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December 22, 2011


What Atheists Are So Afraid Of

by juju2112

There’s a very venomous article up on Catholic Lane about the FFRF’s failure to stop the “Day of Prayer” declared by Arizona’s governor. Here’s what the article had to say about it:

Let’s get this straight. The atheists are suing because they had to turn off the television to avoid the topic of religion or news announcements about the Day of Prayer. They had to alter their conversation to avoid the topic of religion. This made them feel like “outsiders”.

Oh, boo hoo.

No. The FFRF sued because having a Day of Prayer is an endorsement of religion by the government. When our government endorses one religion over another, or even religion over no religion, that is a violation of the first amendment. It paves the way for laws and rulings that remove the rights of non-Christians. It sets a precedent, and we atheists are concerned about what you’ve got in store for us afterwards.

You may find this hard to believe, but we don’t actually care if you have a day of prayer. Yes, we think prayer is stupid, pointless, and offensive. But it’s true that we don’t have a right to not be offended. What we’re opposing here is oppression of atheists.

Mind you, a Day of Prayer isn’t oppressive at all by itself. However, when you’ve God on the money, God in the pledge of allegiance, teachers trying to get creationism taught in schools, monuments to the ten commandments in courthouses, nativity scenes at courthouses, and presidential candidates declaring America a Christian nation, you’re very close to a situation where the United States explicitly endorses Christianity as the official religion of the country. What happens after that? What next?

Let me tell you what the situation is like for atheists right now. I have been part of a local atheist group for several years, so I can vouch that this is the norm, at least in the American south:

  • People are afraid to let anyone know they are atheists because they are afraid they would be fired from their jobs.
  • People are afraid to reveal their atheism for fear that their family members would never speak to them again.
  • Parents are denied custody of children because of their atheism.
  • Atheist groups have to deal with none of their members wanting anyone to know they’re part of the group, for fear of the above consequences. Arguments routinely surface that we should call ourselves something else so it will be easier for the members to hide their atheism.
  • Atheist billboards are routinely vandalized, even when they say things as innocuous as “Atheists can be good people”.

That’s the situation now. After you’ve gotten us officially declared a Christian nation, what then? How will American culture and law progress after that? It’s not about your prayers. Pray all you want! But if the government endorses your religion, that means your beliefs are endorsed by the government and ours aren’t. That sets off a chain reaction that could go anywhere. Anything could happen to my rights after that. If this is a Christian nation, then what rights do the rest of us have?

You whiny, sniveling, little, pusillanimous cowards. You have the audacity to tell us Christians that we are “weak” and that our religion is a “crutch.” You are supposed to be so “courageous”, venturing forth boldly into the existential mystery of being alone, facing with stoicism the nothingness that awaits you at death, priding yourself on your realism and self-reliance. You are a bunch of feeble fakers.

I wouldn’t say about Christians. I have many of them as friends, and they are fine people. I disagree strongly with their religious views, but that’s fine because we are in America, where everyone is free to believe as they wish.

I also wouldn’t say that all atheists are courageous. We are people, just like anyone else. We have a broad spectrum of all different kinds of people in our group. Some are nice, some aren’t so nice. You can’t paint us with a broad brush and say we’re all one kind of people, just like we can’t say the same about you.

Yes, you are outsiders. Go start your own damn country. This one was started by Christians, you puerile dimwits. It is Christians who established and largely Christians who fought and died to maintain the freedoms you enjoy. And Christians are still the majority. Apparently your vaulted belief system doesn’t equip you to handle being in the minority. That’s interesting, isn’t it? After all, this was and is a societal situation valiantly handled by millions and millions of Christians who suffered — and currently suffer — real oppression, violence, torture, economic deprivation, and cruel deaths. But you have to go through turning off the TV once in a while and so your precious puny feelings are hurt. How delicate and frail your mental architecture is!

I don’t mind turning off the TV. But this is my country too, and if I disagree with the morality you are trying to legislate, I will fight against it. What you’re doing with these first amendment violations is trying to provide a justification for all the other things you want to do. Remember abortion? Creationism in schools? The outlaw of gay marriage? We disagree with you on those things, and so we must disagree with your justification for it, too. We’re not stupid. We know and you know that that this is just a stepping stone towards those goals for you.

You are a pitiful joke. Trembling over the mere mention of God. Running like babies to court because of your brittle feelings. “Oh, but judge, but judge, I saw a cross and I just can’t stand it.” “I heard someone say ‘Merry Christmas’ and it hurt my feelings.” “I just can’t sleep knowing there is a manger scene at the courthouse.” “The sight of the Ten Commandments makes me wet my pants.” Now we see how inadequate and feeble you really are. Rage, therapists say, is the flip side of helplessness. And so we see your rage against religion in the public square for what it is: a product of your own insubstantial internal resources. Go look at yourself in the mirror if you can bear the pathetic, contemptible sight of yourself. Our merest martyr shows you to be a wimp – fourteen-year-old Kizito of Uganda singing hymns while being burned alive. But you, you anemic, lily-livered worms – you quail at pushing the off button on the remote! Hah

I don’t care about my feelings being hurt. Why would I? I insult your beliefs on nearly a daily basis. I believe strongly in open criticism, and I gladly take my verbal beatings when they’re given to me. It is you who cannot take it. It is you who rages at the very mention of criticism. That is why you are trying to make this a Christian nation. Because although we are still a minority, nonbelievers are growing in number very quickly, and it pisses you off.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 27 2011

    The first two sentences of Ms Kochan’s that you quote illustrate perfectly that she either dishonest or ignorant of the process of a civil suit. The reason the FFRF sued was because the executive branch of Arizona’s government was blatantly violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the federal Constitution. Unfortunately, the judiciary wields a policy that “merely” being the citizen of a country, the government of a political subdivision of which is engaged in unconstitutional behavior, does not grant one legal standing to sue. So the FFRF had to come up with these–admittedly pretty lame–harms they incurred as a result of Gov. Brewer’s decree.

    • juju2112
      Dec 27 2011

      Unfortunately, this issue is being spun as “We’re just offended”. I’m not sure how to combat that, but I think we’ll continue to suffer negative PR until we figure out how to explain to people it isn’t the case.

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