I tend to agree with Austin Cline when he says, "Frankly, I'm not at all impressed by this for several reasons and I don't think that other atheists should make a big deal out of it either." It was nice to hear him acknowledge nonbelievers, but I do not believe that it represents a significant change in attitude.
As Austin suggested, Obama's acknowledgment says more about the pitiful status of atheists in America than it does about Obama.
The refusal of so many to even acknowledge that atheists exist, never mind acknowledge that atheists are equal citizens whose views should be taken into consideration, demonstrates just how deep and strong the animus towards atheists is in American society.Mentioning nonbelievers was certainly a step forward, but it was a first step at the beginning of a marathon. There is another critical step that must be taken, a much larger step that would really signal a change of attitude. In order to facilitate this next step, I hope you will join me in sending a version of Atheist Ethicist's letter to President Obama.
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