How does it play out?
We get to meet Mr & Mrs Gormley, and then their son David who is, unlike his parents, not religious, and that has been quite distressing for his parents.
They then switch to an interview with Richard Dawkins, but then he is the go-to guy for all things atheist as far as the media are concerned, so I guess in their eyes it would have been missing something if they had not included him. He came across very well.
Oh dear … first major blooper … they claim that words such as humanist, skeptic, or secularist are the same as atheist, and yet in reality these are all words that describe quite different things.
Next up is David Silverman, and he does come across very strongly in favour of using the word “Atheist” and not hiding behind other words.
Back to David Gormley – it soon becomes clear that he is indeed being given a very very hard time by his “loving” religious relations, and that fact alone tells you a great deal about the emotions that non-belief can stir up. As things proceed, it is quite clear that his parents are quite obnoxious individuals (they consider their son as dead, and refuse to even sit down with him to be interviewed together).
They switch a some other chap who throws out this statistic – 59% of kids who grow up in a “Christian” home now walk away from it all – and if indeed they have parents like the Gormley’s, then that is not a surprise.
They move on to discuss the clergy project and interview a member of the clergy, Stan, who does not actually believe (they kept his identity a secret and altered his voice). He still servers as a member of the clergy.
Then up pops Jerry DeWitt, the pentecostal minister who did walk away from it all. Clearly he is indeed born to preach … and yet he is now an atheist. It cost him everything, even his wife walked away from him, and yet in the end he has remained faithful to what he knows to be actually true. [“Why did you continue down this path?” … Jerry answers, “Because it is right?”]. Jerry now has his own Church … one that is not religious, and also won his wife back.
We move on to the Harvard divinity school where we meet students attending who are atheists. Then we cut to Greg Epstein, author of “Good without God”, and also Harvard’s Humanist Chaplin.
Back to David Silverman and the launch of Atheist TV … “Religion is bad, religion is wrong. We can say that on Atheist TV, but we can’t say it on any other network“, announces David Silverman on CNN
We finally finish off with a quick series of clips that take us back through all the folks we have visited on this journey, and that’s a wrap.
In the end the CNN report is a good one and paints an honest picture of the diversity of different humans who now lack a religious belief, and yet are still decent honourable normal people.
Those of us who do not believe are no longer alone, nor are we a tiny fringe, we are now mainstream.