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Supporting Civil Rights for Atheists and the Separation of Church and State
Taking The Gloves Off...
"...first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'"- Howard Beale
The dictionary defines intolerance as lack of toleration, an unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect. Sometimes, though, it becomes quite necessary. Intolerance toward beliefs and doctrines that serve only to promote hatred, bigotry and discrimination should be lauded, as should extremist points of view toward the eradication of these beliefs and doctrines.
It should come as no surprise that the individuals who abide by fundamentalist Christian and radical Islamic doctrines would be the first to cry out that they are being persecuted when their dangerous, damaging and disingenuous beliefs come under attack. Most of these people lack the maturity and intelligence to act in a socially acceptable manner. Many of them are sociopaths and quite a good number of them are psychopaths. All of them are clearly delusional.
What should come as a surprise is just how many people stand in their court, offering support. There are frequent cries of “foul” when the more polemic amongst the atheist community make negative sweeping, generalized statements about fundamental Christianity and radical Islam. There are demands made for tolerance and respect for the religious beliefs of all people and that nobody has a right to condemn someone based solely on their religion. Those who spout these cries of foul and who call for tolerance toward these two very dangerous ideologies are speaking from ignorance.
Bigotry, discrimination, hatred, coercion, terrorism, slavery, misogyny and everything else that is part and parcel of fundamental Christianity and radical Islam should not be tolerated, and when any of these rear their ugly heads outside of the context of religion they are not. There are laws in the United States and many other nations that protect people from these things because they have been proven detrimental to societies. Add God into the picture and all of a sudden the perpetrator becomes the victim because religion seems to change the context of everything.
Hold up a Westboro Baptist Church style sign without being connected to a religion and you will likely be arrested, tried and convicted of a hate crime. Add God and it becomes an issue of tolerating a religious belief. Hold up a sign calling for the beating, torture or death of someone and you will likely be charged with any one of several crimes. Add God and it again becomes an issue of tolerating a religious belief.
There are even atheists who state that everyone should be tolerant of all individuals right to believe or disbelieve as they see fit. That we should all coexist. Along with these statements come the accusation that many within the Atheist movement are “just as bad” as the fundamentalist Christians and radical Muslims.
The fact is that fundamentalist Christians and radical Muslims are not interested in coexisting or getting along. They have no desire for peace. They do not want to sit down with us in diplomatic efforts to iron out our differences and come to an agreement on developing an integrated society.
They want us to die.
Their interpretation of the Bible and Koran are such that there is no other course of action but to kill the infidel, and if anyone believes otherwise they are only fooling themselves. It is not just in the best interests of atheists to be intolerant of fundamental Christianity and radical Islam, but it is also in the best interest of mainstream believers within these faiths, as well. Moderates and even Progressives who stand in support of extremists just because there is a claim to the same deity are not doing themselves any favors. Fundamental Christians make all Christians look bad and radical Muslims make all Muslims look bad.
The growing ranks of fundamental Christians and radical Muslims should be of concern to everyone who is not part of these two groups. Everyone. Again, bigotry, discrimination, hatred, coercion, terrorism, slavery, misogyny and everything else that is part and parcel of fundamental Christianity and radical Islam should not be tolerated and anyone who agrees with this needs to adopt extremist points of view that includes the intolerance of their very existence. The only reason these groups exist is because they are allowed to, and we, as a society, are allowing them to.
The atheist community gets angry when we read about the antics of idiotic, ignorant and imbicillic politicians and celebrities like Palin, Bachmann, Beck, Limbaugh, Pawlenty and Santorum. We post our thoughts on our social networks and our blogs and try to expose these creeps for exactly what they are. Most of the GOP, just about all of the Tea Party movement and even some Democrats and Independents should be ashamed of themselves for going out in public wearing the equivalent of an intellectual diaper. We criticize them for their rejection of science in favor of their fairy tales and write our letters and support our advocate organizations when our legal rights are abrogated.
But the underbelly of fundamentalist Christianity and radical Islam does not operate in the legal system. They don’t respond to lawsuits, letters, amicus briefs or other grass-roots campaigns and they must, must, must be eradicated. As long as they are allowed to exist, we will continue to be inundated with accounts of buses, buildings, markets and abortion clinics being blown up, rape victims being murdered for adultery, wives being beaten (sometimes to death), airplanes being flown into buildings, people being tortured and sometimes beheaded for blasphemy, people being burned for witchcraft and sorcery and all the other horrific, inhumane and insane practices that are part of fundamental Christianity and Radical Islam.
If we don’t take a stand and, as a society, insist that these doctrines and beliefs are treated just the same as they would be if religion were not part of the equation, we will become extinct not due to natural selection, but at the hands of those who believe that the supernatural has made the selection.
Al Stefanelli - Georgia State Director, American Atheists, Inc.
PS: To those of you who are coming here from The Blaze, which has accused me of calling for the eradication of living people, take note that I called for the eradication of the doctrines that are espoused by the fundamentalists and radical extremists. Also note that your death threats are being forwarded to the FBI. - Al