Msg # 455
Date: 01 May 92 02:26:18
From: Christopher Baker
Subj: Defining and labeling atheists
There are more a-theists in the world than in all the organized religions
put together [Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1991 edition]. Yet, many people who
have no belief in any religion or who consider themselves free of religion
are quite hesitant to declare this fact in mixed company.
A-theism as a label has become [mostly through lack of defense against it]
synonymous, im many unenlightened minds, with 'commie', 'heretic',
'blasphemer', 'baby killer', 'pedophile', or any number of unpleasant and
hate provoking images designed by the users of such labels to obscure the
facts and to intimidate a-theists from going public or attempting to educate
A-theists who proclaim or announce are often attacked verbally and
physically or have their property damaged or find themselves ostracized both
personally and in business. This tactic of organized religion [tacitly or
implicitly inspired] and other hate groups have kept a-theists underground
for a long time. While a-theists are often attacked, there are no reports of
a-theists, as a group, breaking car windows of Baptists or beating up
evangelical types. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? It's little wonder that
a-theists have not achieved the level of organization realized by even the
smallest splinter sect of organized religion.
By now, you may have noticed that I keep splitting the word 'a-theist' into
two, distinct syllables. The point of that is to accent that the word does
not mean 'anti' religion as most religions would prefer you continue to
believe. It means 'free' of religion as a-political means free of politics
or a-sexual means free of sexual characteristics or drives. The 'a' should
be pronounced as a long 'a' with the accent on the 'the' of theism.
Practice that a few times...a-THEism, a-THEism, a-THEist...free of religion,
free of religion, free of religious influence and able to engage in rational
Labeling is a cheap trick but if you stick to the accurate definition, you
realize that a-theists are not axe murderers or hate mongers. They are free
of religion and thus able to see the world as it really is.
That is our goal in this Echo. Education is the key to overcoming the
ignorance of centuries of repression by paternalistic and self-serving
demagogues. It's time for mankind to shake off the yoke of superstition that
he should have outgrown hundreds of years ago.
In this country, religion has sought and is seeking to invade every corner
of your life because it cannot survive without converts to pay the freight
and keep their eyes closed. The government of this country which is supposed
to be completely free of religion is being subverted at every level to
include more and more dogma and symbols of the Christian religion. Education
in public schools is being watered down to the point of uselessness by
fringe groups of the religious right who mount spurious campaigns to ban
books and curricula that illuminates, in any way, the falsehoods of their
This should be of concern to others, besides a-theists, because this
polarization will eventually put the non-Christian religions at risk as
well. The attempts to theocracize this country will only be stymied by an
alert and aware populace who recognize the danger in time!
Be proud to be an a-theist. Think about the future of your country run by
the likes of Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts and stand up for your rights to
COMPLETE separation of church and State. It's in the First Amendment of YOUR
Constitution and that amendment WAS intended to provide a 'wall of
separation' according to Thomas Jefferson who certainly knew what he was
If all the a-theists were to stand together, there would be no way to stop
the flow of information and knowledge and the freedom that would result.
It's worth thinking about. It's worth fighting for.
--- DB B1066/001027
* Origin: Rights On!-Host/Moderator of A_THEIST-Titusville_FL_USA (1:374/14)