Thursday, November 29, 2007

Atheist Denigration Protest Day

I have just stumbled across the fact that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing oral arguments in the case against 'under God' in the Pledge this Tuesday, as well as against 'In God We Trust' on the currency.

The American Atheists: California is planning a 'rally of unity' at the courthouse that day.

Actually, atheists around the world should participate in a rally of unity on that day.

These two policies exist for one primary reason - because the American government has declared that nothing is more important in America than denigrating and alienating those who do not believe in God. "Under God" exists in the Pledge because the American government wanted to put atheists (those not 'under God') in the same moral category as rebels (not indivisible), tyrants (not with liberty), and the unjust (just with justice for all). "In God We Trust" occurs on the currency because the government wants to make it clear that "We" (as in "We the People") only includes those who trust in God - that those who do not 'trust in God' should never be thought of as "we". Every piece of currency tells the American people that atheists are never worth listening to because "We" trust in God, and "They" do not.

They particularly want to impose this attitude on children - particularly very young children, and including the children of atheists - because they know that the bigotries that a child learns at a young age are not easily unlearned when the child grows up.

In this, they are correct. The very reason that atheists are the least trusted group in America and why more people believe that atheists do not share their values is because our school system teaches no lesson with more vigor and determination than the lesson that atheists are not to be trusted and do not share 'our' American values. It is because this message is built into a pledge that many schools teach every day, and into a national motto that many schools now have hanging on every classroom wall.

So, figure out what you are going to do on December 4th to let it be known that it is time to end this history of making it America's national motto and national pledge to denigrate and alienate atheists.

It is time to put an end to this bigotry - and to quite the practice of making bigotry the first and most important lesson taught in America's schools.


Makarios said...

"Actually, atheists around the world should participate in a rally of unity on that day."

What a great idea! Instead of a “World Day of Prayer”, where people focus on the problems of others, atheists could hold a “World Day of Bitch and Complain and Focus on Nothing but Ourselves.”

Alonzo Fyfe said...

The recommendation has two advantages over a national day of prayer.

(1) Those involved are actually doing something in the real world, rather than making themselves feel good by pretending to do something that has little cost and even no real-world effect.

(2) I can imagine your argument being used against the victims of any type of injustice. For example, I can imagine a robber telling a victim who protests being robbed, or a slave who protests slavery, "You're protests are irrelevant, because all you are doing is thinking about yourself." Of course, those who commit injustice will be more than happy to think that anybody who protests this injustice is being 'selfish'. It allows injustice to flourish without being challenged.

Makarios said...

I know. I was just being snarky. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how frightening it would be for kid in a predominantly religious area to even take the option to sit out during the Pledge, or to say "indivisible" instead of "under God." And very young children wouldn't think to do this anyway, so you are right, bigotry is one of a child's first lessons. It amazes me that these mottoes even made it into the Pledge of Allegiance and onto money in the first place.