deGrasse-Tyson on "controversial" Christmas message

https://tv.yahoo.com/news/neil-degrasse-tyson-responds-critics-controversial-christmas-statements-183259749.html
Neil DeGrasse Tyson Responds to Critics of His Controversial Christmas Comments
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson isn’t building bridges between science and religion during the holiday season.
The famed scientist is under fire for making statements his critics said belittled Christmas and shows a lack of respect for Christians, which included a tweet that recognized the birthday of revolutionary physicist and mathematician, Isaac Newton, on Christmas day.
“On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642,“deGrasse tweeted, among other statements.
On Saturday, deGrasse decided to address the controversy and what he’s referred to as his “most retweeted tweet.”
“My sense in this case is that the high rate of re-tweeting, is not to share my enthusiasm of this fact, but is driven by accusations that the tweet is somehow anti-Christian," he wrote on Facebook. “If a person actually wanted to express anti-Christian sentiment, my guess is that alerting people of Isaac Newton’s birthday would appear nowhere on the list."
DeGrasse said that he received requests to delete the tweet. But instead of doing so, he tried the logical approach with his critics.
Neil deGrasse Tyson :heavy_check_mark:@neiltyson
Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them.
4:05 PM - 26 Dec 2014
DeGrasse, who has longed challenge the logic surrounding religion, then wondered how other tweets that actually namecheck Jesus and Santa Claus on Christmas day or over several years of his criticism on Twitter weren’t retweeted as much as the Newton one.
“So I can honestly say that I don’t understand the breadth and depth of reaction to the Newton tweet relative to all my other tweets over the years," he wrote.

Neil is awesome, but I find it hard to believe he didn’t see this coming.

Neil is awesome, but I find it hard to believe he didn't see this coming.
Even if he did, why should he hold back on the truth? He wrote: "Imagine a world in which we are all enlightened by objective truths rather than offended by them." No truer sentiment has ever been spoken, though it IS hard to imagine such a world. Lois

While Newton was born on Christmas as it was recognized at the time through the use of faulty calendars, using today’s calendar system we call that date January 4, 1643. It depends if you give more weight to human history and the politics of calendars, or to Earth-scale physics.

While Newton was born on Christmas as it was recognized at the time through the use of faulty calendars, using today's calendar system we call that date January 4, 1643. It depends if you give more weight to human history and the politics of calendars, or to Earth-scale physics.
It doesn't matter anyway, since no one knows when Jesus was born, either. But Newton was born on the traditional day of celebration of Jesus's birth. Calendars are man-made charts, subject to error. LL

Tyson’s passive-aggressive comment was ridiculous, but Newton’s work might be near as influential on world history as the Christ myth is.

Neil is awesome, but I find it hard to believe he didn't see this coming.
Keep in mind these numbers are still pretty low, in the tens of thousands I think. And social media is well known for its unpredictability. Of course he wanted a reaction, but I'm guessing he was thinking more of his target audience, not his detractors. The resurgence of fundamentalism itself was not predicted, and I expect they will still be analyzing it long after it is over.
Tyson's passive-aggressive comment was ridiculous, but Newton's work might be near as influential on world history as the Christ myth is.
What was passive-aggressive about Tyson's comment? Was it any more passive-aggressive--or simply aggressive--than religious comments? What you fail to recognize is the double standard--which you apparently support. LL

Lois,
I’m not suggesting he should hold back. If he wants to challenge the cultural dominance of religion in the U.S., more power to him! I’m only suggesting that it’s hard to believe he was truly surprised by the negative reaction, and since some of his response suggested he was, that might be a little disingenuous.
FWIW, it seems to me that he’s been getting a bit more open about the inherent conflict between a scientific and a faith-based world view, and I’m happy to see that. I just don’t believe he is really naïve enough to have thought his comment wouldn’t piss off lots of people.

Lois, I'm not suggesting he should hold back. If he wants to challenge the cultural dominance of religion in the U.S., more power to him! I'm only suggesting that it's hard to believe he was truly surprised by the negative reaction, and since some of his response suggested he was, that might be a little disingenuous. FWIW, it seems to me that he's been getting a bit more open about the inherent conflict between a scientific and a faith-based world view, and I'm happy to see that. I just don't believe he is really naïve enough to have thought his comment wouldn't piss off lots of people.
Do you think that when people make comments supporting a religious view that they are unaware that they would piss off a lot of people? Would you accuse them of being disingenuous, too? Lois
...it's hard to believe he was truly surprised by the negative reaction, and since some of his response suggested he was, that might be a little disingenuous.
He used sarcasm.
...it's hard to believe he was truly surprised by the negative reaction, and since some of his response suggested he was, that might be a little disingenuous.
He used sarcasm. Do you mean McKenzie or Tyson? Lois

Tyson.

