Required reading for atheist activists

Blair Scott, President of the American Atheists, has posted an open letter to the nation that describes a new and welcome legal philosophy for the organization. Blair’s letter should be required reading by every atheist or skeptical activist in the US.

I am tired of the rationalist perspective losing in the US. Religion here is like a horde of berzerking orcs laying constant siege to the shining edifice of our free and democratic society. It is never enough to simply possess freedom in the US, one must be ever vigilant for renewed sallies from the theocratic horde, and be always ready to defend freedom from the savages. Some attacks will be petty raids, led by small parties of annoying, low-level rabble. These can be mostly ignored, or at least should not serve as sufficient threat to waste precious resources fighting a pointless battle. Let them scream at the walls all they want, or throw useless threats. Ignore them and the only time wasted is theirs.

The American Atheist legal philosophy has a different approach to defense… a more calculated, and I hope ultimately more successful approach. Instead of wasting time and money on petty fights that might allow the rabble to wreak real damage to our laws, simply shrug off their impotent threats… deny them a victory. When atheists take quixotic quests to court, especially to known conservative courts and magistrates, our losses give the Dark Side victories that stand henceforth as precedents. Each loss on our side builds the enemy a higher ladder over the wall separating church and state. It’s time we learn to hold our forces, pick our battles, and fight to win.

The religious right are vicious bullies. They’re weak, scared, and stupid. They fight only where they perceive weakness, where they think people are too meek or weak to fight back. Sometimes to beat a bully you have to smack them down hard… and sometimes you just need to walk away, while they screech uselessly at your back. The one thing we have over them is brains… it’s high time we make the best of that advantage.


~ by Planetologist on January 1, 2009.

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