Msg # 455 Date: 01 May 92 02:26:18 To: All Subj: Defining and labeling atheists _ There ar

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Msg # 455 Date: 01 May 92 02:26:18 From: Christopher Baker To: All 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 their fellows. 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 thought. 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 'beliefs'. 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 talking about. 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. TTFN. Chris --- DB B1066/001027 * Origin: Rights On!-Host/Moderator of A_THEIST-Titusville_FL_USA (1:374/14)

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