Comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Norm Macdonald stirred up a Sunday evening hornet’s nest with a series of tweets and replies on religion, tolerance, and respect for people of faith. It seems to have started with the above tweet from a reader of his who took offense at a public expression of faith during a PGA tournament broadcast.

Undoubtedly to the Christian-bashing reader’s surprise, Macdonald responded in defense of those who read scripture:

Macdonald retweeted a reader who opined that a lot of PGA golfers read scripture:

The comedian added:

Next came a flood of outraged tweets from atheist Twitter users, some of which Macdonald retweeted.

Some simply couldn’t believe it:

One non-believer said religion was the worst thing to ever happen to Earth:

Another claimed religion has caused more human deaths than anything else:

Macdonald came off looking tolerant and reasonable, whereas some of his more strident atheist critics seemed judgmental and hysterical.

Update: Norm Macdonald sadly deleted his tweets, after being attacked.

  • DavidKramer

    I sent this @normmacdonald Don’t you just love those secular humanists? They have that moral thing down cold………..

  • milletime810

    May God have mercy on all the “enlightened” atheists.

  • LuCha

    I believe in Safe Auto.

  • Maxx

    Norm has got me wondering tonight…what does an atheist woman say when she has an orgasm? I mean, if she doesn’t believe in God, would she shout

    “Oh Abiogenesis, Oh Abiogenesis”

    The mind wanders…

    • WisconsinPatriot

      oh man…..Oh Man……OH Man……..OOOOOOOOOOH, MAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN………..


      LMAO Best comment.

    • Grandma HeadInjury

      Math! Science! Reason! Dawkins!

      Oh, crap. Mood breaker….

    • 1azuce

      Chris Mathews would yell Oh Bama.

      • Orlando Cee

        On the one hand, that paints an extremely disturbing image. On the other hand (considering it is Chris Mathews) it’s entirely plausible!

        • TocksNedlog

          The image of Chris Matthews’s other hand ‘painting’ an extremely disturbing image is, in and of itself, a VERY disturbing image!

      • TocksNedlog

        “Chris Mathews yells ‘Oh Bama!'”
        — Fixed that for ya.
        [Or, did you mean “would yell” as in ‘Chris Matthews would yell “Oh Bama” IF Chris Matthews could get wood’?]

        • 1azuce

          Good fix Tocks. I always enjoy your posts!

          • TocksNedlog

            Your post made me laugh out loud. I was just playing off of it.

        • Adela Wagner

          From Matthews hand to Obama’s ear…

          • TocksNedlog

            I’m thinking it would be Obama giving it to Matthews in the ear.

  • SJ’s Dad

    It’s all about “Midgets & Crack Whores” amirite?

  • V the K

    Atheists are the only religious group in America actively suing to have their beliefs sanctioned and promoted by the Government.

    • Ken Alan Draper

      seems to run afoul of the first amendment to me, by forcing Atheism on the public, the government through the court system is establishing a religion.

      • V the K

        Exactly. Denial of God is every bit a matter of faith as belief in God.

      • Shawn Smith

        Legally, atheist beliefs should be treated as a religion, and if this were done consistently, our court decisions would look much, much different today.

        • Armando Araujo

          The problem with that is that, apart from not believing in any deities, atheists share nothing else in common. I’m an atheist myself, but I’m also a conservative. I respect the first amendment right of freedom of religion to the fullest. Your right to practice your religion is my right to not practice any religion.

          The problem are these liberal atheists that have a hatred for religion. And please let me reiterate that atheism is not a religion. There is nothing other than our common lack of belief that would unite us, but that is superficial at best. You don’t have to believe in evolution to be an atheist, nor do you have to believe in the big bang, etc.

          • Shawn Smith

            It is not a religion. Fair enough. But it is a *religious position* & thus should be treated exactly the same as a religion in the courts, instead of being the default assumption. Secular humanism is effectively a state-enforced religion in the U.S.

            If the vast majority of humanity throughout history, throughout the world, did not believe in a god of some kind, calling atheism a religious position wouldn’t make sense. As it is, it has to be considered in relation to what it denies.

