Why Atheists Have Become a Kick-Ass Movement You Want on Your Side

This piece was originally published on AlterNet.

Why would any organization or social change movement want to ally itself with a community that’s energetic, excited about activism, highly motivated, increasingly visible, good at fundraising, good at getting into the news, increasingly populated by young people, and with a proven track record of mobilizing online in massive numbers on a moment’s notice?

If you need to ask that — maybe you shouldn’t be in political activism.

And if you don’t need to ask that — if reading that paragraph is making you clutch your chest and drool like a baby — maybe you should be paying attention to the atheist movement.

The so-called “new atheist” movement is definitely not so new. Atheists have been around for decades, and they’ve been organizing for decades. But something new, something big, has been happening in atheism in the last few years. In the last few years, atheism has become much more visible, more vocal, more activist, better organized, and more readily mobilized — especially online, but increasingly in the flesh as well. The recent Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. brought an estimated 20,000 attendees to the National Mall on March 24 — and that was in the rain. 20,000 atheists trucked in from around the country, indeed from around the world, and stood in the rain, all day: to mingle, network, listen to speakers and musicians and comedians, check out organizations, schmooze, celebrate, and show the world the face of happy, diverse, energetic, organized atheism.

Atheists are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Atheists are gaining clout. Atheists are becoming a powerful ally when we’re inspired to take action — and a powerful opponent when we get treated like dirt.

Case Study Number One, “Powerful Ally” Division: The million dollars currently being raised — and the goodness knows how many people being mobilized — for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walks,” by the non-theistic Foundation Beyond Belief and the Todd Stiefel family.

The Stiefel Family and the Foundation Beyond Belief have wanted to make a large atheist contribution to the fight against cancer for some time. Like many people, Todd Stiefel has had many people in his life afflicted with cancer. His family has the resources to make a large financial donation to the fight against it. And as the largest non-theistic charitable organization in the world, the Foundation Beyond Belief was the perfect organization to channel and structure the Stiefel family’s matching offer — and to round up supporters for it.

But it was distressingly difficult to give this money away. If this whole “atheists donating pots of money to the fight against cancer” story seems familiar… you may be remembering the American Cancer Society controversy, in which the ACS initially accepted a $250,000 matching offer from the Stiefel family and the Foundation Beyond Belief to participate as a national team in the ACS’s Relay for Life — and then, suddenly and mysteriously, turned it down. (And were then deluged with angry protests — and withdrawals of donations — when the story hit the Internet. More on that in a tic.)

That isn’t happening this time around. The Stiefel family and the Foundation Beyond Belief have found an organization that’s more than happy to partner with them in the fight against cancer. When Stiefel reached out to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, they cheerfully accepted his offer — a half million dollars in matching funds, as a “Special Friend” team partner in the LL&S’s “Light the Night” Walks, with the goal of uniting the freethought movement around the world to raise a million dollars for the fight against cancer. Andrea Greif, Director of Public Relations for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, says, “LLS is appreciative that Foundation Beyond Belief has set such a generous goal to help us beat blood cancer and we look forward to having their teams join LLS’s Light The Night Walk.” And Stiefel describes the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as “enthusiastic at the prospect of working with us.” He went on to say, “We LOVE working with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They have been very kind, supportive and helpful. They have made it very clear that cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither do they. LLS just wants to put the mission of fighting cancer first.”

(UPDATE SINCE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: As of this writing, Foundation Beyond Belief has the most teams this year of any of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society partners, with 55 local teams so far — over halfway to the 100 team minimum goal. And they have 18 official allies and supporters of the project.)

This could easily have been a controversial effort. For one thing, the Honored Hero for the FBB in this year’s Light the Night Walk is the recently deceased Christopher Hitchens — a hero to many in the atheist movement, but a very controversial figure to many outside of it (and indeed, even to many atheists). But Hitchens’ status as the FBB’s Honored Hero is apparently not an issue. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is accepting the FBB’s partnership and generosity with open arms. And these efforts have been extremely effective. As of this writing, the Foundation Beyond Belief has already hit 50 LLS local teams — halfway to the 100 team minimum goal. (By the way: If you were ticked off about the American Cancer Society thing, and you want to translate that anger into action? Participating in the FBB’s Light the Night Walks in your area — or starting an FBB LTN team in your area — would be a great way to do that.)

