Monday, October 08, 2012

Atheists deserve better treatment

Posted for A. Charles Catania by Gary Berg-Cross
WASH Board member Charles Catania published  a letter in the October 5 edition of the Washington Post.

You can read Dana Millbank's orignal posting at A case of nonbelief.
It included arguments such as: practice, atheists aren’t about to become capable of breaching the “fence of piety” that makes religious expression a virtue for American politicians. This is because the very notion of uniting nonbelievers behind a common cause is pretty much an oxymoron. Those who identify themselves as atheists and agnostics tend not to be the type to join affinity groups. That’s why there isn’t an International Brotherhood of Individualists. “Although it’s a movement, it’s not so much monolithic in terms of unanimity on a lot of issues,” Niose allowed. 

 Below is Charles response.

'Dana Milbank laced his Oct. 2 column, “No suspension of disbelief,” with snide asides:

“They don’t have a prayer”; “Good heavens”; “God willing.” Imagine the reaction if Jesus had been invoked in mocking Jewish or Muslim views, or if the Buddha had been invoked in lampooning Christian ones.

To take the conviction of atheists seriously, one has only to listen to the former Catholic student who has been disowned by her family after confessing to a lapse in belief, or to the former Muslim who worries that it might be dangerous even to admit that he can no longer follow Islamic precepts, or to the Jew grappling with the oxymoron of Jewish atheism, or to the African American who finds that he is now ostracized by his Baptist friends and neighbors for expressing doubts about God.

Probe further, and you will discover their shared deep moral and ethical convictions, including one that says that a country built upon the separation of church and state should have their backs, too. They are as entitled to their disbeliefs as others are to their beliefs, and it is unseemly to make fun of their views.'

Charles wasn't the only response online a person took unbrig with Dana throw away line -
"But that obvious fact won’t stop them from exercising their God-given right to petition their government for a redress of grievances. "Reader and commentator ron64740 corrected the record with this:
The right to petition the government is is not a "God-given right" -- it's was granted under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a document written by MEN.

If it were a "God-given" right, it would cover ALL humanity. Go tell the people of North Korea and Syria that they have the "God-given" right to petition their governments -- see how that goes over.

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