As the Friendly Atheist points out, Keith Olbermann did not stop to consider the reasons why the atheist donor didn’t want his identity known concerning his large contribution. Maybe that information would have taken the focus away from the message of the bus campaign and the media would have focused on the “evil donor”. Or maybe that person wanted to contribute to the campaign and didn’t want to “come out” in such a large way for whatever personal reasons he or she might have. Olbermann must not have taken the time to think before making his hasty decision to publicly condemn the person for their “hypocrisy.”
I would not consider anyone who donates money to a good cause to qualify for the “worst person” list. As one YouTube commenter stated “Personally, I think the person who gave the generous amount of 10,000 should be appreciated for their generosity. . .”
So, what’s up Keith??? Why the snark?
There are many reasons why the atheist would want to remain anonymous in regards to his/her donation. Hemant Mehta quotes Greta Christina:
There are some realities about living as an atheist that you may not know about, Mr. Olbermann. Coming out as an atheist can have serious real-world consequences. Parents get denied custody of their children for being atheists. People get harassed and vandalized by their neighbors for being atheists. Teachers get suspended for being atheists. Teenagers get harassed and suspended from school for being atheists. Politicians whip up anti-atheist fear to try to get elected. (And that’s just in the US. I’m not even talking about parts of the world where atheism is a crime, punishable by imprisonment or death.)
One can encourage others to “come out” even if it isn’t the right time or place for you to. We all have to do it in our own way, in our own time. Some just come out with it, for others it is a gradual and careful process.