And this isn’t an isolated incident. In recent months, the atheist community has proven to be extraordinarily good at raising money, visibility, and support for people and causes that capture their imagination. And they have exceptional skills when it comes to fundraising and hell-raising on the Internet.

When high school atheist Jessica Ahlquist was being harassed, bullied, and threatened by her schoolmates and community for asking her public school to enforce the state/church separation laws and take down a prayer banner from the school auditorium, the atheist community rose to her aid, with an outpouring of love, admiration, and emotional support… and a college fund totaling over $62,000. When high school atheist Damon Fowler was being harassed, bullied, and threatened by his schoolmates and community for standing up against prayer at his public high school graduation — and was kicked out of his home by his parents — the atheist community rose to his aid, with an outpouring of sympathy and support… and a college fund totaling over $31,000. When Camp Quest, the summer camp for children of non-theist families, was engaged in a major fundraising drive last year, several atheist bloggers (conflict of interest alert — including me) teamed up in a fundraising contest involving a series of grandiose and increasingly ridiculous dares and forfeits, ultimately raising $30,074.80 for the cause.

Atheists aren’t just raising money for their own, either. On Kiva — the microlending organization working to alleviate poverty and empower people in need around the world — the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and Non-Religious team is the #1 all-time leader in amount of money loaned… not just among religious affiliation teams, but among all the teams on Kiva. The Reddit atheist community raised over $200,000 for Doctors Without Borders last November, in a fundraising drive that came close to crashing Reddit with the traffic. The Foundation Beyond Belief has been supporting charitable and human rights projects for over two years — well before the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society project began — and to date has raised over a quarter of a million dollars to support human rights, the environment, education, child welfare, anti-poverty efforts, public health, and more.

And the power of atheist organizing extends beyond simple fundraising. To give just two recent examples: When preacher Sean Harris was caught on tape exhorting parents to beat their gay kids, the local atheist communities in the area immediately began sounding the alarm — and rounded up activists to protest at the church the following Sunday. According to Priscilla Parker, President of Military Atheists & Secular Humanists, 27 of the Sean Harris protestors last Sunday were from secular/atheist groups. That may not sound like much — but when you realize that there were a total of about 70 protestors at the event, the atheist presence suddenly looks a lot more significant. (Especially for an event in a highly religious, largely conservative town — and especially for an event that was organized on extremely short notice.) And when American Airlines was planning to air an anti-vaccination ad on their planes’ video systems and in their in-flight magazines, the atheist and skeptical communities dove into action: publicizing the Change.org petition against the Australian Vaccination Network’s ad, and slamming the decision all around the Internet. The story went viral, in large part because of the Internet power of atheists and skeptics — and the joint effort between heathens and other activists ultimately pressured the airline into rejecting the ad.

When a cause catches their hearts, the atheist community can be a powerful ally.

And when a cause catches their hearts in a different way, they can be a powerful opponent.

The American Cancer Society snafu is probably the most obvious example of this. When the ACS turned down the Foundation Beyond Belief’s offer to participate as a national team in the Relay for Life, they apparently didn’t expect much pushback. But when the story broke, it went crazy viral — and made misery for the ACS. For weeks, the ACS was deluged with emails, letters, phone calls, and posts to their Facebook wall. For weeks, their Facebook wall was taken up almost entirely with angry posts about the story. Importantly, while the chief instigators of the rage-fest were atheists, they were quickly followed by a crowd of religious believers, who were just as outraged at the anti-atheist bigotry — and at the rejection of perfectly good money — as the heathens. And very importantly, a flood of people halted their donations to the ACS… including many people who had been regular donators for years.

But there are plenty of other examples as well. The abovementioned American Airlines anti-vaccination ad. The abovementioned Sean Harris protest. The sublimely ridiculous Gelatogate, in which a local gelato merchant in Springfield, Missouri posted a sign in his store window reading, “Skepticon [a skeptical/ atheist conference] is NOT Welcomed To My Christian Business”… and then got a faceful of Internet fury when a photo of the sign was Facebooked, Tweeted, G-plussed, texted, blogged, emailed, and generally spread through the atheosphere like wildfire… and then backpedaled as fast as it is possible for a human being to backpedal. Like many social change movements, organizing atheists is like herding cats, and it’s not easy to predict which issues will catch their imaginations — but when it happens, the combination of passionate motivation and Internet savvy turns them into a powerhouse.

