This is a quote by Dr. King. You probably remember this from ENG 101...
I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
The question... Do you use your time destructively or constructively? I have read all sorts of pleas and arguments about the atheist movement and how it is affecting this country... What do you do? Are you making a bigger impact than your neighbor? Are we really using our time more effectively than the religious aggressors? I'm not talking about your local pastor preaching to the choir... I'm talking about real aggressors... people that actively work against the atheist movement.
I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "If you don't vote, don't complain." What gives you the leg to stand on when you complain?
Well at least part of the problem is we cannot even agree on strategy. Some people think the "New Atheists" are too strident and are doing more harm than good, I happen to disagree with that assessment. So one man's constructive use of time might be another man's waste or worse, counterproductive.
I suspect that similarly, we'll see someone post what they are doing, and others tell him/her that she/he is wasting his/her time. But unless you think they are being counterproductive; i,e. actually doing harm; I'd like to suggest that people refrain. At the root all activists are volunteers, and they ought to get to choose the battle that interests them the most, as long as it's any sort of good one.
This is especially true when what we in the US are fighting to do is change the culture, to eliminate the casual unexamined assumption among many that of course this is a Christian country and of course atheists aren't real Americans. It's a many-headed hydra and one never knows what tiny little thing you choose to fight will turn out in fact to be a big deal. West Cranstion RI Prayer Banner, anyone?
All that having been said I myself have started a blog and will probably end up volunteering to help the Richard Dawkins foundation. Too early even for me to tell if I am simply wasting my time or not.
I agree and thought about adding something along the same lines as your second paragraph but thought I would let it go.
Doing something is better than nothing unless it hinders someone else from doing something.
I agree with the sentiment that everyone should be doing more. But I also think that we should have some sensibility for (not that you weren't necessarily) the fact that some people have more or less time to devote and that everyone has things they're good and not so good at. But yes, everyone should be doing as much as they're able to to improve a situation or right a wrong.
Change isn't going to sidle up to us and dry hump our leg. If we want it to happen we have to do what we can to make it happen. So, yeah, I do what I can. And I think I do my part.