Alex Wisner is an American who Lives in Chatsworth, California. He is an active participant on the FB page of Philippines Atheist and Agnostic Society, as I too am. I am quoting below one of his comments, with due permission from him, on Atheist activism.He says:

“This is what I am worried about. At some point soon the Church will insult and try to cut off the growth of the Atheist movement in the Philippines. When they lie about Patas, members should be ready to show up the next day at that church with signs. If they accuse Patas of not caring, then you show up with fliers and posters showing the medical mission.
If they demonize the LGBT community, Patas members should be there next day defending them. Respect religion? The moment they lie and misrepresent the gloves are off.
I want Patas to be ready and united. With 10,000 members it should not be hard to assemble 20-50 people at a moments notice.”

I remember that some two years before I too had expressed my opinion that atheists have to act with unity on issues facing them. I remember that every member almost unitedly opposed my idea. Now there is one atheist in Indonesian jail for quite some time for saying that there is no god. Militant Islamists are now demanding that he should be beheaded. Should we remain passive or flood the Indonesian government with mails explaining that atheism is a respectful thought system and the time when this was punishable in any way is long past. What should we do?

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Replies to This Discussion

Indonesia and the Philippines are predominantly Islamic and Catholic respectively.

Atheists should support every effort to repeal anti-atheism law in Indonesia and obtain the release of imprisoned Atheists. The Internet is where effective protest can be made and it would be imperative to contact organisations supporting the cause to ensure appropriate steps are made to bring the issues to the attention of the government.

In the Philippines, Catholic hypocrisy and corruption in government  is rampant while there is state circumcision, efforts to deny contraception to the poor and uneducated, and overpopulation which Atheists should be aware and supportive.

Militant Islamism requires an aggressive response and opportunities to take out key players should not be overlooked by Atheists and others proposing militancy and a final solution to the Jihad.

It appears to me that some Islamic countries have to behead several atheists before atheists here become sensitive to the sufferings of other atheists.

Can you refer to specific cases ?

Again, Napoleon, your words inspire me. Powerful, clear, precise, goal oriented! I like what you wrote. 

Silence never solved a problem or conflict nor did it ever bring about social change. One person standing alone is dangerous, as you so clearly state; building a coalition of like-minded people begins to build power. There is strength with numbers and based on principles. 

Local confrontation is important, and perhaps a world-wide response would help; however, it could make the opposition angry because of outside influence. I don't know the right answer. I do know that silence is not the answer. 

As for me, I would gather as many people to join me in a flood of the Indonesian government, including mail from other countries. If we do this often enough, and more join in the confrontation, not to do battle but to claim the right of freedom of thought. 

There has to be retribution against those who put the atheist in jail. If he is put to death, there must be some kind of retribution world wide. I wonder why there hasn't been for all those who have been put to death already. Our silence encourages beheadings.

I have little faith in diplomacy, although that would be a preferred response.  

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