding fathers intended.”

At the end of the ad, Reagan says he’s a “lifelong” atheist who is “not afraid of burning in hell.”

I am extremely grateful for this. Not only because recent surveys still show atheists to be on the bottom of the heap to govern but also because Reagan rose to the occasion, in spite of personal issues.

He sounded subdued, and said he has not been working much, having just suffered through a personal tragedy. On March 24, he said, his wife of 33 years, Doria Palmieri Reagan, died of complications from a progressive neuromuscular disease that she developed seven-and-a-half years ago. A clinical psychologist, Doria Reagan was seven years older than her husband.

But he had made a promise to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which honored him in 2009, and he felt obligated to keep it. Reagan has been a nonbeliever since childhood, he said, and is surprised when people react with incredulity when they hear it.

Ron Reagan promotes atheism in a 30-second spot for the Freedom From Religion Foundation that ran May 22 on Comedy Central
“I think when you hold an opinion that you find entirely reasonable, you are surprised when you discover that other people don’t also consider it reasonable, and kind of get up in arms,” he said.

The crazy part of this is the continued negativity of the conservative public to deny the separation of church and state. At least Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson has the guts to say what’s on their minds.

Speaking to the Republican Leadership Conference here, the bearded Louisianan said the party and the country have moved too far away from the founding fathers’ vision of religion’s role in American government — and that the current version of the separation of church and state is a “lie.”

“GOP, you can’t be right for America if you’re wrong with God,” Robertson said. “You want to turn the Republican Party around? Get Godly.”

“I guess the GOP may be more desperate than I thought to call somebody like me,” he said.

Robertson, who was introduced by Sarah Palin, closed the speech with a minutes-long prayer, said “Amen, I’m done,” and walked off.

Got that right. Even John Boehner has tried to reach out to the radical Tea Partiers, chiming that we’re all the same, sounding a lot like #wereallpeople in the face of the justifiably divisive but discouragingly, intransigently, true witnessing of #yesallwomen. Even the NRA is backtracking as it tries to get gun-heads from taking assault rifles to restaurants because surprise, surprise, people don’t want to see them. It makes them feel uncomfortable, and scared, proving that while many seem to like to sleep with a loaded gun they don’t want to eat with one. Ya think? The conversion of the free public to a police state is finally experiencing a backlash beyond long waits at airports.

GOP, god’s party, just one letter away. People who think this isn’t the case, that Phil is the outlier, need only keep the survey in mind that atheists would be the last, and least moral, candidate for president. The elephant in the room is that followers of atheism, skepticism, secularism, humanism, whatever you want to call it, are considered incompetent to run the country much less marry their daughters. This means separation of church and state is the least trusted amendment on the books.

Easy to ignore that Ronald Reagan, their hero, was old school in his religious-but-not-churchy observance of faith–remnants of Protestant individualism countering Vatican authority. Where lip service to belief was enough because the assumption was everyone was religious, individually, but many didn’t like the institutionalization of belief. This privatization of religions better fits the old libertarian mold then neolibertarianism where it’s even more true that it’s not really regulations that are the issue but which ones.

And of course #againstwomen should also be their hashtag but I won’t go there today except to say Stephen Pinker misuses statistics when he claims that the ubiquitous and embedded violence witnessed in #yesallwomen is “statistically obtuse.” And Richard Dawkins says liberals should calm down when discussing (misnomering) cultures of atrocities. It’s all good folks, everyone be on their way.

I suppose now that a survey shows there are more casualties, when hurricanes are named after women, it is just cause to sue the naming of them after women, simply because their names create a false environment of safety which is just another way of blaming women for social ills and an embedded deceit of false comfort.

Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com

  1. As an atheist, I’m gladdened whenever anyone of note “comes out” but, holy moly, most of this blog post was almost unintelligible. Just look, for example, at the last paragraph/run-on-sentence. The rest of it is hardly any better.

  2. Nonib says:

    A few well-placed commas, at the least, would have been welcome, indeed. Where is a copy-editor when you need one?

    • jim n says:

      The Internet killed copy editors as a profession. Hell, it killed writing for money except for ad revenue. At least you didn’t have to ignore through a “get skinny” ad.

      • Nonib says:

        Sorry for addressing form before substance, Jim. As a retired copy editor, I get a little compulsive. I enjoyed the article!

        • jim n says:

          I totally understand, having been an editor, writer, or pub’s manager for 17 years. It’s just impossible for me to write for free, run a farm, raise a family, be a carpenter, and do a good job in all so the free work lags. Especially since my posts are usually not very widely read, easing the obligation to be coherent and correct.

  3. lljames says:

    Mr. Jim Newman, with all do respect, you are a master at the English language. But, as someone well versed in statistics, there is also a mathematical language shared by statisticians. When Mr. Pinker said “statistically obtuse” one must know the context in which he said it. Obtuse is a math term and does not hold the same meaning in academia. Obtuse describes a form of measurement. He no more misrepresented the crisis of human rights violations of the female gender than you did in explaining the divisive nature of the political far right.

    • jim n says:

      Yes, well, all “do” respect accepted, I did enjoy the play on words SP used. His tweet was “The idea that the UCSB murders are part of a pattern of hatred against women is statistically obtuse.” Since I was doing hit-and-run commentary my point was to infer that UCSB very will fits in directly to a pattern of abuse. It’s an old canard that since more men are killed in crime they have the worst of it overall. However, an actuarial of violence could easily outweigh murders by so-called lessor deeds. Also, that men are killed by men does’t invalidate that misogyny plays a very large part. Rodger’s manifesto clearly conflates and confounds the implicit relation of men and women in his misogyny, as it does elsewhere, often.

  4. Jim n says:

    Well, Michael, try another post or maybe this site is not for you. New topics all the time.

  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply