Frankly, my dear… I don’t give a damn. I really don’t.
It seems like the United States citizens who are atheists are getting a lot more grief from their christian counterparts than normal. Why? What are the atheists doing differently than they have since before the shit storms started cropping up around the country? Some were vocal in the past, so I’m sure that hasn’t changed. If those that remained quiet about their beliefs previously are still ‘in the closet’ that shouldn’t be a problem. So, maybe it’s that there are less staying quiet, and they are defending their right to be in this supposedly free society. A society, I might add, whose constitution guarantees that right.
In general, it seems that the way we atheists handle ourselves in public about our non-belief is low-key compared to some of the heinous things brought about by some of the religious. All you have to do is turn on the news to see where the Westboro Baptist Church is picketing at next, spewing their vile messages of hate, all in the name of their god. Turn on the 700 Club to see Pat Robertson malign anything and anybody who does not follow the doctrine of his god. For a more gruesome example of a heinous act, the news is full of the recent shooting in Norway committed by Andres Behring Breivik. He has some pretty strong beliefs, and he was willing to murder in the name of his god. So why, when atheists are proud and tell the country “we are who we are, so deal with it”, do people get their bloomers all in a bunch? I don’t know, but they seem to be louder than usual about their distaste for us heathens, and I’m hearing it in every venue, from every state and, especially, from politicians lately.
No, I think what has them most agitated beyond the “let’s convert our brothers and sisters” and “I want to make sure I see you in heaven” plea, is the fact that we are starting to make a difference in the way people think. It’s the education of young people and anyone willing to listen that has them worried. We are using rationality and knowledge to encourage them to use their brains instead of just fall for religion because their parents and community led them by the nose to drink the Kool-aid.
It’s pissing them off that we are standing proud, shouting loud, and organizing. The National Atheist Party is one good example of that. It’s almost reached 4,000 members since April 2011 and shows no signs of weakening. They are establishing in all the states and making a bold statement about wanting to be represented. It is a political party that was started because atheists were tired of not being taken seriously. Mark Smith, of the NAP, said it best: “We are atheists and we have been marginalized for far too long based on our non-theistic stance. We are proudly and boldly standing up to the accusations, marginalization, and discrimination that has been levied against us since The Enlightenment. Our forefathers were a part of The Enlightenment, and our country was founded on these secular ideals. These values have been under attack by the religious since our inception as a nation. Today, in the 21st century, our government has been seized by the religious fanatics of our time who have blatantly attacked us and are in the process of stripping away our civil liberties. This is the one solid reason the NAP was created.”
The fact that the youth in this country are waking up to the hypocrisy and ignorance is another thing that seems to throw a wrench in keeping the children indoctrinated and following blindly like sheep. This is evidenced by the increase of secular clubs that are getting started with the help of the Secular Student Alliance. In February 2011, they reached the 250 milestone and recently, Jt Eberhard, Campus Organizer and High School Specialist, stated the groups have exceeded 260 since February. That current small percentage of American citizens will shortly be a larger percentage than the christians. Pissed off? Yeah… that and afraid.They are losing their flock to logic and reasoning.
This July 4th, proud atheists flew banners through the air proclaiming their beliefs; that also incited the godly ones. Just read the hateful comments left by the so-called christian faithful! In fact, in the capitalist country that we live in, only 17 out of 85 pilots asked were willing to fly a plane with an atheist banner on the back, even when we offered to pay for it. To each his own, but it is infuriating to see this type of protest when christians feel that they have the right to force their religion into our politics or onto the schools. Why should they be able to deny that atheism exists when we have no chance to ignore their religion? When it personally affects us and our tax dollars, we should get upset and rightly so.
Atheists Are Tired of Other ists
Atheists want change because they are tired of being treated like second-class citizens and maligned for no other reason than they don’t believe there is an imaginary man in the sky who created the earth 6,000 years ago or that god created the banana to fit perfectly in our hands and peel just right. As atheists, we also want the current level of religious influence and any level of religion in our politics to cease. Religion should not dictate how our country is run.
Darrel Ray, author of the book The God Virus: How Religion Affects Our Lives and Culture and founder of the organization “Recovering Religionists”, says “I think we should start calling Rick Perry, Sam Brownback, Michelle Bachman and others of their ilk just what they are – Christianists. They are of the same mentality and the same agenda as Islamists – domination of the world by their ideology.” I have to agree.
I want my country back from the religious right who think that anybody who isn’t a christian doesn’t belong here. We all belong here; we are all Americans, and we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whichever form it should take or whatever beliefs we have.
So, christianists… deal with it because we aren’t going anywhere.