Monday, April 27, 2009

Just What the World Needs

The NY Times has an article called More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops , that I found fascinating.  In essence it's about the rise of secular humanism.  The reporting is from the southern part of the US (South Carolina to be exact) and I'm not surprised that this group, which in my opinion is much like a religious group, is getting more vocal. They say their campaign is much like the ones GLBTs have organized over the years. The article says:
Ten national organizations that variously identify themselves as atheists, humanists, freethinkers and others who go without God have recently united to form the Secular Coalition for America, of which Mr. Silverman is president. These groups, once rivals, are now pooling resources to lobby in Washington for separation of church and state.
I've always had friends who identified themselves in such ways, but have never lived in a part of the country where they felt a need to organize.  According to the article it is the support of the religious right during the Bush years that is fueling the movement.
Local and national atheist organizations have flourished in recent years, fed by outrage over the Bush administration’s embrace of the religious right. A spate of best-selling books on atheism also popularized the notion that nonbelief is not just an argument but a cause, like environmentalism or muscular dystrophy.
I have no problem with causes per se (well, not all causes-I pick and choose like most), but militancy tends to divide us in most unhealthy ways. There is nothing wrong with good honest debate and airing of views, but the religious right and the un-religious whatever end up by throwing fuel on a fire that is already veering towards the uncontrollable.  Whatever has happened to civility?

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