Celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson — known for lambasting climate change skeptics and indicating during the 2016 presidential campaign that Jesus would vote for left-winger Bernie Sanders — tweeted a greeting to "the world's 2.5 billion Christians" on Christmas Eve.
Sounds OK so far, right?
Well, apparently not content with leaving his "Merry Christmas" greeting as is, in the same tweet Tyson added a wish "to the remaining 5 billion people, including Muslims Atheists Hindus Buddhists Animists & Jews ..."
His message to them? "Happy Monday."
Merry Christmas to the world’s 2.5 billion Christians. And to the remaining 5 billion people, including Muslims Ath… https://t.co/ovBFBiOsgU— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@Neil deGrasse Tyson) 1514156334.0
Calling Tyson's tweet a "backhanded slap" at Christianity, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro took him to task in a piece for the Daily Wire:
This has become part of Tyson’s shtick – pricking Western culture by referring to it as a minority culture. But Tyson only has the liberty to do that because he lives in a Western society that not only tolerates but encourages dissent. He’d never have the intestinal fortitude to tweet the same sentiment during Ramadan were he a citizen of Saudi Arabia.
This is one of the more irritating features of the science-is-everything movement: its chief spokespeople all too often ignore that science is a specific cultural outgrowth of a civilization rooted in particular values. The roots of Western science – which is to say, the scientific method and virtually all scientific development over the course of the last several centuries – lie at the crossroads of Athens and Jerusalem, not in animism, Islam, or atheism.