FW: I AM AN ATHEIST
>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.
- I do not find that there is anything more inherently independent about the
process of critical thinking that leads one to become an atheist than that which
leads one to become a person of faith. The independence of an individual's
mind is of course a relative thing, and an atheist may be as weak-minded as the
next person. It should also be noted that independence of any sort is
something of an illusion. The wise man notes and measures the effect of his
influences, rather than denies them.
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