Addendum: Ask an Atheist now has been added to the partners page. A shame it took a little public shaming to accomplish it, but for now, hold off on the email and Facebook abuse. Thanks.
Okay, try this on for size. And pay close fucking attention, because this shit is why we need Atheism+, in my not-so-humble opinion.
So the crew of Ask an Atheist up in Seattle host a 24-hour fundraiser for Washington United for Marriage, a marriage equality group. Because marriage equality is a thing atheists, in general, want to get behind.
After they have the money, what does Washington United say to Ask an Atheist? “Thanks for your wonderful support!”, perhaps? Or how about, “FUUUUCKK YOOOUUUUU!”
Come on. Guess.
Aw, how did you guess?
According to Mike Gillis at AAA, the response they got from the people they helped and supported was that Washington United “could not risk any negative publicity that may come from association with an atheist organization.” Because, of course, it is far more in the best interests of the LGBT community to pander to the theists who don’t fundraise for them, don’t support them, and would happily see them all die in a ditch for the greater glory of Jesus.
Seriously, people. Think long and hard on this one. Let it sink in.
Briefly to why this underscores and validates the Atheism+ concept: You might want to sit down for this, but there is a shit-ton of anti-atheist bigotry out there. People simply have this prejudice that, because we reject belief in an invisible magic man in the sky, we are thus irredeemable, immoral, corrupt and despicable monsters. Period. And this prejudice, as we can clearly see, extends even to the people you’d think were on the same side (and who apparently are, until the fucking check clears).
What Atheism+ seeks to do is counter this cultural bigotry through associating atheism with positive social causes. No, it won’t be an immediate mind-changing magic bullet. But, as Dawkins stated in The God Delusion, hopefully it will start to raise consciousnesses. Maybe you still think that’s a needless effort. I disagree, and present this situation as exhibit A. No, I’m not trying to guilt anyone who doesn’t want to adopt the A+ moniker into doing so if they still think it’s not for them. I just want you to understand why those of us who do want to adopt it find it useful to do so. That’s all.
As for Washington United, well, fuck them right back. Feel free to disagree, but I think the public shaming should be heavy on this one. They have a Facebook page. How about that? They also can be contacted here. Just a polite note to the effect of “Thanks for being total douchebags towards Ask an Atheist, that was really nice” ought to do. And if you’re a Washingtonian and still want to support equality in that state, apparently Equal Rights Washington are the good guys.