And very importantly, the atheist movement is increasingly becoming a youth movement. The Secular Student Alliance — an umbrella organization of non-theistic college and high school groups around the United States and the world — is growing at an astonishing rate. In 2009, they had 143 affiliates: in 2012, they had 351. Impressively, their high school rates are climbing at an even faster clip. In 2010, the organization had only four high school affiliates: this year, that number has climbed to 37. And as anyone knows who understands politics getting young people inspired and on board is enormously important for the long-term future of any social change movement. What’s more, many of these student groups are active in service projects and social change activism outside of atheism… and are eager to partner with other groups to get the job done. If you’re in any doubt about the power of atheism to help move political mountains, now and in the coming years — pay attention to those SSA affiliate numbers. And pay attention to how they keep growing… and growing… and growing.

So what’s the take-home message?

Atheists are your friend. Or they can be. And they can be a very powerful friend indeed.

Progressive and social-change organizers and organizations are having a hard time seeing the atheist movement as… well, as anything, really. Except maybe as a pain in the neck. Many progressives are undoubtedly aware of the existence of atheists: the atheist community’s efforts at visibility have been paying off, and atheism is being discussed in progressive circles as widely as it is everywhere else. But somehow, while the existence of atheists has become undeniable, the existence of atheism as a social change movement is still largely being ignored. To give just one example: In over 100 panels, training sessions, and other presentations at the upcoming 2012 Netroots Nation conference for online progressive activists, not one is about atheists or atheism. (Conflict of interest alert: I was one of the proposed panelists on a proposed atheism panel for Netroots Nation 2012.)

It’s hard to tell what this is about. Do social change organizations see atheists as toxic — too controversial, too likely to draw negative attention, more trouble than we’re worth? Or are these organizations simply unaware that atheists have formed into a serious social change movement — and are growing this movement at a rapid pace?

If it’s the former… then shame on you. In the early days of the LGBT movement, queers were far more controversial than they are now, and associating with queers was considered by many to be toxic. It was still the right thing to do. (Not to mention the smart thing to do.)

If it’s the latter… then sit up. Pay attention. Atheists are here. In just a few short years, the movement has gone from zero to sixty, in both visibility and mobilization. And the atheist movement is largely comprised of people who are passionate, compassionate, courageous, Internet savvy, skilled at seeing through bullshit, willing to defy the status quo, excited about activism… and dedicated to changing the world. After all, as far as they’re concerned, it’s the only world they’ve got.

You want these people on your side.

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27 thoughts on “Why Atheists Have Become a Kick-Ass Movement You Want on Your Side

  1. 1

    I think you may be right. Atheists may win, and get political control of this society, perhaps the world.

    And then, I sincerely believe, that people like me will be imprisoned or killed.

    Believe that or not, I know others who believe that.

    I see more and more hints of that, and in some cases actual admissions of that right here in Kansas City, and I think a lot of you know it.

    Sam Harris has said that some beliefs…refering to religious beliefs…are so dangerous that people may be killed for believing them. (TEOF, pages 52-53)

    Daniel Dennet has said that relgion can be preserved…in zoos. (Darwins Dangerous Idea)

    So the test is this…do any of you have anything to say to us to assure us that I am in fact wrong, or will you simply throw ridicule in my face?

    If this is even posted that is.

    I sincerely would like to know.

  2. 2

    And then, I sincerely believe, that people like me will be imprisoned or killed.

    May I ask what are people like you, just to clarify?

    To react to your quotes:

    – It has become increasingly clear to many that Sam Harris has gone off the rails a while ago, blinded, it seems, by hate. I have no idea what is going on in his mind any more, and the recent muslim screening discussion hasn’t improved that image. I would be worried if everyone were like him, but I am convinced this is not the case.

    – Have you ever heard Dan Dennett speak? From what I’ve seen, heard, read by him I doubt that he would harm a religious fly. He’s hoping that the Vatican will be turned into a religion museum, and so am I, simply because he hopes that the support of religious institutions is a historical artefact that will wane. Do you honestly think he even contemplates locking religious people into cages for the atheists amusement? You completely misunderstood him then.
    Can you provide some context to your quote from DDI? I have only read Breaking the Spell recently and don’t remember.