          • morlen

            The government must have no religious position at all. In neither policy nor position may it ascribe to a belief in god or a lack of belief in god. It must simply remain neutral. This is not the same thing as defaulting to atheism.

          • Gary

            The neutrality should be accepted norm but the government has declared I cannot mention the Name of Jesus in public. That is not neutrality.

          • Adela Wagner

            I get the whole No Nativity in the taxpayer funded public square. But what burns my biscuits is when Private business is chided for promoting Christmas. If a business is doing something that really irks me, I may say something to the management/owner and they can decide what to do with my opinion, and then I may walk away. But for the most part this is how I feel…”But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

            -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

          • Lowell Isaac

            Absolutely right. Atheism describes nothing but a lack of belief. Many atheists are embarrassing morons– sure (most humans are). But it should be the default position of any institution that is not affiliated with a belief system (like the government). I know the trend now is for angry pots to call kettles black (people who accuse racism are racists! atheists are trying to enforce their religion! etc.) Atheism is not a belief, or even the denial of a belief– it is an absence of belief (this is a difficult state of mind for believers to grasp, I know).

          • Shawn Smith

            No, agnosticism is an absence of belief. Atheism is the belief of an absence. (Ha ha.) If the vast majority of mankind were not religious, characterizing this as a religious position would be unfair, but they are, and therefore it has to be understood on those terms.

            Atheism as the default position of the U.S. government is an absolute violation of the first amendment. If you disagree, please tell me why not.

          • Lowell Isaac

            Some atheists would say they believe there is no god– but I’ve never actually met one. We believe that there is no evidence, and explanations without support should be rejected. Show us evidence, and we’ll believe. Atheism is the absence of belief. We believe this is a default position– whether we want to promote lack of belief or not is a personal call.

            Agnosticism is the belief that all explanations for an unknown are equal. Genesis, the Big Bang, the Silmarillion, and a story made up by a toddler for the origin of the universe must be given equal footing. It’s not a position held by curious, thinking people. In other words, an agnostic is just a silly breed of atheist.

            If the government can’t promote any form of religion, than the default position should be no-religion, a-theist. The government does not tell people to stop believing in god, OBVIOUSLY. NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL. ‘Freedom of’ always goes with ‘freedom from.’ Although I’m actually annoyed by atheists who go after courthouse nativity scenes and the like (most of us couldn’t care less)– the government removing religious iconography is not the same as promoting a lack of belief.

          • mikesixes

            Atheism is not a lack of belief in God. It’s an affirmative belief that there is no God. That is in itself a religious belief.

          • Chrissy the Hyphenated

            Atheism is “There’s NO supernatural, no deity, nothing after death.” Those are beliefs.

          • Gary

            Armando, I applaud the tolerence you are espopusing. As a Christian I believe with all my heart you have the right not to believe in God.

        • lainer51

          did you make that up or read it in the manifesto?

          • Shawn Smith

            Yes, religious people are incapable of independent thought. Did you come up with that on your own, or was it passed on to you by angry atheists? It goes both ways, you know.

        • Calladus

          Please, what beliefs do you think are sanctioned by atheism? I’d be amused if you could enumerate them. I could enumerate them for you, but they’d stop after “number 1 – don’t believe in a deity”.

          • Shawn Smith

            Hmmm, howabout that all religious people are angry, illiterate morons? Is that one sanctioned by atheism? Moral relativism. That seems deeply connected to atheism. Statism. A lot of atheists get on board for that.

        • Chrissy the Hyphenated

          I believe there is actually a legal precedent for this. Some atheist sued about something or other and the court ruled she had a right to whatever it was, because of freedom of religion. Ergo, atheism is a religion under the law.

      • morlen

        Nobody has attempted to force atheism on anybody. Preventing the government from performing religious functions (as required by the First Amendment) is in no way an attempt to force atheism on anybody.

        • Gary

          Read the posts. Humiliating people into acquiescence is bullying and these atheists are practicing it to high art.

    • lainer51

      kind of reminds me of the “murder unborn children” campaign before they finally got their way with Roe vs. Wade.

