Atheists Demand Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Retract ‘Fallacious Smear of Nonreligious’

Atheists Demand Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Retract ‘Fallacious Smear of Nonreligious’ By  for Faith Wire

Atheist activists are accusing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of issuing a “fallacious smear of nonreligious” residents and are imploring him to apologize to nontheists.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist group based in Madison, Wisconsin, said DeSantis implied during a June 9 press conference in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, that people without a “‘religious foundation’ are prone to criminal violence.”

“DeSantis made these insulting and baseless statements at a press conference a few days ago regarding the person who allegedly attempted to assassinate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” a FFRF statement read. “DeSantis claimed so-called ‘lunatics’ lack a ‘religious foundation’ or any type of ‘relationship with God.’”

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The atheist group argued these comments are unfair to nonreligious individuals and paint them “in a deeply unfavorable light.”

A review of DeSantis’ comments shows he did indeed discuss the accused as well as the topic of nonreligion, though some context is needed. The governor described a “lunatic trying to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh” before explaining his views on extreme individuals’ worldviews.

“I think there’s a lot of really, really crazy people out there, unfortunately, that really get consumed with ideology,” DeSantis said. “These are people that don’t really have, I think, a religious foundation or any type of relationship with God, and so they turn to radical politics as kind of what they’re going to do.”

[Video starts at Gov. DeSantis relevant comments.]

The FFRF wrote a letter to DeSantis pushing back on these comments and requesting a retraction.

“We write to urge you to immediately retract your misleading comments and apologize to
your nonreligious constituents,” the letter reads, in part. “There is apparently no evidence that this particular suspect was in any way motivated by a lack of religion, or even whether he is nonreligious at all. In fact, he reportedly had a religious upbringing, and mental health issues seem to be an obvious factor in the case.”

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