Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Planet - June 3, 2015

Atheists we are, and atheists we will more than likely be for the rest of our days on this earth. Every morning begins a new day of sharing this life experience with family, friends, and others that enter our sphere for a moment or two. Life is good.
Still, there's always a pit that awaits. Reality will be challenged at some point in the day, or week, or month; you can count on it. No matter how calmly you speak, smiles will turn to frowns, voices will be raised, friends will become enemies. Unless you smile and turn away, your life may head down a less desirable path. Truth becomes the enemy. It will lead you to a place where you may be shunned and derided. 
Yet there are those who will agree with you - not many - but an ever increasing number. Not enough to help though; it takes bravery to speak truth with a voice louder than a whisper. Most humans would rather not be confrontational. Those who take a stand for truth are few. The majority who enjoy confrontation seem to belong to groups who cling to misguided beliefs, who need the comfort of lies instead of the reality of truth. Those that scream their thoughts from the rooftops the loudest are those who are the most afraid. 
We all know there is a battle being fought. I am a fairly confrontational person, yet watching a well known atheist battle the Fox News pundits gives me the shakes. To confront the lion in his own den would seem to be foolish, yet over and over the attempt is made. There are those who fight for reality in the mainstream. Atheists owe them.
So how will you repay the debt? I think the "herding cats" simile when applied to atheists is an arrogant mantra that we kind of like, and need to let go. Yes, atheists are as different from one another as any other group, yet other groups can and do act together for the benefit of all. We have atheists groups all over the country, splinters of reality that need to work together. Even this network is an example of one of these splinters. These groups, large and small, are the nucleus of a needed movement to make life better for all the nons.
I think the time to unite is past due. If we work together we will create a substantial voting block. We should be supporting those who stand up for us. I have been a member of several different atheist groups, then let that membership drop. Yep, I'm a big ugly tomcat that does what he wants and doesn't care about what people think. Not misanthropic yet, but leaning in that direction. Humanity sucks at times, and at times is wonderful beyond belief. What we need is a road to acceptance, passing belief in truth's fast lane; destination reality.
The fight has been long, and has been strong. Just think of the bravery it took more than half a decade ago to protect our first amendment rights by challenging prayer in school. 
"Your petitioners are atheists, and they define their lifestyle as follows. An atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An atheist accepts that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth – for all men together to enjoy. An atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it. An atheist accepts that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help lead to a life of fulfillment." - Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Do you feel the joy I feel when reading this? That in 1959, someone in this country had the courage to challenge the powers that be with such a perfectly reasoned statement?
If you're not supporting your right to participate in society in whatever capacity you choose, you need to start; now. American Atheists, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Secular Coalition for America, etc. The list is long, pick one and give them a couple of bucks.
The World thanks you.

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