The move toward American Theocracy by the empowered evangelical 'elite' in the US has made it almost impossible for an atheist or non-christian to be elected to office. Schools are having their curriculum undermined by creationist who wish to revise history, remove evolution from science, and prevent teaching sexual health and pregnancy prevention. Atheist fear reprisals for not being christian and are often discriminated against at work, socially, and most especially in the military. American as a "Christian Nation" is not a free nation or an ethical one.
Please- What ideas do you have on combating this most dangerous decline in American intellectual and social standards? I'm especially interested in ideas from outside the US. Whatever you wish to add.
A LOT of people can't do this, though. Lots of people will lose their job. Lots of people will have their marriage destroyed. Some people's freaking LIVES could potentially be at risk.
There are plenty of people to be vocal about their atheism. We've got enough out there to make a difference in the media. The rest just need to fill out their census forms correctly, to get the percentages listed in the census, if they get the long form. If you're able to, within your social circumstances, then by all means, be vocal. If there are noticeable penalties for doing so, then stay the hell in the closet.
I hear you, and I understand but I really don't see things changing until more people start doing this. Is my family happy about my openness? No, not at all. Do they wish I would just shut up and go back to how it used to be? Of course, but I can't. It's beyond the tolerant stage now and it seems to be paying off.
This past xmas was interesting. For some reason the overt homage to jebus during grace at the dinner table was kept to a dull roar. I didn't hear his name mentioned or "our lord" to go with it. I don't think this would have been possible if I was still in the closet.
This isn't religion. It's not worth dying for or suffering major losses. Probably 25% of atheists AREN'T in bad situations that prevent them from being open. Having those 25% vocal is quite sufficient.
I'm aggressive open about my atheism, yes. The only person I have who objects is my mother, and I don't give a damn what she thinks about anything. Not everyone is in a similar situation. Huge numbers of atheists would suffer greatly by being open. You family is unhappy about it. Lots of people's families would cut them off entirely.
I agree with you so very very much. Im not suggesting people put their themselves at risk- Im just looking for good ideas that someone who's able to be out can follow thru on.
I think it's important that the people who are vocal about their Atheism are calm and understanding. I once heard an Atheist yack on about ignorant rednecks on NPR. This was not the way to go. Cultural sensitivity begins at home. We should give people the respect we would like to have.
Unfortunately Joeseph is not exaggerating about these potential dangers.
Separation of Church and State. I feel ya. Since guns wont work I wonder how we can get some choppers, stealth bombers, and a few patriot missle defense units. Protecting our self from the government, per the evangelical and militias, is not so straight forward.
I agree but not everyone can come out. It's not possible for everyone and it can cost jobs, marriages, fights over children, and yes occasional physical attacks.
I think that people react to the evolution issue because they don't like other people telling their kids that evolution is a 'theory.' They don't like the idea that as a nation we are becoming less and less scientifically literate and people will believe any old $#!+. I think the ethical front is the way to go.
Geraldo- I have to look at those videos when I get a little free time.
Bruce- You are right about the dominance of religion. Im not going to start a holy war or lie down and die. I still want some push back on these issues. If there are no alternatives to religion then there is no religious freedom.
Marx quote on religion- "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions."
I'd like to point out that religion as an opiate was stated before Marx. It's true point is that it helps the masses deal with the crazy misery society and situations place them. Look at the Hatians. They are wildly religious. They need somthing to help them cope with their shit lives before the quake- their shit lives after the quake and their eternally shit for a government that is so untrustworthy that nations fear releasing aid least it go into corrupt pockets and not to the people.
Marqui de Sade - "You fear the powerful eye of genius, that is why you encourage ignorance. This opium you feed your people, so that, drugged, they do not feel their hurts, inflicted by you"
I'd also like to say that Marx had some interesting things to say but his solutions were pure poison. When you discount human cruelty and even the creeping greed and willfullness of otherwise good people your premis fails. People need checks and balances.
I'd be happy if we got off the religious freedom kick just enough to protect teen brides of poligamist- boys tossed out of poligamist communities so the old men can wed the female children- take down abusive institutions that pull switch and bait- prosecute abuse of power by the clergy. We just let the Catholic Church $#!+ all over the rights of children with just a paltry fine!
JP- Most tv is an opiate. Too bad it isn't better.
By Communist, do you mean Marxist? Leninist? Trotskyist? Salinist? Maoist or some other variety. Because they are all very different, i think it unfair to put them all under the same heading (Stalinism brutally enforces 'good behavour', whereas Marxism is clearly an utopian dream that should not be applied directly).