The freedom to have religion is not the freedom to impose it.

Those of us who do not believe in the Christian God deserve respect, some compassion, equality, and demand some compromise for a change!

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2011—One proclivity of the deeply religious is to find virtue in the hatred of human imperfection. They would rather cheer on the destruction of the world than look for practical ways to improve it.

Harold Camping, the Family Radio doomsday prophet, recently said, “I apologize that the world didn’t end.”

Do Americans really not see how morbidly perverse public religious expression has become, and at the same time how incredibly pervasive? The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted on the national motto and reaffirmed “In God we trust” with a staggering 396 to 9 vote. 

Please understand, most atheists don’t care that you believe in God. It is how you translate that belief into action, subjugating and running rough-shod over others, that we care about. We fully and whole heartedly accept that not all religious people in America are directly responsible for the absurdities implemented by our government, or the state legislation that is forced down our throats.

The problem, though, is that there are just not enough religious people willing to stand up for equality for the least popular groups in the country anymore, and that is embarrassing. 

Those of us who do not believe in the Christian God deserve respect as fellow Americans and human beings. We deserve compassion, we deserve equality, and we demand some compromise for a change! Is it too much to ask that Americans keep their sacred beliefs in the private sphere, just as they keep their sexual behavior private?

We do not demand, nor do we even ask, that you not share your beliefs with those who want it, but you should respect the rights of others not to believe. No one deserves to be ideologically abused just because others want to share their self-proclaimed happiness with everyone, no matter how realistic or delusional it may be.   

We need a pragmatic solution to balance liberty and equality with the freedom to believe and not to be subject to others’ beliefs. The hardest thing about that is we have to convince the majority share holders in America, more than 80 percent of whom are Christian, to break the circle of mutual back-patting. 

Please, America’s Christians, please humble yourselves, discard the ego, stash the attitude, and look at the issue of public religiosity from any non-Christian perspective. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem, and that is something you need to start taking responsibility for.

Indifference in the face of adversity is a position of ignorance. Can we get you to stand up for what is just, please? We don’t want to pick a fight, we want peace. Please help make that a possibility.

The separation of Church and state is of more importance than you think it is, and it is not an atheistic agenda. The separation of church and state is the equalizing factor for all religions. If we afford one religion privilege, it is not fair not to do so for all others, and how do we afford all other religions privilege without going to absurd lengths? The only viable answer is separation.

Hopefully we can all understand and agree with that. 

 


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Shane Jones

Born and raised in Utah as a Mormon, Shane Jones brings a hard hitting and insightful take on current issues in religion, politics, philosophy and secularism. A student of life, Shane has quenched his insatiable thirst for knowledge with years of study, in the process becoming an internet sensation as a bulldog atheist debater and pragmatic philosopher. 

Shane splits his time faithfully between family and writing, with a home-life that includes a loving wife in active duty overseas with the Air Force, and two wonderful boys, Aiden and Sam. Family is as important to Shane as is his passion for atheism and religious philosophy, and insight from fatherhood and the married life informs many of his opinions and unique pragmatism. 

A prolific writer and veteran of atheist blogs and religious debate forums, Shane delivers a unique style of writing, humor, insight and intellect.

 

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