Do you think that when people make comments supporting a religious view that they are unaware that they would piss off a lot of people?
Yes, absolutely. Look, theism of one kind or another is an overwhelmingly dominant world view in the U.S., and the majority of theists still assume their views are ubiquitous, which they are. Most Christians truly don't imagine for a second anyone could find ordinary expressions of their belief (saying "Bless you" or offering to pray for you, for example) might upset some non-theists. But as atheists, we are all presumably well aware that ours is a minority viewpoint and one which inspires distrust and contempt in many theists. If Tyson legitimately did not expect people to find his tweet upsetting, then he was naïve. If he knew it would upset people then, as I said, I have no objection to him doing so. But I would not believe him if he then said he did not expect the remark to be upsetting or to gain the kind of attention it did. Perhaps, as DarronS has suggested, the remarks that I took to be expressions of surprise at the reaction he got were actually sarcastic. I don't find the whole kerfuffle all that interesting, so I haven't gone through all the relevant tweets carefully looking for markers of tone. But I am having difficulty understanding what you find objectionable about my comments here. I'm not suggesting it is ok for pro-religious rhetoric to be acceptable and atheist rhetoric to be unacceptable. I'm simply saying that the cultural reality in the U.S. is that most people are religious, and those of us who want to challenge that view ought to expect a negative response.
Do you think that when people make comments supporting a religious view that they are unaware that they would piss off a lot of people?
Yes, absolutely. Look, theism of one kind or another is an overwhelmingly dominant world view in the U.S., and the majority of theists still assume their views are ubiquitous, which they are. Most Christians truly don't imagine for a second anyone could find ordinary expressions of their belief (saying "Bless you" or offering to pray for you, for example) might upset some non-theists. But as atheists, we are all presumably well aware that ours is a minority viewpoint and one which inspires distrust and contempt in many theists. If Tyson legitimately did not expect people to find his tweet upsetting, then he was naïve. If he knew it would upset people then, as I said, I have no objection to him doing so. But I would not believe him if he then said he did not expect the remark to be upsetting or to gain the kind of attention it did. Perhaps, as DarronS has suggested, the remarks that I took to be expressions of surprise at the reaction he got were actually sarcastic. I don't find the whole kerfuffle all that interesting, so I haven't gone through all the relevant tweets carefully looking for markers of tone. But I am having difficulty understanding what you find objectionable about my comments here. I'm not suggesting it is ok for pro-religious rhetoric to be acceptable and atheist rhetoric to be unacceptable. I'm simply saying that the cultural reality in the U.S. is that most people are religious, and those of us who want to challenge that view ought to expect a negative response.
I wasn't really criticizing your comments. I simply get annoyed at some people's reaction to atheist comments that are far less objectionable than religious comments that are made toward atheism every day. But no matter how aggressive and downright fear-mongering theists' remarks are they are accepted and few people make a point about their objectionable content or tone. Yet when non-believers make comments--usually far less aggressive--they are excoriated for them, as if they were upsetting some kind of accepted standard that allows believers to say anything they wish while non-believers are treated as pariahs for expressing an opposing view. I do think Tyson knew he was making a controversial statement--but one he had every right to make. The first amendment gives him the right to criticize religion as much as it gives believers the right to tout their beliefs. Should we have a double standard? Should theism be seen as the standard and atheism the deviation from it? Because it is the majority view? Do you think no theist has ever made a sarcasic remark about atheism or atheists? When they do, should they be called on it or should their remarks be automaically accepted as the standard and never seen as objectionable? Should no one in the public eye ever make a sarcastic remark about religion? That was the point of my response. Lois
Tyson.
Is there some kind of rule that atheists should never use sarcasm? Lois
Tyson.
Is there some kind of rule that atheists should never use sarcasm? Lois Of course not. I love sarcasm. It is one of my favorite weapons.
Tyson.
Is there some kind of rule that atheists should never use sarcasm? Lois Of course not. I love sarcasm. It is one of my favorite weapons. Good. Glad we're on the same page. :lol:
Tyson.
Is there some kind of rule that atheists should never use sarcasm? Lois Of course not. I love sarcasm. It is one of my favorite weapons. Good. Glad we're on the same page. :lol: I think sarcasm is unkind. I think it's rarely justified if ever.
Tyson.
Is there some kind of rule that atheists should never use sarcasm? Lois Of course not. I love sarcasm. It is one of my favorite weapons. Good. Glad we're on the same page. :lol: I think sarcasm is unkind. I think it's rarely justified if ever. Don't be sarcastic, Stephen. %-P