I dont think Dawkins is suggesting we literally form an atheist militia, but it is strongly implied that atheism and science need to be rigorously defended under the growing onslaught of attacks from the ignorant religious right. The attacks are particularly insidious because they do not occur in the form of intellectual challenges or debating points (which I think most Scientists and Atheists would welcome), rather, they take the form of propeganda outside of forums to the illiterate and under-educated, children etc. They take the form of backroom deals cooked up in churches and pushed into government policy directly past open public scrutiny.

These religous attacks literally circumvent accountability to intelligence by operating well away from the light of public inquest. The damage from the attacks is spreading ignorance, illiterate and undereducated generations, and thus a general increase in crime, violence, support for unjust wars, and the ablity for corporations to take advantage of a large, undereducated voting bloc to effectively rob taxpayers blind while "praising jeebus" in public.

This is why "militant" atheism should be discussed and defined...we need to proactively do something about the cancer of religion and ignorance.

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An atheist militia may not be necessary YET ... but networking, making connections, locally and long-distance, sharing news, local events which may not show up on national radar but may still be significant ... that is ABSOLUTELY important.

The theists likely don't want to admit it, but they are losing ground ... and eventually they will resent it to the point where they want to find a whipping boy to take their frustrations out on in one form or another. On top of that, the anti-blasphemy law passed by the UN threatens to further curtail free speech and cut more slack to religionists who don't deserve it, which will only embolden them further.

Being alert, being informed and being prepared is the name of the game here. Shall we PLAY?
well...if by "Play" you mean strengthen our networks and ability to share ideas and concerns through websites like this one, then yes, we are already "playing" . Our greatest "weapons" are sites like wikipedia, open forums, any news article that allows unmoderated comments, and education. We can do "violence" to definitons by making them more clear, more accurate. We can "attack" ignorance by taking every opportunity to help someone become smarter. I work in the field of adult education and believe I am on the front lines of the "war on ignorance".

Let me first start by saying that I agree with you.

Let me now say that there is a distinct difference between adults seeking education, as I'm assuming the ones that you are around are, and those adults who aren't actively seeking education. The ones who are seeking it have a shot at figuring this whole 'all religious activities are bullshit' thing out (my words). The reason I say this is that my family, my main enemy, is not seeking education and have their head so far up His Holy Anus that they completely fail to see the danger that their utter lack of vision is doing to the world. These folks are the ones that the militants, which I am unabashedly one of, need to target. As soon as some dumbshit religious blather is spoken it needs to be immediately shown to be not only false on the spot, but justifiably effin stupid, as it is. This is also why I use the term enemy.
Militant atheism=verbally defending secularism, materialism, naturalism and exposing the irrationality of theism.

Militant theism=bombing abortion clinics, shooting abortion doctors, flying planes into buildings, suicide bombers, Inquisition, Crusades, etc.

That said, I believe the term "militant" atheism/atheist is a misnomer. There is nothing "militant" about a lack of belief in gods.

Atheists can be militant about our beliefs in secularism, materialism, naturalism, and in our criticisms about religion.

We cannot be militant about lacking a belief in gods.

The tags "militant" and "fundamentalist" have been assigned to us by theists whose main argument appears to be that we are as "bad as they are".
We can (and MUST) also be militant about protecting our right to free speech, especially in view of the anti-blasphemy BS which I mentioned earlier. I'm revving up a note to George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown as we speak about this, and I don't care if they're up to their armpits in the Health Care bill or not. The theists want to shut us up and I WON'T HAVE IT!
I don't know of any minority group that simultaneously defended the rights of another minority group as well as themselves. How come nobody ever said, "We don't just want the rights of black people to be respected but gays and atheists too!" No one ever proposed legislation that just said in plain english, "ALL people have these rights by virtue of having human DNA." Why not? During woman's suffrage how come they didn't stand up for the rights of black people too? It's because they were not concerned. I for one am concerned with the rights of all people unequivocally. We are either all the same inside or we aren't. If we are then what is the freaking hold-up?

Will atheists do the same? Will we demand that our rights be upheld and leave anyone left out to fend for themselves? It's about time that someone stood for decency across the board. You would think that issues of human rights would have been boiled down to a few simple phrases by now. Ones that any halfway smart human being could easily agree to. That would only leave the stupid whining that no one is listening to them. And then there would be no need to listen to them. The world of the halfway smart and up would just tell them to be quiet and go figure it out.

THIS is scary stuff. It's NOT your run of the mill conspiracy theory. And even some conservatives find it dangerous due to its doctrines of secrecy.




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