I feel that some of the strategies employed by some atheists, especially formally organized atheist groups, leaves a bit to be desired.
Lawsuits over Nothing: A private restaurant in Pennsylvania offered discounts on Sundays for anyone who brought in a religious bulletin http://tinyurl.com/cj96asd and http://bit.ly/KXPJyR John Wolff, a local atheist, is suing them for discrimination. Several churches made it clear that anyone was welcome to enter into their church lobbies and pick up a bulletin for free, and the restaurant says they are setting no requirement that anyone believe anything or actually attend services. That’s not good enough for John.
Is this the way to make ourselves liked? Can we sue our way to popularity? Can we expect the rest of society to react positively to being confronted by yet another god damned militant, touchy minority that exudes a sense of entitlement and a victim mentality?
We seem to be faced with an ever-expanding circle of groups about whom honest opinions cannot be expressed, who must be treated with kid gloves no matter how harmful their actions. It’s gone further in Europe; in Germany it’s illegal to call a convicted murderer a murderer once he’s served his time: http://tinyurl.com/7vupdad
There are some things that shouldn’t, and can’t, be just given as a gift, that have to be earned. Admiration is one of them, and liking is another. If we want people to like us, we should do good deeds, not file annoying lawsuits.
The War on Christmas: The American Atheists have been choosing Christmastime as a good time to run billboard campaigns against religion. Is that the best time to be complaining?
It’s like, if you’re trying to discourage kids from going to the doctor, you make your pitch when he’s giving them a shot, not when he’s giving them a lollipop at the end of the visit. Good luck turning kids off on lollipops.
For ethnic Christians, whether they believe or not, Christmas is a fun time. It’s the lollipop! It’s when they visit their families and exchange gifts. There are much better times to complain, such as:
- When the American head of state started a trillion-dollar war in Iraq because he thought God told him to.
- When clergy who make unhealthy, sexually confused vows wind up molesting children.
- When Israeli Jews spend US tax dollars harassing and killing people to assert their claim to the West Bank, a claim which makes no sense unless you believe in their religion.
- When governments of poor, overpopulated countries like the Philippines refrain from providing birth control because the main church in their country doesn’t want them to.
- When we read things in religious scripture that make us want to vomit.
David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, went on Fox News to discuss his billboards protesting Christmas, and one of the Fox correspondents had a field day telling him to “seek professional help” for his issues about the holiday. It was not a good day for atheism.
When religions change, people find ways to keep the old holidays. Many of the traditions of Christmas and Easter were inherited from pre-Christian European Pagan festivities. In the atheist former Soviet Union, they had a “Father New Year” in a red suit giving presents to children. Even if the atheist movement is successful beyond our wildest ambitions, Americans will keep celebrating Christmas, one way or another, and we should resign ourselves to that.