February 20, 2005

Introducing Atheist Revolution

Atheists are one of the few groups left in the United States that is both socially acceptable and politically required to oppose. Bigotry against atheists is widespread, and it seems that our politicians must proclaim their Christian faith and disparage those of us who do not share it in order to have any hope of being elected. At least, it is difficult to imagine a candidate who was openly critical of religious belief attaining political office.

President George W. Bush continues to push his "faith-based initiatives" and to oppose both reproductive rights and same-sex marriage on sectarian religious grounds. He has made it about as clear as can be that he bases his policy decisions on his Christian beliefs. There can be no question that the Christian right has a political agenda and that it has accomplished much of what they want.

In a 1991 fundraising letter, Christian extremist Pat Robertson wrote:

We at the Christian Coalition are raising an army who cares. We are training people to be effective -- to be elected to school boards, to city councils, to state legislatures, and to key positions in political parties.... By the end of this decade, if we work and give and organize and train, THE CHRISTIAN COALITION WILL BE THE MOST POWERFUL POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN AMERICA.

The results of the 2000 and 2004 elections suggest that Robertson was correct. We are now living in something that seems to be moving closer to a Christian theocracy. President Bush's father, former President George H. W. Bush, does not even acknowledge our citizenship!

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." - Bush, to AA reporter Robert I. Sherman on August 27, 1987.

After 9/11, there were many who regarded atheists as terrorists simply because we reject Christian dogma. It is not a good time to be an atheist in the United States. It may be better today than it has been at many points in the past, but that isn't saying much.

I will use this blog to organize my thoughts on religion and politics in American life. I also hope to spark some discussion and critical thinking in others. Our elected officials seem determined to return us to the Dark Ages where science and rationality were subjugated as enemies of religion. This would be a devastating setback and must not be allowed to happen. An atheist revolution is needed.