    • morlen

      That is a ridiculous comment. First, atheists are not a religious group. That’s a contradiction in terms. It’s like calling “bald” a hair color or “off” a tv channel.

      Second, have you not paid any attention at all to the abortion and gay marriage debates? The religious are constantly pursuing legal action to impose their personal theology on other people.

      Atheists do not sue to force atheism or an atheistic view upon anybody, only to keep the religious from imposing their views upon us all. Check your facts. Religious people sue to keep other people from being allowed to do certain things that religious people don’t believe in. Atheists sue to make sure that everyone is allowed to make their own decisions and that no religious belief is granted governmental preference. Big difference.

      • V the K

        Please cite evidence that anyone has been forced or coerced to change their religious beliefs because they saw a Nativity Scene in front of a courthouse or heard a Christmas Carol in a public school

    • Calladus

      Sorry, you misspelled “Christians”.

  • Ben Bollman

    I love that a lot of the 90’s SNL guys are coming out of the woodwork as conservative/libertarians: Dennis Miller, Jon Lovitz, and now Norm MacDonald. I love it.

    • Jimni27

      I noticed that too- they must have gotten sick of towing the company line.

      • Frederick Weaver


    • Brian Roastbeef

      Norm has been out for a while. He openly told everybody “vote for Bob Dole” on Weekend Update in ’96, and it wasn’t just because he played the character.

      • Ben Bollman

        I just assumed that was because Dole came on the show

        • Brian Roastbeef

          Don’t think so. Google tells me Dole’s cameo was after the election. This was the Saturday before.

          Either way, he’s talked about liking Reagan before. He generally has a tendency, exhibited above with the deleted tweets, of saying something conservative/libertarian then backing away slightly and trying to stay apolitical. I suppose he’d just rather keep it relaxed and be a comedian than a right-wing/libertarian political icon. Fair play to him if so.

    • Jillane Kent

      Chris Farley should be added to that list. He was a devout Catholic that quietly donated money and time to Catholic charities.

      • Ben Bollman

        To be fair, I’m not sure that necessarily makes him conservative. The Kennedys call themselves Catholics too, yet they are definitely not conservative.

        • Jillane Kent

          His brother is quite conservative and has implied that Chris shared his political views. Look up some old interviews with Kevin Farley following his “outing” at the 2008 RNC convention.

          • Ben Bollman

            I will, thanks!

        • TomJB

          Ted and the current Kennedys aside, John F would certainly not find himself at home with the current left either. Not going to praise the man, but any Democrat who publicly stated today that the way to raise revenues to the government and lead to economic growth is to lower taxes would be excoriated in the social media and MSM…

          • Ben Bollman

            Yeah, that is just an example and I believe Bobby was conservative too. I know Catholics that are liberal in real life also, I was trying to find a political equivalent.

  • Jimni27

    I think he deleted his tweets? If so, that’s a shame because they were thought provoking without being preachy- and he did it in a way that didn’t insult the other side.

  • PennyRobinsonFanClub

    “Every man has to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.”
    –W.C. Fields.

  • marcellucci

    There are no athiests in sand traps…..

    • Grumpycarguy

      Or, as I understand, in foxholes.

    • TocksNedlog

      I see what you did there.

  • Grumpycarguy

    Full frontal exposure here- I am an athiest. With that out of the way, for the love of all that is holy, what is up with all the snotty, condescending hatred pointed at MacDonald?
    So the man studies the Scriptures- what is it to an athiest? The only thing that I can guess at is most so-called athiests are bothered by such a revelation because they haven’t been able to come to grips with their own beliefs. By definition, God should not be a bother to athiests, so I honestly don’t get the complaint. I’m not bothered in the slightest by Norm MacDonald’s whatever-denomination Chrisitianity. I have no reason to be. Neither do they.

    • Jillane Kent

      I freely support one’s right to believe in a higher power or none at all, but tend to prefer agnostics over hostile atheists. Thankfully, you’re far more kind and rational than most atheists I work with. Many of them are far too preoccupied lambasting something they claim does not exist and could never fathom a “live and let live” frame of mind.

