Why We Need To Kick It Up A Notch...
The American Atheists, Inc. lawsuit regarding the 17-foot-tall Christian Cross Memorial has generated a lot of buzz about the method that some of us use to advance our cause. There are those who are adamant that we should be non-aggressive, respectful and tolerant of those who hold religious beliefs and that we should not be outspoken. However, there are those of us who just cannot adopt the “live and let live” philosophy, because the favor is not returned. While there is a place in our cause for diplomacy in certain situations, it is painfully obvious that in most areas diplomacy has miserably failed. Diplomacy only works when both sides are willing to compromise. While some may choose to remain silent or non-confrontational, there are a growing number of us who have decided that the time has come to no longer sit back and let the theocrats run the show.
The growing problem of the steady inclusion of church and state in the United States needs to be addressed with more urgency than many Atheists are affording it because the problem is increasing at very disturbing levels. As Atheists, we already face an uphill battle for acceptance in the court of public opinion because nearly every singe time we protest one of these violations, we end up, for lack of a better word, crucified. Unfortunately, there is no real way to avoid that.
Not only do individual Atheists have to deal with unavoidable negative publicity, but those groups that serve as our advocates, such as American Atheists, Inc., Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, Freedom from Religion Foundation and several others are also offered up for the same treatment.
Willful ignorance abounds about the religious beliefs of many of our founding fathers, and the erroneous conception that the US was founded as a Christian nation. This is more than just an inconvenience. It is causing blatant violations to the First Amendment rights of not only Atheists, but to anyone else who is not Christian. This country is systematically being converted into the exact opposite of what the authors of our Constitution intended it to be.
Our freedoms are being steadily stripped away and our precious constitution is being beaten, strangled and left bleeding to death. In order to stem the tide that is destroying the United States as a secular nation, along with our precious First Amendment rights and protections, we must continue our concerted and organized efforts.
We cannot afford to go quietly into that good night. We cannot afford to be silent and watch our rights to freedom continually eroded. We cannot afford to do little or nothing about the fact that we remain the least trusted group of people in America. We need to stand, be counted and continue to raise our voices in unified reason and not go away until every American citizen realizes that we are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, aunts and uncles. We are politicians, doctors, lawyers, managers, employees, politicians, friends and neighbors. We need to stay in the public eye and keep in the forefront of the minds of America that we are no longer willing to put up with the abrogation of our Constitutional rights.
Al Stefanelli is the Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and is also the author of “A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World – The Rise Of Atheism On Planet earth.” He also writes for the National Atheism Examiner