Well, I went to the site and read the article. And yes, it's a sticky situation. But first let's give respect to that fact that: not all people who are non-religious are Atheist, and not all Agnostics, rationalists, skeptics, etc... want to identify with that term. What I think we will all find in common is our principles in regards to any given subject, and that needs to be more the focus of any movement. The religious institutions are getting out of hand. When the country is so far gone that a US governor (we all know who) calls the citizens of his state to come together to pray their problems away, rather than him doing his damn job, that is an embarrassment and a disgrace. This country has been hijacked by criminals and liars, and taken to the point where we can no longer be parodied. "The Onion" can now just become a normal news source. And then there are the religious institutions themselves. We need to petition the government to make them pay their damn taxes and to respect the separation of church and state. And I am sick a tired of people like Bill Donohue pissing his pants every time he is made to respect others. These are the people who cry about being oppressed when you deny them the right to oppress others. If we start a movement it needs to be focused on combating all the outright absurdity and treasonous behavior - such as Pat Robertson's Law Schools. Rather than calling it an Atheist Movement, we just more accurately call it The People's Movement, or The Rationalist's Movement. It becomes far more palatable and attractive to encompass much larger demographic than making it sound exclusive to just one ideology. We need all the support we can get.
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry:
Well I think the bigger question is: "SHOULD Atheism be considered a political movement???" To what extent do we present our views and how? Though we do not represent a religion, the First Amendment of the US Constitution clearly states that no one ideology should be given respect to over any other system of beliefs in the context of congressional law. So with this in mind, what exactly is the advantage of Atheism being a political movement??? Just as we tell theists to keep their religion to themselves, we need to practice what we preach and not behave like the religious idiocracy; parading our ideology around on a pedestal. To me that makes little sense...
I will take a look at the site. I am all for such a movement. It's just hard to get through to people who are so conditioned to have a negative emotional response to the very word "Atheist". When you consider that roughly 50% of this country still doesn't even accept the Theory of Evolution, it's hard to imagine any party with the word "Atheist" having sufficient support. The little town I live in is very religious, there is almost no one to have any intelligent conversation with, and people here are so superstitious that they will freak out over the most stupid things. Let's say if all the neighborhood dogs start barking, people here think it means that ghosts are coming. I've seen grown men freak out and run at the sound of a door creaking. It's ridiculous. If people ask me about my religion I don't hide who I am. So far moderate people have no real problem, whereas zealots just may not talk to me. I just don't relate to many things that I find, I'm sorry to say, anti-intellectual. Anyway, I'm interested to learn more about the NAP.
Any political movement has to center around specific political goals held in common. Toward that end, I am active, as a political progressive, in lots of causes. One of them is certainly the separation clause of the First Amendment, or so it has come to be known. But I also am active, as a veteran, in bringing home all American troops engaged in expensive, ill-advised wars on foreign soil. Moreover, I'm a member of Veterans For Peace which is focused upon abolishing war as an instrument of foreign policy. Gun control occupies much of my political consciousness today too...since the madness of the NRA and its cohorts baffles me. Now, are any of these issues inextricably linked to my non-theistic sensibilities? Indirectly maybe--- but probably not. "Atheism" per se as a political movement is as vague and non-particular as Alcoholics Anonymous would be as a political party. Anyway, atheism would never establish a 'big tent' presence since, as it has been said, "trying to get atheists together is like herding cats!" Also, is atheism an ideology? Only if not collecting baseball cards is hobby.
I was thinking...much of my political involvement predated my "leap of reason" into happy atheism. So I suspect that those activities and the lessons culled from them contributed to the courage, if not to the actual thinking, that went into my decision to cut the cord and let go of religion and all its associated childish beliefs.