      • Grumpycarguy

        Well, Jillane, the definition also says we don’t think God exists. But, just who in the hell am I to tell you you’re wrong? I sincerely mean this when I say it, ‘go with God’. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has the the right or the pay grade to try and take away your peace, solace, and strength.

        I like to think I’m a little more rational than most athiests. The Big A variety don’t like me at all- I won’t move onto the plantation with them, and tend to say things they don’t like. Oh well- I’ve done OK without them for the last 54 years. I think I can stick it out a little longer. :)

        • DavidKramer

          See, you are a conservative or libertarian atheist, just guessing your political beliefs. I am assuming you do not have that irrational liberal mindset that requires you to force your beliefs on others. Just my 2 trillion dollars, inflation is coming according to Cyprus.

          • Grumpycarguy

            To borrow a phrase, oh, my Lord- Cyprus is in deep trouble. Nigel Farage’s (UKIP- on YouTube, the man is a firebrand and I adore him) predictions are coming true.

            I’ve always considered myself a conservative. I’m not quite there for a libertarian. Put it this way- I think Ron Paul is koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs. And I keep wishing for another Ronaldus Maximus.

          • Jillane Kent

            Don’t we all? :)

      • Lowell Isaac

        I know plenty of liberal atheists, like myself, who are reasonable friendly people. I also know there are plenty who are just argumentative douche-bags, like those who tried to bully Norm.

        The reason we are atheists in not because we are hostile, it’s because we think the best response to a lack of evidence is a lack of belief. Agnosticism implies that a lack of evidence means all possible explanations are equal– which I don’t believe any thinking person would say. An agnostic is just an incurious atheist.

    • Ben Bollman

      It is the being liberal part that is the problem, it doesn’t matter what they believe personally they will still be up in your business about trying to control what you do.

      • Grumpycarguy

        Yah, that’s pretty much all of it in a nutshell. I’ve gotten to where I look at the Socialism, not the atheism. I honestly don’t give a flying %!#* what American Athiests has to say. They’re a bunch of whiny, disaffected Leftists who think their cause celebre really will make a difference in life here in the US. Got news for ’em- they’re doing it wrong. Completely wrong. I hope it stays that way- they’re easier to ignore.

    • TocksNedlog

      Militant leftist atheists aren’t just non-believers; they are opposed to those that believe.

  • Brian Roastbeef

    Good. I like knowing that Norm will remain funny instead of squandering comedic talent preaching about atheism when he should be telling jokes. (Eddie Izzard, I’m looking at you. Dress to Kill was hilarious; now you’re just another obnoxious creep.)

    • Karl H

      I would agree that dressed to kill was hilarious, obnoxious creep? not so much. Angry, bitter and tired is how I would describe the new Eddie Izzard.

  • Brian Roastbeef

    By the way, you’d think the atheists would catch on that Norm is Christian around the time he tweeted “God Bless Pope Francis.” So much for their self-proclaimed superior intellect and ability to be rational…

  • disqus_lLUSGwbabb

    I don’t mean to put atheists down because I don’t want to stoop down to the level of Twitter trolls, but honestly, with how fine-tuned everything in this planet and even in our bodies is, it just makes more sense to me that we and the universe were designed rather than a bunch of random events and connections creating us. So it’s not like religion is simply believing in a fairy tale. There’s a lot more to it than many people think. Kudos to Norm for sticking up for religion the way he did.

  • Christian Heiens

    No, religion has not caused more deaths than any one thing ever, that’s Communism.

  • Lamontyoubigdummy

    It’s Sunday (crapdoodle…27 minutes into Monday now), it’s late, so I’ll just try and channel a bit of Norm.

    I think Kim Jong Un doesn’t know who Dennis Rodman is. I think he thinks that was President Obama.

  • Paul Citro

    Just keep that money coming to Hollywood Mr. prez.

  • Roadster73

    Like Jim said: “Loving the the way @normmacdonald is playfully swatting away intolerant atheists right now.”
    But you got to remember that for those capital A Atheists, their intolerance is in the name of tolerance!

  • Sisserydoo

    That Kevin sypher is a real douche bag.

  • John (it true me am)

    Norm McDonald has always been one of my favorites. The Norm Show was just hilarious and cancelled way before its time, and Dirty Work and Screwed are really underrated comedies.

