I have been what I call a devoted and or a committed atheist for about 10 years now. After getting free from the repression of the “Steve Abrams” family of Kansas. Yes, the Steve Abrams that was on the Kansas State Board of Education that thought evolution wasn't such a good thing to teach in science classes in public school. So I have seen a few things change in the past few years in my life and in the current cultural discussion. I may go into that later but this deals with were I see us now as the new atheist movement.
There is a discussion of those that are leading the charge that we are to be either accommodationists or confrontationalists. I saw a panel discussion on this very subject at the Skepticon III in Springfield, MO a few weeks ago. It doesn't seem to make any sense to me that there is no difference in thought between the two camps as to how they view the supernatural or that divine. The issue comes down to the way to deal with the religious adherents. This is the area that I want to talk about.
With the ones that think we really have no need to deal with the adherents in a way that would cause confrontation, let me remind you that the fundamentalist adherents are a large and vocal group that have no reservation whatsoever to push their dogma onto use wholesale even to the place of discrimination, persecution and arrest if they could do so. I am sure many of you, like me, have withdrawn from the evangelical or fundamentalist background. Those of you that have surely realize the fervor and the emotional appeal that the dynamic religious leader has upon the group of adherents in the congregation.
I recall with clarity the way I would yell and jump and “praise” god when I was in a worship service. I wanted us to out to the places of “sin” and bring the word go god to them and see the power of god in action. To see it fulfilled. I knew that when the word of god was spoken that it wouldn't return void. [what ever that means.] I was one to confront the atheist and the morally lax to their face. I was one to prayer around the abortion clinic and boycott those things that I was told were back, such as movies and so on. But I was not unique in this point of view there were many others that had the same vigor and held the same view. In a way that was a very comfortable thing because as long as I was acting in the light of the Lord. So I knew that I was doing what was god's will. No one could convince me otherwise.
But as I have been involved in the atheist or skeptical or freethinker realm, it seems that there is none that take up the fervor that the dogmatic adherents banner. It is more of the intellectual and mental aspect of the cause that is the driving force of this movement. I have seen Richard Dawkins speak twice live and have heard and read much that Christopher Hitchens has said and wrote and many of the other movers and shakers in the new atheist. But this doesn't meet the level of one of the evangelical churches that is in your city and your neighborhood.
What do these men get for their barely provocative views? They get criticized by the so called old atheists. The ones that have been going along to get along for so long that they do not even realize that they are part of the reason that the radical adherents have been able to make such inroads in our public and private lives. I am even skeptical o f the alliance between the gay and the atheist community. I have notice that homosexuals are much more accepted by straight atheist than atheist are by religious homosexuals. TO WIT: At least I believe in God.
My goal is to help create and mobilize discussion and action to show the public that we are here and we are a force to deal with in our country. Our numbers indicate the hidden strength we have. We have just now have to have the courage of our convictions to stand up for what we believe. After all, if it was easy, anyone could do it.
What do I mean? It can be different for each person. Anything from keeping a marker and wiping out “In God We Trust” on our currency to attending and debating adherents in their religious places that are “open to all” and “welcome all.” Keep in mind that we, as taxpaying, atheist pay for them to have a special position in the country so we have every right to attend and discuss the things they are doing with the privilege they have within our country. The more they try to control our government, the more we should try to destroy and demolish their beliefs. They only believe in a fiction anyway so why not make them face the facts. Make them stand and prove what they believe in. My only weapon to use against these radical adherents is my mind and my voice. I see no reason to let the radical right overtake the moderates and liberal believers. As Hitchens and others have said, I am an anti-theist.
But the accommodationialist want to look at the least offensive religious persons and use them as a reason as to why we must work with them. That is bullshit. In every way if they want to join us then fine but we should by no means accommodate the moderate or liberal versions of a delusion just because they seem to agree with us on some issues. The point of view when they agree is, “You should agree with us.”
But until we see the adherents as an attack upon our species and our progress as humans then we will continue to flounder and fail to make this world a batter place for all who occupy it.