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  • Clyde Baxley
    Jan 5, 2005
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      >From: Bart Meltzer <bmeltzer@...>
      >To: Directors <bmeltzer@...>,Staff <bmeltzer@...>
      >Subject: I AM AN ATHEIST
      >Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2005 17:09:03 -0800
      >This is from the Idaho state director, Susan Harrington. Currently, there
      >is some debate in the Idaho Atheists group about removing �Atheists� from
      >the group�s name. Thought you all may enjoy it. I don�t think anyone
      >have said this better.
      >What do you think when you hear the word "independent" as in "independent
      >thinker" or "independent person?" I, personally, think of it as a positive
      >word with a positive meaning. However, it is created by adding the negating
      >prefix "in" to an already existing word. That existing word is forgotten as
      >the new word, in its entirety, takes on its own meaning.
      >Another question: How many of you have ever publicly announced that you are
      >an "Atheist?" I have. Many times. After the first look of surprise on
      >peoples' faces, or exclamations of, "Oh, but she seems so nice," there is a
      >definite tone of respect in the room. It may not be respect for "atheism"
      >per se, but it is a respect toward a person's right TO BE an atheist and to
      >exercise that right in this country by going in front of legislative
      >committees and peers to testify and be part of the process of discourse.
      >Try it...the legislative session in Idaho is about to begin. When a bill
      >comes up that would give favoritism to religion, discriminate against the
      >non-religious, further intermingle religion and government, and marginalize
      >your rights to be a fully participating atheist citizen, then STAND UP and
      >simply say, "I AM AN ATHEIST." It is the most important action you can take
      >to point out to other people that you are an Atheist. Your very existence
      >and your presence in the room as a real person putting a face to the term
      >will define the term.
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