Subject: Front-door Atheism Date: 6 Sep 90 17:24:37 GMT Sender: usenet@hayes.fai.alaska.ed

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From: (BOWDEN DON H) Newsgroups: alt.atheism Subject: Front-door Atheism Message-ID: <> Date: 6 Sep 90 17:24:37 GMT Sender: (J Random USENET) Reply-To: Organization: University of Alaska Anchorage Lines: 41 News-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.3-4 Jon Murray, director of American Atheists and son of Madalyn O'Hair, recently came to Anchorage to install our new Alaska Chapter of American Atheists. He challenged us to come out of the closet and take the fight to the streets and to the people. He said the era of the court battle to secure civil rights is past--we can no longer rely on justice and equality in today's political climate. Accordingly, we secured a booth at the Alaska State Fair and put the messages of reason, logic, separation of state and church, equity of taxation, freedom from religion and freedom from the dangers of superstition before the people. Of course, we we preached at and prayed over, and we received two bona-fide death threats, but now thousands of people in Alaska know that atheists exist as group with an agenda. Scores of people came up to our booth with handshakes and wide grins: "Man, am I glad to see you people here! I thought I was all alone." Many more people passed by and waved or gave us the thumbs-up sign but did not stop--poor, oppressed humans still deep in the closet but at least now they know there's hope. Best of all, new memberships are coming in. It's wonderful to have a forum such as this one to discuss our views and fine-tune our philosophies, but what are we doing to eradicate the sickness of religion from our planet? Locally, many of our members are retired and can freely admit to being atheists, but others of us believe that public admission to not holding mythological beliefs could result in loss of business or even jobs. Is this the spirit of the First Amendment? I don't think we'll get acceptance for the atheist community until we get out in front of people and show them what we are--not baby-eaters but the most intelligent, ethical, and moral people on the planet. It's great that we're talking about it, but in an era when the idea of a Pat Robertson or a Dan Quayle becoming president is not only a chilling possiblility but downright probable, we've got to emerge from the shadows and do something. Jon Murray pointed out that the 60's was the decade for black civil rights, the 70's was the decade for gay rights, the 80's was the decade for women's rights, and that the 90's are open to us--if we choose to accept the challenge. What can *you* do? Don Bowden atdhb@alaska.Bitnet JESUS IS LARD!


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