I got an email from an old-school atheist activist. They asked a hard question. Or is it?
The AA magazine is filled with LGBTQ stuff
Did you get the latest AA magazine?
I was appalled to find that the biggest story in the July- October issue of the AA magazine is about something called “Drag Queen Story Hour.” IT TOOK UP SIX FULL PAGES PLUS THE COVER PHOTO.
What the futz do drag queens have to do with Atheism?
Whoa. What should be in American Atheist magazine? Six full pages of blank white pages and a cover with a title and nothing else? This writer clearly has a vision for the magazine, not that they’ve said what it is, and it doesn’t include drag queens. Why not? I guess we’re suppose to have nothing but articles about separation of church and state issues, legal shenanigans, and opposition to religion, which all sounds very dry and boring.
You can read American Atheist’s concerns about the drag queen story for yourself. The rationale is crystal clear.
Yesterday, American Atheists, Southern Maryland Area Secular Humanists (SMASH), PFLAG National, and PFLAG’s Leonardtown chapter sent a letter to the commission warning that the organizations “are prepared to seek judicial remedies for [the] violation of their rights.”
“At Drag Queen Story Hour, the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department arrested and charged a Christian extremist with five misdemeanors after he barged into the meeting room, terrorizing young attendees,” explained Samantha McGuire, SMASH Chapter Coordinator and National Field Director of American Atheists. “This anti-LGBTQ protester broke the law, yet St. Mary’s County Commission is blaming the victims, forcing the library to foot the bill to protect children from out-of-control fundamentalists.”
A Christian fanatic tried to disrupt the event, and Christian fundamentalist organizations are howling to shut down the participation of drag queens in any event, “for the good of the children”. I’m sorry, but are we only supposed to defend people from religious oppression when they are cis het straight people who conform to social expectations of dress? It sure sounds like my correspondent only wants to support atheists who fit their expectations of conventional behavior…which is exactly what the religious zealots want. It’s just that their ideal of conventional behavior includes going to church every Sunday.
It wasn’t just a lone loon disrupting an event, either. The county commissioners punished the library by taking funding away. AA has a few things to say about that, too.
“By kowtowing to Christian supremacists, the Commission is sending the message that bigoted protesters should use any means necessary, including threatening innocent children and committing multiple crimes, to get what they want,” said Nick Fish, American Atheists’ president.
I mean, you don’t need to read very far into this story to figure out why an atheist organization would take sides against Christian supremacy in action. Is this not enough for you?
My vision of atheism has always been that it is a tool for battling dogmatism, that it’s something more than a narrow answer, “NO”, to the question of the existence of gods. It is a vehicle for opening minds and defeating the constrictions imposed on us by authoritarian superstition. It’s not just for nerdy old white guys with conservative haircuts and a boring style of dress. We’ve already got the social approval and the ability to move into positions of relative authority.
We should be about anti-authoritarian secularism and breaking the bounds of unthinking custom. Just being an atheist is freeing one foot from the shackles, we should celebrate the people who break free of all pointless restraints.
Drag queens have everything to do with atheism. So do purple-haired ace furries, free-thinking hippies who like to knit, and staid old gomers who are comfortable in traditional relationships. All of us. We all need defending from the rigid authoritarianism of religious orthodoxy, and my atheism is not going to question inclusion and equality.