    That being said, “the atheists” politically is such a diverse crowd, that I honestly doubt that much will change if politics will be largely controlled by atheists. To give you an example, Germany from 1998 to 2005, was ruled by a coalition of social democrats and the green party, and counter to what is tradition, most of them declined to say “so help me god” when they swore their oath of office. I strongly suspect that the majority of them were effectively atheist and definitely all of them were strong secularists. The point is, nobody cared. Out of the western democracies, it seems to be mostly in the US that the question whether the political class belongs to a religion is such a big deal. The US has to make sure that the bill of rights etc will be strictly enforced in the future, and this should secure the rights for religious minorities to practise their faith. I think the vast majority of US atheists are firmly in support of this idea.

  3. 3

    Sure, atheists support equal rights. But they don’t have any power. Every time they have obtained power, the results have been, well, less than optimal.

    Oh, I know, the old “but they weren’t doing that because they were atheists” argument.

    Balderdash. They did. They had the power and they wanted to eliminate religion so they tried when they had the chance.

    Read the blogs. (Not the relatively high class blogs like Freethought Blogs) but the ordinary blogs. There are a lot of atheists out there who friggning hate Chrisians.

    Harris is not just some aberration. He helped kick off the “new atheist” wave and Dawkins, Dennet, et al. were quite happy to be associated with him. They positiviely reveled in the “Four Horsemen” label.

  4. 5

    Jim,

    I’m not going to ridicule you, and I don’t want to see your civil rights infringed, let alone see you imprisoned or killed! As Greta says, as far as we’re concerned, this life is the only one you’ve got, so

    Notwithstanding your paraphrases from Harris and Dennett (I don’t have either book so can’t check at the moment), the difference between religious political movements and atheist political activism is that most atheists simply want a truly secular state, where the state really stays out of religion altogether (including not advocating atheism), and only intervenes when actions inspired by those beliefs (or by lack of belief) infringe other people’s human rights. And this is probably the best way that a democratic society can protect your freedom to hold and express your religious beliefs.

  5. 7

    Jim,

    So the test is this…do any of you have anything to say to us to assure us that I am in fact wrong [that atheists will kill or imprison religious people], or will you simply throw ridicule in my face?

    So you are afraid if the shoe is on the other foot, then atheists would behave just like the Church did for centuries upon centuries?
    Atheists as a group are better than that. We don’t need to enforce a death penalty for heresy. Education is all that’s required. Wiping out religion does not mean wiping out its adherents. Religion will fall of its own accord because it is wrong.

    You see, we don’t need to lie, we don’t need fantasies to make our case. We don’t need people to believe in anything that is not true, so we don’t need the convert-or-be-killed tactics that the church used. Be reassured that atheists believe the truth will set you free – and we really mean it. You need to understand that religion is a big con game. The people who are religious have fallen for the con.

    Tyrant, atheists were one of the groups sent to the concentration camps under the Nazis. It’s just not appropriate to equate them with Hitler, even to make a point about how ridiculous Jim’s remarks are.

  6. 8

    Trollboy [why am I even bothering?]:

    Oh, I know, the old “but they weren’t doing that because they were atheists” argument.

    Balderdash. They did. They had the power and they wanted to eliminate religion so they tried when they had the chance.

    Assuming you’re referring to the Soviet Union, pogroms had occurred on many occasions while it was still a empire under an Orthodox Christian Tsar, so the CPSU had no monopoly on anti-religious violence. Moreover, the antipathy to religion didn’t come from atheism but from Marxist ideology’s treatment of religion as a stultifying drug keeping the working class unaware of how it is being exploited (which seems true enough). Having said that, I don’t recall the Communist Manifesto or Das Kapital (well, part 1, anyway – haven’t read the others) advocating violence towards theists in the way that the Bible does. Note that the Soviet Union was ready to imprison or kill plenty of atheists too for various reasons – i.e. it was not espousing atheism but toeing the Party line which tended to keep you safe.

    As desirable as a withering-away of religion might be, just closing down places of worship or banning religious organisations and is not the way to achieve it, any more than you would hold a gun to someone’s head to make them recycle or save energy, and I am confident that the vast majority of atheists agree with me on this.

