Bigoted atheism

Sam Harris thinks that Evangelical Christians should be excluded from some public offices. There’s a word for that.

If someone objected to the nomination of a distinguished scientist to be director of the National Institutes of Health because the nominee was a Muslim or an atheist, we’d all call that objection by its rightful name: religious bigotry.

When Sam Harris objects to the nomination of Francis Collins as NIH Director because Collins is an Evangelical Christian who has actual Evangelical Christian beliefs, that’s different … how, exactly?

Harris wants to impose by politics the sort of “religious test” the Framers explicitly forbade imposing by law.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: