Penn Jillette, the vocal half of deconstructionist magic duo Penn & Teller, writes about one of his other abiding interests, secularism, in his new book, Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! Jillette will discuss the collection of essays at “Live Talks LA” on November 15 at the Aero Theatre.
Which holidays do you abhor and why?
I can’t say Christmas because I love giving my children presents. I can’t say Easter because I love chocolate rabbits and hard-boiled eggs. I can’t say Ash Wednesday because I love to wear a Chiquita banana sticker on my forehead. I guess I have to say Arbor Day—no offense to trees.
Which atheist should be honored with a holiday?
There’s no reason not to have a Mark Twain Day. We could celebrate by putting lots of false quotations on the Internet.
Do you think atheists get a bad rap?
I don’t think we do. I read all these articles about how atheists are hated, and then all the religious people I meet treat me wonderfully. Studies also say we have more money and more sex. What’s there to whine about?