  7. 9

    @echidna

    Tyrant, atheists were one of the groups sent to the concentration camps under the Nazis. It’s just not appropriate to equate them with Hitler, even to make a point about how ridiculous Jim’s remarks are.

    I’m a german atheist and I’m well aware of that. I was not referring to Jim by the way, I had already replied to him in my first post. Le Trollboy however was obviously insinuating the Hitler connection without saying it, so I put a caricature of his post in my blockquote.

  8. 10

    @RedGreenInBlue,

    What always surprises me is that Christians effectively seem to argue that atheism makes worse dictators than religion. This should not play a role at all in a democratic society. I don’t want dictators in the first place, be they atheist or religious.

    What really matters is that these dictators had willing followers, and that has nothing to do with atheism – quite the contrary. The fault why the population has so often religiously accepted leaders or ideologies like Hitler, Nazism, Soviet style communism without ever questioning them, lies squarely with the religious powers who had systematically stamped out critical thinking for centuries, thus making the ground fertile for the evils that Christian propagandists so like to attribute to atheism.

  9. 11

    (*) footnote:

    and no-one in their right mind can argue that religion somehow is conducive to, let alone necessary for, democracy. That ship has sailed a thousand years ago.

  10. 12

    Jim, you are of course justified in being concerned. The problem with all the theoretical defenses of what it would be like if atheists had control is in the historical record. It doesn’t matter what their protestations are now, because they don’t have political power. Groups, like politicians, always come out with their real agenda when they actually have power, and many blogs contain heated discussions letting slip what that agenda is.

    EVERY government that was Officially Atheistic has been a bloody totalitarian state.

    Now there could be many reasons for that, but to pretend that atheists did not carry our any oppression “because” of atheism borders on denial. Yes…they did and they did it because they wanted to eliminate religion. Face it. It happened. Deal with it.

    The reference to Harris’ statement that he thought some beliefs were so dangerious that it was ethical to kill people for believing them is discussed on pages 52 and 53 of The End Of Faith. And this guy has long been praised as one of the Four Horsemen, as was pointed out, in spite of his defenses of Torture, Pre Emptive Nuclear War, and Profiling. He has been a leading figure in the atheist movement, so quit pretending otherwise.

    Face it. Deal with it. None of what has said is inconsistent with Atheism per se. You can say that atheists are all different, but then you can’t say what those who actually get the power will do when they have it.

    It is not irrational to be concerned.

  11. 13

    to pretend that atheists did not carry our any oppression “because” of atheism borders on denial.[…]Face it. It happened. Deal with it.

    Repeating the same old trope more loudly is not convincing anyone here.
    First of all, atheism is not an ideology in the name of which one can carry out anything.

    Explain which governments/states you are referring to, and argue conclusively that what was done was done in the name of atheism rather than some additional ideology.

  12. 16

    Jim Christensen #1 wrote:

    I think you may be right. Atheists may win, and get political control of this society, perhaps the world.
    And then, I sincerely believe, that people like me will be imprisoned or killed… So the test is this…do any of you have anything to say to us to assure us that I am in fact wrong, or will you simply throw ridicule in my face?

    Yes, I have something to say to reassure you: if you look at the main thrust of the atheist movement Greta describes in her article, you will note that atheists aren’t just looking for social acceptance — they want to participate in the public debate. They want to explain WHY they don’t believe in God, and PERSUADE other people to change their mind. Atheists aren’t seeking power through identity politics (we are who we are); they’re trying to get the culture to focus on an issue (what you believe is wrong — and here’s why.)

    We’re violating the cultural agreement to look at religion as if it were a culture, or a value, or a personal choice.

    What this means is that when the modern atheist says they want to ‘get rid of religion’ — they want to get rid of it like they want to get rid of ignorance. You don’t do that by puttng stupid people in jail.

  13. 17

    Aaron Ross:
    “EVERY government that was Officially Atheistic has been a bloody totalitarian state.”

    Um, France?

    Or, hey, how about the United States? Now, it’s done some bad things over the years, but ‘bloody totalitarian’ would seem a bit harsh. Or have you forgotten the 1st Amendment?

  14. 18

    Wait, I just remembered France actually did use to be a bloody totalitarian state. Oh well, bad example. These days it’s a pretty nice place.

  15. 19

    I think Jim’s concerns are somewhat valid.

