I received a long email complaining about the priorities of American Atheists. To distill it down a lot…
To use American Atheist (AA) resources to continue
pressing issues that are predominantly
LGTB is, in my opinion, a dereliction of duty, unwise
and possibly actionable.
Please remember that AA members are,
primarily and traditionally, interested in
separation of church and state issues.
I agree completely on the importance of church/state separation, and I think it’s important to get religion out of our schools, for instance. But why? Think about the deeper motivations behind atheism.
There are many reasons why people should oppose religion. I oppose it because it’s antithetical to good science, and that religion is used by people to endorse ideas that are contrary to the evidence. I consider that a very good reason.
Another very good reason, though, is that religion is behind many of the most repressive policies in this country. It fosters misogyny, child rape, the oppression of LGBTQ people, and a whole raft of vicious discriminatory ideas that harm those who don’t conform. It’s antithetical to healthy social practices, and that is a perfectly valid reason for atheists to fight back. It’s not just for science, or for anti-clericalism, or for legal agendas…many oppose religion because it is a social ill, and they may legitimately find common cause with other atheists for that reason. LGBTQ people need atheism, too, and they may care about other aspects of our culture than that “In God We Trust” is on our money.
It’s funny how Big Tent Atheism only wants to share the tent with cis het privileged white people who only want to talk about the Constitution as holy writ.
Also, it’s really weird to send me a letter like that when I’ve been ostracized from the formal atheist community for arguing that social issues ought to be as important to us as the scientific and legal ones. They don’t know me very well, I guess.