Friday, 12 October 2012

Why religious moderates should be THANKING us.

I just had a conversation with a woman on Twitter who professes to hate religion but is a self-identifying Christian. Yah, that just happened.

Anyway, I had a look at her page trying to work out where she was coming from, and saw this:

...and realised that all of us in the atheist, secular, humanist, rationalist movement have been missing something we should be pissed about, and that we should be using in our PR.

Moderate religious people like this woman should be GRATEFUL to us.

When we atheists fight for the rights of women to control our own reproduction, our doing so benefits not only ourselves but religious women too.  When we stand up and tell religious lunatics that they don't have the right to stop gay people marrying, we help religious gay people too. When we campaign to keep creationist drivel out of schools, it is not only our children who benefit from a decent science education but everybody else's children too. When we battle superstitious restrictions on scientific research, that research helps everybody, not just atheists.

We of the "New Atheist" movement take shit from all directions, from religious leaders, from politicians, from faith-heads, even from other non-believers. And most of the time that's fine, we're happy to deal with it because we care about creating a more secular and less superstitious world.

But when "moderate" religious person with no idea of how much they owe to us turns around and demands to know why we care so much about religion when we don't believe in God/s, or even mocks us for caring - that pisses me off.  Do you have ANY IDEA what our society would be like without secularists to fight your battles for you?!  The woman who posted the above tweets is a single mother, a woman who has received an education, who has a say in how her country is governed, who has the right to work, and who is considered an equal member of our society.

Do you think she would be allowed to be or to have or to do ANY of those things if christianity were allowed to govern unopposed?!

If you are a religious person who is in favour of equality and freedom, you are in a difficult position. Your values are being opposed by people who share your faith and in fact use that faith to oppose those values; this means you don't really have a leg to stand on if you want to tell them they're wrong, since you believe the same stuff they do.  We atheists do not have that problem; we're free to tell them their beliefs are utter rubbish without being hypocrites.

We atheists, secularists and rationalists fight a lot of your battles for you, religious moderates, and for the most part we're happy to do so.  Just maybe try not to be totally ungrateful when you're enjoying equalities, justices and freedoms that have been hard-won by other people in the face of the religion you're telling us we shouldn't care about.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this. It's a very good point that should be made far more often! Personally, I'll start making it at the next given opportunity.

    Also, it is a very interesting (implied) observation that goals pusued for religious reasonst very often seem to serve nobody but the members of that particular religious group.