A lot has been said in the name of Rationalism but the struggle continues, its high time we get united and work for the common good of humanity, i think Humanists, Free thinkers, Atheists, Agnostics, Brights, Universalists all need to raise out their voices all in the name of actions in all that they are doing and inform the world that all we need is to be good people and hardworking for the good of humanity and all the things provided by nature.We should live exemplary lives and live by the golden rule of loving our neighbor or friends as we love ourselves, not doing things that we ourselves wish wouldn't be done to ourselves, calling a spade a spade and so on.
Many people have rational views but tend to hide to call themselves what they are !.
Creationists plus some religions have invested a lot in schools, hospitals, banking institutions, charities plus of course investing a lot in building and extending religious establishments in terms of places of worship to mention but a few.
In my opinion i hope Free thinkers the world over depending on what each and every person does, we should labor a lot at investing in these same stuff so that the world realizes that we can also create an impact on peoples lives. We should be open and promote free thought in every thing we do such that people just get to know that there exists an alternative to one being religious or non religious for example in more years to come i would love to hear of More Humanist schools, Atheist Hospitals, Rationalist Stores,Free thought Supermarkets, Also businesses can be named by quoting outstanding personalities that have come by and fight for Free thought, Promote Scientific knowledge and Science Philosophy.
As a Ugandan, i have only done step one and initiated Kasese Humanist Primary School whose link is at http://www.kasesehumanistschool.webs.com and this is actually the beginning but i am hopeful i am going to open several ventures in the name of promoting free thought but why i am doing this is to show to the world that you can be good without believing in a god.
From my research I appreciate the good works done by free thought organizations and individuals in an attempt to make good life for Humanity, examples of these organizations are Medicines Sans Frontiers, Hivos, Plan International,Stiefel Freethought foundation, SHARE and so on. These organizations have gone ahead assisting all people irrespective of discrimination, religion, sex, race and this is a good gesture that we should all copy and I think even religious people should emulate this by not being segregative when it comes to helping people in danger. But is this the case anyway?.
I would like to hear what free thinkers from other areas have to say.....
You can make a contribution, subtraction, a comment or make a suggestion to the discussion.
These are all very good ideas. I wish I had more insights into how to make them happen.
I was reflecting on a comment an atheist friend made, probably without really thinking through the implications of what she was saying. We were discussing issues about how in the USA the politicians are giving money to religious groups to do community services. Atheists don't like this for a number of reasons. My friend said that if, in the USA, we paid enough taxes, we would not need churches to provide any social services.
To me, it sounds like a prevailing idea in the USA among atheists is that a secular government should provide all the community and social services for everyone in the country. To say it another way, if there is a community or social need, a government agency needs to be assigned to serve that need. Therefore, I do not hear discussion about how free thinkers can organize schools, hospitals, community support organizations. In stead I hear atheists talk about the need to have secular, government institutions, schools, and hospitals and these need to be monitored so that there is no religious influence in them.
In this situation, freethinkers are of no benefit to society because freethinkers, as a group, do not provide any service to the society (expect being a pain in the butt for religious people).
I like your idea better. Freethinkers need to show society a better way by example, by providing service, not by saying that it is the government's job to make things better.
...but then, what do I know?
I agree with Jim, for the most part, about the situation in the USA. Another point is that religious organizations do not have to pay property taxes, so many Ethical Societies which are atheist organizations, are often incorporated as a "religious organization" to get the same benefits. I don't know how to turn this back.
Unitarian Universalists are basically humanists, though we're also a religion. There are Unitarians in Uganda, too, though their beliefs might be a little different, we're sharing our beliefs now due to the internet and they fought the laws against gays there. Here is a link a story about it. In the U.S., we're against separation of church & state and support the national secular organization, which happens to be directed by a minister.
Unitarian Universalism has 7 principles which include supporting our members' search for truth and meaning, so we can have theist members and atheist members. I am a UU. Our principles also include treating people with respect & compassion, taking care of the Earth, and making the world a better place to live. The Humanist organizations in the U.S. have similar principles, but not supporting people's search in their religious beliefs.
As far as secular organizations doing good work, the American Red Cross, which was founded by Clara Barton, who was a Universalist, is one of the main secular organizations that try to help people in need all over the world. Their web site does say they get grants from governments, but I think the top way they get funds is through donations from the public.