    We are all aware (especially this week) that there is a somewhat large faction of the atheist community that is considered undesirable and possibly Trojan Horse-like. Fear and irrationality spares no one, even atheists/skeptics. We mustn’t fail to acknowledge the possibility that an atheist majority could in fact be hijacked. (A conspiracy theorist might even see the Edwina Rogers’s infiltration as such a thing.) We must remain vigilant and continue to acknowledge our own side’s faults when they surface. Case in point: this past week.

    Jim (et al), I suggest you follow the blogging trail regarding sexism over the last week. I think this would assure you that this movement has a self-correcting mechanism that will do its best to maintain stability, and that unlike Christianity the atheism movement will not diverge into 36,000 denominations or digress into a Crusade.

  16. 20

    The thing is, there’s a difference between an explicitly atheistic state (where the state takes a strong stand against religion) and an explicitly *secular* state (where church and state are held separate.

    I don’t advocate an atheistic state, but I do want a secular one.

  17. 21

    The problem with making comparisons to previous “atheistic” regimes, is that none of those grew out of primarily atheistic or humanist movements. As RedGreenInBlue mentioned above, the USSR was primarily Marxist ideologically, and while it was also atheistic, that was secondary to the political ideology.

    The current atheist movement is the opposite; it is grounded in secular ethics and humanism. Political beliefs within the movement are somewhat secondary, and range from communist to Libertarian. While I would love for the US to actually be secular, and for a majority of people to be atheists, I want that to be accomplished by persuading people that religion is incorrect, not by jailing or killing religious people.

    It seems to me that many people in the US, especially in the Baby Boomer generation, equate atheism with communism with totalitarian goverments. In that respect, I can almost understand their concerns; the problem is that they’re making connections that aren’t valid in this case.

    If you can find me an example of a secular goverment that was founded on the principles of humanism and secular ethics, which turned into a totalitarian regime that rounded religious people up and threw them in jail or executed them, then we’ll talk. Until someone shows me that example though, I’m going to continue thinking that people like Jim and Aaron are making false equivalences.

  18. 22

    Wait, I just remembered France actually did use to be a bloody totalitarian state. Oh well, bad example. These days it’s a pretty nice place.

    …in which atheists were among those singled out for persecution. “Atheism is aristocratic; the idea of a great Being that watches over abused innocence and punishes triumphant crime is altogether popular.”

  19. 23

    “And the atheist movement is largely comprised of people…”

    Gah! Comprised of? I’m sure Greta knows better than that. Damn!

  20. 25

    I have no doubt that some theists will go to jail if atheists take control of society.
    The theists that abuse their children and spouses will go to jail. The pedophile priests will go to jail. The leaders of churches that harbor abusers will go to jail. People that deny their children medical care will go to jail. People who hide behind religion to engage in fraud will go to jail.
    A lot of theists will go to jail! I see that as a good thing! I’m sure that a lot of ol’school theists will hate being held responsible for their actions, but times are a changing. 🙂

  21. 26

    So the test is this…do any of you have anything to say to us to assure us that I am in fact wrong, or will you simply throw ridicule in my face?

    For centuries religion has basically tried to rule by violence, fear and silence.

    The pogroms didn’t wipe out Judaism, the Crusades failed to wipe out Islam, and Islam has singularly failed to wipe out Coptic Christianity in Egypt. Even the secular religions of communism have failed to destroy their opposition through violence.

    Violence fails, because it is about taking power away from the individual – whether it be health, wealth or wisdom.

    States with high levels of organic atheism tend to prosper in all three basic measures.

    So aside from our personal distaste for violence, that all means you as an individual have nothing really to fear from us. We won’t oppress you because to do so would be entirely counter-productive.

    Violence simply fuels religion, peace and prosperity fuel irreligion.

  22. JD
    27

    Steve D…thats an interesting list. Of course child abusers deserve to do time. Do you include in “child abuse”, as Dawkins does, teaching children about religion?

    Should people who teach their children about religion go to jail if the state tells them not to? The did the Officially Atheistic Soviet Union.

    Your list provides a starting point that will be expanded when the atheists get power. Yes, I said WHEN they get power, as I agree that they will.

    You all are probably not aware of it yet, but there is a growing movement in churches to educate people about the history of Officially Atheistic Governments. Its something they need not know.

    Its all for educational purposes only, of course.

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