NEW YORK, N. Y. (EP) Political commentator S.E. Cupp is an atheist, yet she defends religion against some of atheism's more militant proponents. She said that some, like Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher, "are evangelists. They are proselytizing."
"I don't believe in God," she said, "but I'm not mad at him. I don't think he's dangerous. I don't think religious people are fanatics."
Cupp, a native of Carlsbad, Calif., spoke to students at The King's College on Sept. 15, as part of the New York City Christian school's Distinguished Visitors Series.
Cupp, who has worked for the New York Daily News and the New York Times, said that 95 percent of people in the world believe in some type of a divinity. For militant atheists to pretend "that religion is on the fringe," she said, "is not only incredibly presumptuous, it's a lie."
In her book "Losing Our Religion," she wanted to fight back against this notion. Specifically, she said she "wanted to focus on the liberal media's attack on Christianity."
"Right after the 2008 election seemed like a perfect time, because it was a really eye-opening experience if you were looking for the religious attack," Cupp said.
She used her book to show that the "liberal media" are "absolutely threatened by Christian Americathreatened politically, threatened ideologically."
For Cupp, it was clear that the media were attacking the religious faithful. But even more, she said, "It's not just attacks; it's lying about the genesis of our American beliefs."
She talked specifically about the freedom of religion. Some media personalities, she said, claim that the whole point of the religion clauses in the U.S. Constitution was to say that religion ought to be done in private.
"That is absolutely a lie," she said. "That's the opposite intent.
"The Founding Fathers wanted you not to be afraid to be a public Catholic, or to be a public Protestant. This is what they were trying to avoid with the freedom of religion clause." In fact, she said, "the liberal, secular media are completely turning that around to implore you to be a faithful person in private."
As an American and as one sympathetic to religion, Cupp said she opposes that notion.