Opportunities for Activism
Discrimination against atheists, the non-religious, and minority Faiths
- Anti-atheist prejudice has a long and storied history in the United States - as a matter of fact, the "In God We Trust" that theocrats are so fond of pointing to only became the national motto in the 1950s as a statement against "godless communists". Bigotry and exclusion against nontheistic people and viewpoints is still around today, but is rarely commented upon. Sadly, too many people think that when we bring up these instances we're "whining". Nonetheless, we need to overcome these attitudes and stand up when they occur. A library of information on the subject is available at the About Atheism website.
- If you are a victim of discrimination due to your faith, or lack there of, please consider filling out this form for the Anti-Discrimination Support Network. The goal of this is to raise awareness about discrimination against non-believers in a way that is tangible and narrative focused.
- The Secular Student Alliance gives legal assistance to students who feel they are being discriminated against, and desire legal action. You can follow this link to see if your school is violating the separation of church and state, as well as fill out this form to contact our High School Specialist about the specific problem. No problem is too small, and we take the fair treatment of students very seriously. Your name will be kept anonymous unless you give permission.
Creationism and Intelligent Design
- If you see a teacher advocating creationism, you can do something about it! Matt LaClair recorded his high school teacher denying evolution, as well as proclaiming that all non-Christians were bound for hell. After showing his father copies of these statements, legal action successfully stopped the teacher from using the classroom as a pulpit.
Religious Invocations at Commencement
- Students at Saddleback College in California, with the help of Americans United and the ACLU, successfully pressured their school into dropping religious invocations at commencement. In years before, they had protested by holding a banner outside reading, "Respect everyone's beliefs".
- The student Senate at the University of Maryland voted to remove the traditional prayer from their school's commencement; however, the university President, citing outside pressures, reinstated it. Students planned to protest this by standing in a visible place on campus with t-shirt's promoting tolerance and diversity.
National Day of Prayer
- Atheists celebrate the alternative National Day of Reason by holding blood drives, picketing legislators, and drawing attention to the inappropriate government endorsement of religion.
- The anti-abortion movement seeks to undermine women's reproductive health by a variety of despicable methods, such as blockading the entrance to clinics and issuing virulent denunciations of doctors which serve as implicit calls for violence. Contact your local provider and see what you can do to help; many require clinic escorts to protect patients en route to the facility.
Government Establishment of Religion
- Many courts have ruled that government buildings which host some form of religious symbolism (e.g. nativity scene, Ten Commandments monument) must also accept and display the symbolism of other faiths. This has led many groups to create and install displays honoring the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which generally leads to all displays being taken down, or the exposure of the government to ridicule. If you're interested in challenging the legality of a religious display in your area, the Freedom from Religion Foundation can offer advice and assistance.