November 27, 2008

Thankful for the Atheist Movement

{{Potd/2005-11-24 (en)}}Image via WikipediaI slept late this morning and hadn't really thought about writing a Thanksgiving post. I'm not big on holidays of any sort, and other than enjoying some time off work, I don't do anything different from what I usually do. I know that makes me quite odd, but I'm getting more comfortable embracing that. Still, my upbringing leaves me with an almost irresistible urge to reflect on what I am thankful for today. To the degree that it makes sense for an atheist to talk of being thankful, I am thankful for having an atheist movement. Even a largely disorganized and ineffective one is better than none at all, and so I extend warm wishes to all who make this movement happen.

For the purposes of this post, all I mean by atheist movement is a group of people interested in working together to defend and even promote the rights of atheists. Such a group recognizes that atheist equality is a civil rights issue. Such a group cares about making the world a better place for those of us in the reality-based community. Certainly, these brave people deserve our thanks.

It is good to simply know that there are others out there who have managed to throw off the shackles of ancient superstition and accept the world as it is rather than how they want it to be. Our brand of activism is about moving forward while benefiting from the lessons of the past. I thank the atheist activists for engaging in their long struggle.

Whether you write an atheist blog or visit them from time to time, whether you engage in brief acts of positive activism or are a full-time activist, whether you belong to one secular organization or several, I thank you. Your efforts help each of us feel less alone and more a part of our civil rights struggle. If I'm going to be thankful today, it is for your presence.