In a new online video for Crossfire the pundit makes the claim that conservative atheists are actually “better” than liberal ones,

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/s-e-cupp-im-a-better-atheist-than-bill-m...

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I've met a few belief apologists.  I've never met one who goes anywhere near as far as she does.

Maybe it's simply that a pro-religion conservative atheist is interesting and appealing to people, so that's why she's in the news.  The news selects for characters and sexy people, and she's both. 

I find many of her opinions and those of other conservatives refreshing.  I don't necessarily agree, but I like to hear a different perspective, and they sometimes make good points. 

No, no, she's an employee of Faux News.  It's not just that she's covered by them a lot.  She's their handpicked token.  She's not in the news as much as she's for the news.

Thus, I'm suspicious.

I know, but you see her on Fox News because she's a character, intelligent and sexy.  She has been selected to appear. 

That explains her not being typical. 

Look around at the other big names on Faux News ...

we know that fake ex-atheists are a thing

Are there any ex-atheists who deliberately deceived people for awhile by calling themselves atheists, then "became believers" and used that to discredit atheism? 

How would you know someone had been deliberately deceptive about their atheism?  We don't have a window into their mind. 

Are there any ex-atheists who deliberately deceived people for awhile by calling themselves atheists, then "became believers" and used that to discredit atheism?

Not the big-name ones, no.  There's pretty much no evidence of the atheist/skeptic period of their life, which is hardly surprising, since atheists pretty much kept it to themselves, from about the 50's through to about 2001.

I suspect we're seeing one in the making right now, though.  Even evangelical creationists evolve ... although they would probably deny that.

How would you know someone had been deliberately deceptive about their atheism?  We don't have a window into their mind.

There are many ways you can tell, in certain cases.  It's an individual thing.  You'll hear things from some people, about when they were an atheist, that they really knew that God was real the whole time ... or they'll do an insanely bad job of explaining what skepticism is, exposing that not only were they not skeptics, but that they've never even looked into it to get an understanding of the concept.

Lee Strobel falls into this category.  His description of his time as a hard-nosed skeptic exposes that he was nothing of the sort.  If you read The Case for Christ, as anything but the most mindless believer, you can't help but come away with an impression of his profound dishonesty.

I've caught out a few evangelists, in person, to the point that they'll eventually admit that it's a ploy they were taught, for witnessing to people.  You always search for some relate-able point, which you can use to make a bridge between your faith and your mark's prospective faith.

I've seen a few evangelism guides that hint around the edges of this sort of strategy, stopping just short of advising people to lie outright for Jesus.

The only one I am familiar with from Youtube is VenomFang X.  And, like you said, it is easy to see that they never were atheists just by the way they explain atheism.

Wait, VenomFang X claims to have once been an atheist?  Seriously?

I suppose he studied evolution and used to subscribe to it, too, before he discovered all of the problems with it, like "fact" that all of the human-ancestor transitional-fossils are fake and are actually just pig teeth?

Yep, pretty much.  I wish I could remember which video of his he claimed it.

Yeah, that's so amazingly stupid.  Only someone as intellectually vapid as him would think that we would buy that he was an atheist.

Take Kirk Cameron.  Just because he never thought much about religion, while he was in the heyday of his child-stardom, doesn't mean he was an atheist.

That's the sort of thing I was talking about.  No matter what your stance on the subject of religion, many evangelists will reflexively move into a position of having been exactly where you are right now, but then the love of Christ turned them into a fundamentalist, creationist Christian.

Then I start quizzing them on the details of the position that they're claiming to have previously held.  Yeah, not so much ...

There certainly are people who as Christians, claim to have been atheists or exaggerate their atheism. 

That's different from someone pretending to be an atheist so they can later pretend to be an ex-atheist.  That's what you're conjecturing in the case of S.E. Cupp.  As she said in the video, she isn't that smart (laughing).  Penn Jillette said his reaction to this idea about S.E. Cupp was the same - she isn't that smart (laughing). 

It seems that people don't like the idea of an atheist who is so pro-religion - so they decide she must not really an atheist. 

And there are plenty of atheists who aren't good skeptics or aren't well versed in atheist arguments.  So Lee Strobel or other ex-atheists being bad skeptics, doesn't mean they weren't atheists. 

Most ex-atheists were probably not atheists who thoroughly thought about atheism and religion.  However, there are lots of atheists who don't thoroughly think it through. 

It seems that people don't like the idea of an atheist who is so pro-religion - so they decide she must not really an atheist.

There are two different propositions of degree, which you're ignoring.

Do I think it's possible that she's being honest?  Sure, I suppose.

Do I think it's likely?  Not particularly, no.

And there are plenty of atheists who aren't good skeptics or aren't well versed in atheist arguments.  So Lee Strobel or other ex-atheists being bad skeptics, doesn't mean they weren't atheists.

When the skepticism is the primary claim to credibility that Lee Strobel is making, though, once it becomes obvious that that is bullshit, I doubt his whole story.

It began with Josh McDowell and a couple others like him.  He told a story about his prior atheism/skepticism, and then many later apologists said, "I want to have that kind of credence," so they basically swiped his story, for all appearances.  I think that perhaps even Josh McDowell got the ex-atheist shtick from C.S. Lewis.

Apologists are a bunch of dishonest scumbags when presenting their case for Christianity.  There's no reason to think they're any more honest in anything else they say, when some detail looks the slightest bit sketchy.

Most ex-atheists were probably not atheists who thoroughly thought about atheism and religion.  However, there are lots of atheists who don't thoroughly think it through.

I guess you would have to hear more of the stories of these "ex-atheists" in order to get a feel for what I'm talking about.  When trying to buff their skeptical credentials, they equate lapsed Christianity with atheism.  There's a world of difference.

Many of them are revealed to merely have been lapsed Christians, when you pick into the details.  Many more are revealed to be simply lying about it, because they learned that evangelizing technique from someone.

I believe that people like Leah Libresco were atheists, before converting to Catholicism, in this case.  I think her reasons for converting are pretty stupid, and there was probably a lot that was going on behind the scenes, with her Catholic husband, which she didn't share.  I believe the basics of what she shared, though.

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