Crist and the Atheists
Over the weekend Florida governor Charlie Crist had a negative encounter with an Atheist (read details here). I think this confrontation is important as we Floridians evaluate Crist as a potential Senator. The question we need an answer to, is why did he loose his cool with this guy. I have a hard time imagining Crist would loose his cool with anyone having met him years ago when he was still just a local representative. However, if he has become so intolerant of Atheists that he can’t contain his feelings in their presence anymore, then perhaps his religious views have been radicalized since he became Governor.
For the moment, let’s assume the atheist was a complete and total jerk to Crist. It does not appear that he was, but it is a common assumption being made to excuse Crist’s truly nasty response to one of his constituents. A jerk being obnoxious to the governor of one of the largest states in the union is not unusual. And it certainly shouldn’t be enough to cause a polished politician like Crist to loose his cool. He’s a professional politician! He encounters crazy people all the time. He has to deal with people who vehemently disagree with him ALL THE TIME! Angry voters approach him all the time. It’s part of his job description. So why did he loose his cool with this guy? And why did he only loose his cool AFTER this guy told him he was an atheist?
I have met Crist before; he is cool, calm, collected and charming. It is hard for me to imagine him loosing his cool with anyone. But that was the old Crist. Now he is governor, married, and being groomed for higher elected office. The likelihood that he has joined a Family sponsored prayer circle is REALLY high. And if he has, it would explain his newfound intolerance for atheists. Because the Family holds VERY radical religious views that encourages members to view pretty much everything as a cosmic theological battle between good and evil. Atheists, being opposed to god, would be considered evil. This would lead to an extreme distrust/hate of atheists, which could explain Crist’s outburst.
The reason I think we need to know more about the exact nature of this incident is because if it is true, then it does indicate that Crist’s views have been radicalized to some extent and we the people have a right to know just how much his religious views have been radicalized before we elect him to any other public office.
And yes, this does relate to the very question the Atheist was asking him about his religious beliefs about hurricanes. Back in August 2009 Crist made a very bizarre statement about his specific prayers averting Hurricanes. Seems harmless enough except for the ego attached to it, which can easily be explained by the fact he is a politician pandering to religious voters. But what if he isn’t just pandering. What if he REALLY believes that he alone can alter the path of hurricanes? What if he believes that he, as a member of the Family, has been chosen by god and has a special relationship with god that the rest of us don’t. It is a distinct possibility that he does if the Family has radicalized his religious views. And that is a very scary thought. That sort of extreme God has chosen me so I can do no wrong mindset historically leads to a LOT of suffering and oppression.
Is he a member of the Family? Have his religious views been radicalized? I don’t know, but this latest incident is troubling coming so soon on the heels of his bizarre statements about the hurricanes. Since he has made his beliefs a public issue and is actively using his faith to court voters, I think we have the right to ask him for details about his beliefs. Are his beliefs run of the mill or has the Family radicalized them? We need to know.
The attempt to excuse Crist’s boorish behavior just because the person asking the question was an Atheist and therefore must have been obnoxious distracts from the main point. Crist didn’t loose his cool because this guy was obnoxious; he lost his cool because this guy was an Atheist.