No more deference – assert your atheism!
For a long time, Christians have been dominating American politics and public life even more than they do here. It’s been hard to find any American atheists willing to come out of the closet, but things are changing. Richard Dawkins’ book ‘The God Delusion’ has had record sales and his promotional lecture tour has drawn large audiences, many of them sympathetic.
In The State News, John Bice writes about the ‘growing popularity of atheism’…
….the most important accomplishment of this wave of atheistic sentiment is the disruption of the long-standing and unjustified cultural taboo against publicly criticizing religious belief. As the writer Douglas Adams pointed out, “If somebody votes for a party that you don’t agree with, you’re free to argue about it as much as you like. … But on the other hand, if somebody says, ‘I mustn’t move a light switch on a Saturday,’ you say, ‘Fine, I respect that.'”
Cultural critic H.L. Mencken similarly noted, “The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected.” Regrettably, theocratic Christians and insufferable self-anointed moral elitists have taken advantage of this excessive deference, and have become increasingly preoccupied with imposing their faith-based views on everyone.
A similar resurgence is overdue on this side of the Atlantic. Never mind all those excessively sensitive religious types who scream that they’ve been ‘offended’, or worse, whenever anyone dares to question their beliefs or their influence in public policy and education. It’s time they were challenged, and forced back into a strictly secular framework that won’t allow them any special privileges at public expense.
With thanks to the National Secular Society for The State News article.