Christians React to the Death of Atheist Activist Rob Sherman: “Great News!” “Wonderful!” December 14, 2016

Christians React to the Death of Atheist Activist Rob Sherman: “Great News!” “Wonderful!”

Rob Sherman‘s small plane went down in his home state of Illinois last Friday, and the Green Party activist, a life-long advocate of church-state separation, died in the crash.

For many years, Sherman, 63, was a national spokesman for American Atheists, as well as a disaster volunteer for the American Red Cross.

Christians everywhere sought to demonstrate their religion’s professed love and forgiveness by expressing their condolences and eulogizing Sherman with exemplary decency and respect.

Just kidding.

On a Facebook page about Sherman (though not his official, personal page), one Richard Frankson shared his feelings succinctly:

God 1 Rob 0

And that was one of the least incendiary takes. Consider how other Christians reacted in the comment section below the local news of Sherman’s death — all from a position of safe anonymity and precisely in the place where Sherman’s family (his wife Celeste and his children Richard and Dawn) are most likely to see it.


Hopefully God has mercy on his soul — it would be terrifying to kneel before the one you set out to erase.

Falling out of the sky can make a man religious real fast.

Sherman had every chance to “get right with God” — and blew it. It’s people like him that are responsible for the decline of America over the past half-century or so.

I believe he got what he deserved… he was nothing but a trouble maker like all these atheists are… they make it hard on everyone who wants to celebrate Christianity.

He certainly didn’t have GOD guiding his flight. Oops.

In fairness, there were a few more measured, more human Christian responses too:

I’m very active in my Church & faith & my only thoughts were how sad it was. I thought of how every Christmas season (whether they are believers or not) this what [his family members] will remember year after year after year after year. And, how terribly insulting to their loss, if any of them or their friends read [the responses].

Even though some of Sherman’s frequent critics — those who’d actually met him — tended to describe him in terms like

“… a very interesting man, very charming, very respectful,”

… Christendom’s most trollish keyboard warriors didn’t want to hear any of it, as they were too busy relishing Sherman’s demise… and crafting their gleeful beatdowns of a dead man.

From the comments section of the Chicago Tribune:

Great news!!… this clown was one of the biggest losers ever… everything he did was done to get attention…. he was a failure in every thing he did and this fiery death proves it…… wonderful!!

He did not have respect for other peoples views or opinions — he used his atheism as a torch to burn down organized religion of any kind. In short he was the modern-day celebrated bully.

He is in a much WARMER place.

Et cetera.

Really makes you want to join the Christian faith, doesn’t it?

Here‘s a more even-handed remembrance of Sherman by Trib columnist Eric Zorn. (Hemant has more on the piece here.)

It ends like this:

He didn’t always win even when he was right. Judges can be stubborn that way. But he made real progress. He nudged religious displays and rituals into the private sphere, where they are safer anyway, and advanced the cause of true freedom of religion as opposed to the coercive, phony freedom promoted by those who want the government to pick a side and marginalize disbelief. He made it easier to speak out.

I said a lot of things to Rob Sherman over 30 years. “Oh, what now?” being probably the most common, in response to one of his phone calls.

One thing I regret never saying was this:


Sincerely seconded.

(Photo via

"The way republican politics are going these days, that means the winner is worse than ..."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."
"It would have been more convincing if he used then rather than than."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
error: Content is protected !!