I’m hearing a lot from atheist friends who don’t want to be offensive. They are upset by the tactics being used by some atheist organizations today. I have an alternate take on things.
Here are a couple of ads that show the kinds of things to which many on both sides of the fence seem to object.
I’m not surprised. I also find the bible offensive. The image is not racist. The bible has indeed been used to justify slavery. The quote is a literal quote from the bible. The image is a representation of what the biblical condoning of slavery means. If the graphic is offensive, it is because the words the graphic represents are offensive, the literal words of the Bible.
Catholics, or at least members of the Catholic League for Civil Wrongs, seem to find the below ad in today’s New York Times pretty offensive too.
To see the full size page so that you can read it, please click here.
They responded with this rant. Now I can mislead myself to believing I’ve presented both sides. I haven’t. I find their response ludicrous in the extreme. And, they did not actually contradict a single point made by FFRF in their ad.
So, here’s my alternative view.
When the lunch money victim finally stands up to the bully, concern over whether the punch in the nose will offend said bully is unwarranted. Concern over whether those in view of the fight will be offended by the sight of a bloody nose is also unwarranted.
When the battered wife finally stands up to the abusive husband, concern over whether the Louisville Slugger is offensive to the abuser is also unwarranted. What is warranted is the nice loud thunk of the bat.
We have been bullied by Senator McCarthy and his small but loud following of the intellectually impoverished for 60 years now.
We’ve tried presenting positive images of atheism, as John Lennon did in the song Imagine. The song got plenty of airplay. Most people know the major verses. The effect has been nonexistent.
It’s time to stand up to the bully.
These great ads put up by American Atheists, PA Nonbelievers, and FFRF, amount to a broken nose for the bully. Let’s hope it’s enough to win his respect, or at least to get him to leave us alone.
So, while it would be nice if the immoral minority would grant us the respect we deserve as human beings out of the goodness of their hearts, it seems highly unlikely to happen. In fact, as we capitulate more and more, the bullying gets stronger and stronger. It seems this loud minority has not one heart among them.
Unfortunately, I suspect it will take some more broken noses and home run swings with the bat to silence this loud, annoying, mean, and uber-stupid minority.
To the religious folks who are not in the immoral minority, you too should stand up to this bully. When you are silent, it makes it appear that even religious moderates are against the rights of non-believers. I do not think that is the case. FFRF is wrong to say that you should leave religion altogether. Perhaps you can leave the Catholic church and find another church with views more in line with your own values with a mindset not stuck in the dark ages.
Perhaps you might consider the Unitarian Universalists. To my knowledge, they are the only religious group planning to attend the Reason Rally in solidarity with non-believers. The Unitarian Universalists will be there with yellow shirts on showing their support. Thank you UU. If you are religious and not in this loud minority, why not join us and show your support at the Reason Rally on the 24th? Don’t want to be mistaken for an atheist? Wear a yellow shirt; the Unitarian Universalists have set the standard.
Folks, remember that Jefferson’s wall of separation letter was sent to reassure Baptists that they would be allowed to worship in their own way. They were worried about their own rights being taken away by other Christians. We all need to be vigilant in our support of the wall of separation erected by Jefferson in the first amendment. Whether you care about being allowed to worship in your own way or being allowed to choose not to worship at all, the separation of church and state is integral to your rights.
Together, we can roll back McCarthyism and restore some of this country’s former greatness.
P.S. Regarding the term antitheist: This is my personal preference for a label for those of us who oppose religion. Many are using terms like radical atheist, militant atheist, or even new atheist. The problem for me is that atheist does not denote any action, merely disbelief. Antitheist denotes one who is opposed to theism.
Though, as you may have noted, I did point out that the FFRF ad may have been better off merely suggesting a more modern church than the Catholic church as an alternative. Going from belief to non-belief is a huge step. Many don’t even understand the concept of non-belief. They falsely think atheism is a belief. They think a belief can only be replaced with another belief. This is not the case.
But, that’s a topic for another post. For this post, I just wanted to point out that those who are opposed to religion, and I count myself in that group, are not merely atheists but are actively antitheists.