Looking for a New Year's Resolution? Thank a Secular Activist

2022 new year

Everybody deserves some time off from the grind, and secular activists are no exception. And yet, I often find myself wondering why the national secular organizations in the United States often seem to be so much quieter this time of year. Much like accountants during tax season, I would expect this to be their busiest time of the year due to all the Christian efforts to insert their faith into government. It does seem like we usually hear more from them about this right after Thanksgiving, but it seems to taper off as December progresses.

None of this should should be surprising. Many secular activists undoubtedly want to celebrate December holidays, spend time with their family when their kids have time away from school, etc. I'm not blaming them for doing any of this. They deserve a break too! And yes, there are probably some who prefer to withdraw more because they don't want to be perceived as "scrooges" who are trying to interfere with others' holiday fun. That's understandable too, even though I don't particularly like it.

Many of us like to complain that our national secular organizations aren't doing enough or that they are doing things we wish they weren't doing. I think it is important that such concerns take into account the fact that we still need these groups advocating for secularism. We cannot reasonably expect them to be perfect, though we can certainly criticize them when they depart from what we think they should be doing. Better yet, we could participate in these groups and help to shape their direction. But I suppose it is easier to sit on the sidelines and hurl feces at those trying to make a difference, isn't it? Is it any wonder that secular activism has such a problem with burnout?

I sometimes think we need to do a better job of expressing our appreciation for what secular activists do for us. Yes, we can join the various organizations and support them with our membership dues. That is one valuable way to contribute. We can also use our social media platforms to promote their work. That can help too. Beyond these things, though, it occurs to me that we probably don't say "thank you" as much as we should. I mean, these groups and the individual activists who compose them are working on our behalf, and they are putting up with a lot of garbage to do so. It would be bad enough if they only had to deal with angry Christians, but they also have to look out for "friendly fire" far more than they should. It probably would't hurt for more of us to let them know that we appreciate their efforts from time to time.

Maybe this would be an easy thing to add to our New Year's resolutions (for those who make New Year's resolutions). It could be as simple as reaching out to a few individuals we might encounter on social media or wherever else and thanking them for their work. Don't most of us appreciate it when someone thanks us for something we've been doing? My guess is that most secular activists would feel similarly. And as far as New Year's resolutions go, this seems like an easy one.