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Letter to the Editor - I'm actually with the "militant" "fundamentalist" atheists.


This article originally appeared in the SSA eMpirical No. 18 - It's Spring, We Think.

3/31/2007 Letter from Catherine Weaver in response to The New Humanism Conference: Word Is Spreading:

The photo was our idea

I'm actually with the "militant" "fundamentalist" atheists. I find that making atheism palatable and forcing it into a religious structure ("chaplaincy" for - ahem!-- GODsakes???) is only marginalizing it further, denigrating it further by making sure that EVERYONE thinks that just plain flat out hands down DIS-belief is unacceptable.

I want atheists to speak out as a group which:

  1. Deserves respect -- NOT for imitating religion and NOT for being "respectful" of religious nonsense, but instead, in it's own right as the result of a line of thinking. Simply that.

Even w/out evaluating the correctness of atheist arguments, it should be possible to respect the fact that it is a conclusion to a line of questioning and that the people who reach that conclusion are not any less deserving than those who reach different ones.

2) Actually feel that people would be better off if they reached the same conclusion.
3) Will kick butt if oppressed, marginalized, or denigrated

There is nothing wrong with thinking that you have made the best decision in these matters: EVERYONE thinks so. Only religions seem to think that they have the right to say so, and atheists do not. Well: they do. And now they are. And I'm happy about it. And proud.

There is nothing wrong with arguing that the world would be better off if it came to the same conclusion as you did. Most people think this as well: or else they wouldn't believe what they believe, now would they? Everyone argues for their position as strongly as they can. Again: the only difference is that religions think they have the right to do this and that atheists do not. When they do, they are "militant."

There is nothing wrong with kicking butt when you feel like your rights and your dignity are being squashed. Everyone does it. It's time for atheists to do it too.

I think the idea of a "militant atheist" is just the same as an "uppity nigger" -- it's a way of keeping an oppressed group down by insinuating that they are out of line for defending themselves and being proud.

Harris and Dawkins are heroes. They are truly honest, brave, strong, articulate and even sacrificing in their tireless efforts to announce atheism to the world once and for all as a simple conclusion to one long stupid wasteful argument. Watching these men speak and answer with superhuman patience the same ancient asinine questions from the insight-less hordes makes me proud: so proud.

When the medieval darkness which has long been imposed on this subject is finally drenched in the light of open argument, then we will have a better, more enlightened conversation about metaphysics and meaning.

This article originally appeared in the SSA eMpirical No. 18 - It's Spring, We Think.

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