Finally, Harvard Professor Slammed for Saying Atheists “Can’t Be Trusted” to Hold Office

Charles M. Silver, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2011, has written a piece for the Harvard Crimson responding to Vermeule’s comment.

Among other things, he notes the lack of public outrage over what Vermeule said. That’s in part due to how slander against atheists is so common in society.

If Vermeule had said the same thing about laws in Southern states depriving African Americans of the right to hold public office and to serve on juries, the uproar would have been deafening. Harvard students would have overrun the Law School and demanded his resignation. Had he targeted Muslims, gay individuals, or Hispanic immigrants, the reaction would have been the same. But even at a university whose students detest bigotry and discrimination, a faculty member who accuses atheists of immorality bears no greater risk of being condemned than one who speaks out against, say, abusive husbands and neglectful parents.

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