Heed them.

July 31, 2011

The Atheism That Isn't There

 Pictured above: We can only hope.

You can make any political argument you want to, but be sure your argument starts with:

"See that thing over there?"

And then you can go on to state your case.  You can pick anything. Something like poverty, industry, civil rights, or anything else- as long as it's a real thing. Religion is a special case, because all arguments from a religious perspective start with-

"You know that thing you can't see?"

No, I really don't, and not in a wishy-washy gnostic way. I mean if I haven't seen it, it's not there, particularly if it poses a direct influence on the politics of my country. You'll notice that the most regressive and anti-charitable political positions in this country are argued this way:

"God intended..."

The thing is, when they aren't speaking up, Atheists are just as invisible as the judeo-christian-islamic god. Atheists are the least trusted minority group in the United States- but they can just keep quiet and play along. It's not too dramatic to refer to these passive Atheists as in the closet, because when you think of it, Gays are the only similar minority; in that no one can identify them by sight and they can just choose to endure a life of disinherited sullen oppression.

Because of that I'm tempted to draw parallels between the gay rights movement and the recently vocal segment of non-religious people. The oft-cited(and probably wrong) 10% of the population figure is given for both. The big difference is that in cultures where Homosexuality is condoned, it never spreads to a majority of the population; no matter what your local clergymen or Michele Bachmann might say. On the other hand, in a religiously free and relatively prosperous society, Atheism spreads like hell-fire.

Some scientists have been studying how rapidly ideas can spread. It's in it's infancy, but preliminary findings suggest that once a 10% of a population hold an idea to be true, it spreads exponentially. Look at the younger generations of Americans. Some surveys report a 30% or higher rate of no-religion. Already.

I'm sure many will gift this demographic shift to blustering biologists asking atheists to self identify as 'brights'(never will I ever), alcoholic british-americans working through the 'jew-run' media, or our 'liberal colleges' and their influence. That's an error. The growing non-religious youth population is a testament to the power of coming out of the closet. I think militant atheism, while entertaining(and true), doesn't get as many converts as people at parties getting sauced-up and saying how they really feel about religion.

It's not a matter of confronting every mention of church or religion with "IM AN ATHIEST!1," it's simply a matter of telling the truth about what you think, if you're asked.

This non-believing demographic shift begs the question -where is the representation? There is currently one openly-gay member of congress; Barney Frank. And one openly-Atheist member of the house; Pete Stark.  Another parallel; but seeing that both of them came out after being elected, it's really just an accident of demographics.

 I wonder if there will be some iconic Atheist politicians on the horizon. One can only hope. Intuitively Atheists would make the best politicians- tons of freed-up time and freed-up head-space not spent on church gobbledygook, a direct focus on the here-and-now, and disbelief that a god will sort this all out at the end. I'm guessing that if any politicians can reverse the trend of our becoming a war-mongering toll-booth banana republic it'll be Atheist progressives.

Plus, when a fundamentalist like George W. Bush or Michele Bachmann says-

"God told me..."

...there would be an official voice that could speak up and say-

"No he didn't"

 ...besides the one in my own head. The elephant that's been in the room for way too long makes me think I should get involved with politics more directly each and every day. It's just a thought, but If I did it I'd do it the right way; Bullheaded, symbolic; producing tons of controversy. That's how real hope and change starts.

Maybe that's why many states, including Maryland, have laws against Atheists holding office.

Out of the closet and into the streets!

1 comment:

  1. All the polytheistic religions of the past have now faded into being referred to as "mythology"(aside from fringe groups that still worship ancient Norse deities, the Druids, etc., but in the eyes of the "normals" it's fact). I think this may be the way of all religions, science explains away sun gods and lightning gods and what not. Science is fact, not faith. I suspect that thousands of years from now Christianity may finally be referred to as myth as well. Imagine learning about Greek, Roman, Norse, and CHRISTIAN mythology in school. I think there are more Atheists because we are all getting a little too smart for the fairy tales about a magical zombie, I like to call it progress.