Wolfe Blitzer infamously asked Rebecca Vitsmun if she “thanked the Lord.” Arizona State Representative Juan Mendez presented a humanist “prayer” during the House prayer time. And all across the nation, whenever atheists put up a billboard (no matter how watered down) it generates media attention and controversy.
Christians “thank the Lord” all the time and no one cares. Christian state and federal representatives present Christian prayers in their political bodies and aside from church/state separationists like me, no one cares. There are Christian billboards all over the nation telling non-believers that we are going to Hell unless we believe and they generate zero media attention and there is no controversy despite the harshness of the message. Atheism is a quiet minority. This is changing and as such, everything we do generates attention. Even if we do nothing at all except showing up, it generates attention.
When you drive down the road, you will undoubtedly see many cars with variations of the Jesus fish or some other Christian message. Most people don’t even notice them but it is a pretty safe bet that they would notice an atheist themed bumper sticker. If you wore an atheist themed t-shirt, people would notice. Some might even say something about it.
When we show up as atheists, people notice and that changes the game. People aren’t used to seeing open atheists. They aren’t used to hearing that we are actual people and not just some caricature created to scare little children. When we show up and are actually nice people, it sends a message to the religious. That message is that religious leaders have lied about atheists. That brings to their minds a very important question: What else have they lied about?
- An Atheist ‘Prayer’ (skepticink.com)
- Atheists Are Everywhere! (skepticink.com)
- Atheists Need To Get More Politically Active (skepticink.com)
- Atheists raising money for Oklahoma Tornado Relief (examiner.com)