An atheist, in another atheist forum, stated that he wants to attend a voodoo/santaria ceremony. He said it would be hypocritical, as a meat eater, to stay away just because they would have animal sacrifice at the 'ceremony'. I replied with facts about how the animals are treated before and during the sacrifice. I told him I knew, because I had rescued some of these animals from the back rooms of botanicas (stores that sell religious junk for voodoo and santaria practices). I said that if he attended, he would be giving tacit approval of this practice. I asked him, "Please" not to go.
His response actually scared me with its vehemence. I think it is inconsistant of atheists to throw out god, but hang on to all the dominionist attitudes toward the other animals that go with religion. Has this happened to you? Should we be silent about animal abuse, sexism, racism, gay bashing, etc. just because the bigot is an atheist?
While I agree wholeheartedly about animals deserving humane treatment (I love that PETA is suing for whale rights based on a charge of "slavery") it is an unfortunate condition among atheists to tie other people's atheism to a larger set of beliefs or worldviews.
Many atheists, myself included, are somewhat liberal or liberal leaning and are willing to examine issues based on their merits. That said, there are hard, right-wing conservatives who are also atheists. Just because one does not believe in god(s) does not necessarily mean they will also not be prone to other (in my/our opinion) narrow views on social and moral issues. As human beings we have evolved to be able to hold more than one contradictory thought simultaneously.
In the geological time scale we have only been on the planet for a few seconds of the Earth's total life so far. We evolved to deal with the world as necessary to survive and reproduce. There's a LOT more evolving we need to do before any of these issues (animal/gay/etc. rights, religion, ghosts, homeopathy, etc and so forth) get resolved--if ever.
I'm always struck by how prescient films like Blade Runner are with their depictions of our future...
Thanks for the post.