As I mentioned before, some odd things about Sam Harris suddenly make a lot of sense given that we now know his mother, Susan Harris, was a successful and influential producer of famous TV sitcoms.
Here is a video of Susan Harris expressing her views about religious people. The video is mostly a book promo from a few years back, so the relevant portion begins at 55 seconds and ends at 1:47:
What Susan Harris demonstrates here is pure elitism. With a tremendous sense of certainty, she looks down on religious people as “idiots” with “medieval minds” who “aren’t open to anything new. Who aren’t open to anything reasonable. Thinks science is a matter of belief. And that’s who you are dealing with.” She comes across as Marie Antoinette speaking of the unwashed peasants.
And yet this is precisely the attitude Sam Harris has with those who subscribe to those “Iron Age” religions (at least the Western ones, that is). He always comes to the table with a sneering contempt, as if he has figured Everything Out and if he is dealing with Iron Age idiots who aren’t open to his most reasonable conclusions.
There are a couple of things to get from this video.
First, it is now quite reasonable to suspect Sam Harris has hated Christians since his childhood. That is, his views of Christianity are not the conclusions of some serious study; they are childhood beliefs that are part of his identity.
Second, it should be clear that Sam Harris’s wealthy and connected mother would be very supportive of Sam’s mission in life. And that, in turn, gives us further reason to think Sam Harris is indeed a made-for-media scientist persona.