  • Diane Stephan

    Every Atheist I know is miserable. How’s that working out?

  • DeadBuffalo Blog

    Coexist… unless you stray from what we libs say.

  • Tantalus XVI

    next time someone blames religion for numerous murders/wars, kindly remind them of every murder/war that had nothing to do with religion.You’ll be talking for years. One could say, it was because of atheism, Jodi Arias killed her bf, Kennedy was assassinated, Adam Lanza killed those kids, WW I, WW II, the US civil war, the Holocaust, abortions etc etc why thats a few hundred million already.

  • TocksNedlog

    The Left Populist tweeted: “You are a fellow Canuck, your brother works for the #CBC, you cant be religious!”
    — Funny. My TIME Magazine Almanac says that 84% of Canadians are religious. Guess this hoser hasn’t run into any of them, eh?

  • snorky neederecker

    I haven’t got enough faith to be an atheist.

  • Riley Secrist

    Norm is simply following Matthew 6:5….deleting isn’t sad, he is removing the prideful element from his worship.

  • J.N. Ashby

    Falling for Norm Macdonald’s sarcasm is like falling for a Colin Quinn tweet…

  • oneword

    I don’t care if Atheists don’t believe in God, so why do they care so much if others do believe? myob

  • ScottinVA

    Atheists, if you DON’T believe in a power higher than yourselves… that there truly is no God.. why in the ***k do you care what MacDonald said? Could it be… you’re entertaining a little uncertainty in your own beliefs? Hmmmmmmm??

  • Stranded in Sonoma

    1st Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    I guess this doesn’t apply to intelligent people on Twitter.

  • David ROCK Nelson

    Way to Gooo, Norm! You tell ’em, Norm! Tell those people you Believe in JESUS! Yes, there is a God, there Really is a JESUS, The Savior of All who trust in Him as their Savior! “Amen, Brotha Norm”! -your “Fiend”, Brotha ROCK! David Rock Nelson -B-Monster/Sci-Fi-comedy moviemaker/actor -& former Marine who asked Jesus into his heart(soul) 8-31-’79 while in the Marines!

  • David ROCK Nelson

    Not believing in God/Jesus? To follow that rebellious crowd who
    outwardly “Say” there is no God, thereby going Against their own
    “conscience” & therefore “deceiving” themselves, is to deny the
    God(Jesus) who gave His own life for You -& me! Jesus LOVES you, He
    died, shed His blood for you on The Cross & was beaten for your
    & my Salvation, our Everlasting Life that Only He/Jesus gives us, by
    our asking Him for it! -Rock!

  • David ROCK Nelson

    Way to Gooo, Norm! You tell ’em, Norm! Tell those people you Believe in
    JESUS! Yes, there is a God, there Really is a JESUS, The Savior of All
    who trust in Him as their Savior! “Amen, Brotha Norm”! -your “Fiend”,
    Brotha ROCK! David Rock Nelson -B-Monster/Sci-Fi-comedy
    moviemaker/actor -& former Marine who asked Jesus into his
    heart(soul) 8-31-’79 while in the Marines!

  • Gerald C. Fraas

    See I enjoy a good atheism/Christianity debate, in fact I moderate a page designed for that. But what you see in these tweets is talking point atheism. The points may not be true, but they go on the big list of “things I can say to Christians because I’ve seen them used before” that many many atheists carry around. Take for example, the “religion causes more death than anything!” tweet. If you do the math, wars in the name of religion or directly influenced by religion only make up about 15% of the total casualties of war. The point is obviously false, but the atheist will continue to use it because he’s seen it used before and accepted by fools unwilling to question it.

    The page I moderate is Scumbag Atheist Debate Page, be prepared for a solid argument if you do decide to stop by, which I hope you do.

  • Chrissy the Hyphenated

    Anyone who refuses to study Scripture is doomed to be ignorant about most of what went on in Western art, music, literature and history, including the foundation of this nation. You don’t have to believe it to know what it says and appreciate the influence it has had on the great and the not-so-great. Besides which … how can you claim to reject what it says if you don’t know what it says?