Young atheist calls out Texas Republican amid hostile town hall crowd
The audience at a town hall event held by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) on Thursday was none too responsive to a young atheist blogger’s questions for Burgess regarding atheist military chaplains.
Video posted by Daniel Moran, who goes by the name The Barking Atheist online, shows that when he pushed Burgess on his vote for a ban on atheists from serving in those positions, members of the audience yelled, “Throw him out!” before Burgess put up his hand and asked them to stop.
“I thought that was a dumb idea,” Burgess told Moran, which prompted applause from the crowd. “I’ll do it again.”
“There are no atheists in foxholes,” an audience member says.
“Actually, there are many in foxholes,” Moran answers. “Some of them are my best friends. Some of them work, or not work, but go to school at the Air Force ROTC at the University of North Texas.”
Burgess also replied dismissively when Moran, a North Texas student, mentioned non-theist beliefs.
“I’m an atheist and I was wondering how you plan to represent your secular, atheist, humanist and non-religious constituents,” Moran asked Burgess, who replied by citing a prior comment encouraging Moran, who plans to enter into politics after graduating, to “get help with that compulsion.”
Update, 6:58 p.m. EST: Moran told The Raw Story in an email Friday night that he didn’t hear the calls to have him expelled from the session.
“I was mostly hearing Rep. Burgess talking in my ear at that time, but my fiance told me about them yelling that when I got back to my seat,” Moran said in his message. “I did hear the person that shouted that there were no atheists in foxholes, but he was much closer to where I was standing.”
Watch the discussion, posted by Moran on Thursday, below.
[Image via Rep. Michael Burgess Facebook page]