"Atheist Agenda" is a scary sounding term to a lot of people. To some, it conjures up images of burning churches and outlawing the ownership of Bibles. To others, it's a bit less sinister, but still sounds like a concerted attempt to take away people's sense of identity as people of faith.

In light of recent examples of the "Religious Agenda," such as Gwinnett County's own Mountain Park First Baptist's blatant and repeated attempts to lead public school children in prayer, it's worth looking at the political goals of both atheists and theists. Here's a short list of very clear items on the Christian Agenda:

*End funding for Planned Parenthood, which would deprive millions of women access to general health services.
*Pass the first openly discriminatory amendment to the U.S. constitution, effectively legislating homosexuals as second-class citizens.
*Teach religion as science. (As we saw in Cobb County in 2006.)
*Continue to foster and expand the government's funding of "Faith Based Initiatives," despite the fact that such funding forces people of all religions and non-religion to contribute to sectarian organizations.
*Deprive inmates of any reading material except the Bible
*Boycott the Girl Scouts for their support of Planned Parenthood.
*Continue to teach Abstinence Only sex education despite its abysmal record.
*Redefine rape to more accurately reflect "Biblical Values." (It's Georgia again!)
*Subvert the separation of church and state in government meetings and schools by exploiting loopholes.

This is, unfortunately, a short list. The breadth and scope of the Christian agenda is staggering. It is an effort to change the country from without and within to make it a "genuinely Christian" nation. Not every Christian, of course. Not those who think abortion is a choice, or that homosexuality is not going to sink America into anarchy and orgy. Rather, it is those Christians who believe that everyone should act Godly... OR ELSE.

By contrast, what is the "Atheist Agenda?"

READ THE REST AT EXAMINER.COM: http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-atlanta/what-is-the-atheist-agenda

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Tags: Agenda, Atheist, Politics, Theist

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Comment by David Anam on May 20, 2011 at 4:05pm

Taking the Republican agenda for an example, I would argue that the difference is that many points of the Republican agenda are supported by a large majority of Republican elected officials. For example, lowering taxes is part of the Republican agenda. There may be a handful of Republican politicians who don't follow it, but the vast majority do, which I would say is "close enough."

 

In contrast, you've stated things like boycotting the Girl Scouts as a part of the Christian agenda when I'm about 99% certain that the vast majority of Christian don't do this. The Girl Scouts is almost exclusively a Christian organization, so without Christian support it probably wouldn't exist at all, much less be as widespread as it is. What you've done is taken a fringe issue and insinuated that it is a broadly held view by Christians. That's why it would be more appropriate to call it a "fundamentalist agenda" or something similar. There is a reason we have these different words.

 

The reason I say that I don't believe there is a Christian agenda is because Christianity is an incredibly splintered religion where you're hard-pressed to find anything that the majority of Christians support aside from perhaps that the word of Jesus should be spread. Though even in that goal there are vast differences in how various Christian sects would go about doing it.

 

I'm not saying there needs to be 100% agreement to call something an agenda. If I were to put a number on it, I'd say there would need to be at least 50% agreement, but some of the issues you call the "Christian agenda" are probably supported by less than 20% of Christians (though I'll admit that to be speculation on my part).

Comment by Hambydammit on May 20, 2011 at 2:15pm
David, I'm certain that whatever name I use, be it "Christian agenda" or "Evangelical Agenda," or "The Family," or "Zionist Agenda," or "Christian Theocrat agenda"... or whatever... the list seems endless... Whatever name I use, someone will object that not everyone agrees with the agenda.

And that seems pretty much irrelevant to me. We speak of the Republican Agenda even though every American Republican is not on board with the whole agenda. We speak of the "Big Oil Agenda" even though not every geologist is on board with the whole thing.

I'm not sure why you want to make a special case where I can only call a thing an agenda if it's a 100% agreement sort of situation.

So... I guess what I'm saying is that your objection is noted, but I disagree with your logic. If "Christian agenda" is less than 100% accurate, it's still a better sounding phrase, and it's accurate enough.
Comment by David Anam on May 20, 2011 at 7:49am

Hambydammit, I have not read the rest of the article, but it seems clear from what you have posted here that we have a disagreement.

 

Let me clarify in case of confusion: I agree that there are a large number of Christians who do have an agenda that is more or less in synch with the points you have listed, and that these Christians are organizing and working together to accomplish that agenda. However, in my opinion it is misleading to call this a "Christian agenda" because there are many, many Christians who disagree with this agenda, possibly even the majority of Christians.

 

A more honest term would be the "fundamentalist agenda" or "evangelical agenda." I'm sure you could even find some fundamentalist evangelicals would probably take offence to this, but it certainly presents a more accurate picture than the overly broad "Christian agenda."

 

In regards to an atheist agenda, I have less to say as I haven't read the full article where you presumably describe the atheist agenda. That said, I have a feeling that we would have a similar disagreement over the use of that term.

Comment by booklover on May 19, 2011 at 6:27pm
So the Atheist Agenda is just rationality, common sense, and respect for all.  Sounds scary! ;)
Comment by Hambydammit on May 19, 2011 at 4:28pm
David, I don't know if you read the rest of the article (I know... it's a pain in the ass to click the link, but I get paid by the click at Examiner, and there just isn't much pay in atheist writing...) but I hope I was fairly clear on this point: The "atheist agenda," if there is even such a thing, consists entirely of preventing the success of the Christian agenda.

And by the way, if you are unconvinced that there is a genuine Christian agenda, I suggest The Family, by Jeff Sharlet, and its follow up, C Street. Additionally, American Fascists, by Chris Hedges
Comment by David Anam on May 19, 2011 at 3:49pm

I don't think there is an atheist agenda or a Christian agenda. There are some groups who have agendas, but in my opinion it is misleading to label anything as broadly as that. I'd say the closest you can get is the Catholic agenda, since that is a significantly large portion of Christians who choose to follow a unified church.

 

It's also interesting that you mention the Girl Scouts. I happen to be boycotting the Girl Scouts myself, since they discriminate against atheists (not to mention other non-Christians and gays). Boy Scouts are the same way, though my understanding is that they are *slightly* more accepting of other religions, as long as you're religious.

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