I was thinking about how so many of the things that athiests/agnostics/skeptics are called seem to have a negative spin in people's minds. For example the label "Brights" instantly makes the people who just couldn't get an A+ average or even an A average feel like tearing things apart with their teeth. Something that doesn't have an arrogant or perjorative ring to it is needed... but what?
And I was also thinking... Democratic Party, Republican Party, Libertarian Party... hmmm. How about if the athiest/agnostic/skeptical/other people got together and started calling themselves the "Responsible Party?"
After all, even when people don't particularly want to BE the Responsible Party, they want to Find the Responsible Party, they respect those who are Responsible Parties. Responsible Parties have a lot of good qualities. They're no-nonsense, they know what they're doing, they keep their word, they pay their bills, they obey the laws, and they expect the same of everybody else. They may not be the life of the party, but they're people you want to stay around. They're people you want to have for neighbors. They're people that you trust to consider everything carefully before acting. They're educated, trustworthy, and solid. And after all, don't athiests, agnostics, and skeptics take their responsiblity to truth, good citizenship, science, knowledge, and research extremely seriously?
Wouldn't being the "Responsible Party" be a natural for us?

I'm not talking about a POLITICAL party. Just a way to try to take away some of the stigma of all the years when "Godless" and "Communist" meant the terrifying enemy of everything that was good and respectable. This is a word play on the idea of a "Responsible Party" being the guy that steps up to the plate.

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Comment by Bitsy Haywood on September 29, 2009 at 6:36pm
When you're up to your ass in alligators it's hard to remember that the primary objective is to drain the swamp.
Comment by Bitsy Haywood on September 28, 2009 at 6:44am
While I appreciate the courage of those people, I have zero confidence in the way I'd die being recognized as a civil rights sacrifice. He's a fundamentalist crazy, and I do mean crazy, in a delusional, happy to do whatever I can to get the appocalypse started, kind of way. You see, in america it isn't illegal to be crazy, as long as you don't get caught doing something illegal. You can also say whatever you want if you don't threaten someone. I know that there are laws against slander and libel, but you have to live somewhere where the prosecuting attorney would lift a finger for the rights of witches. He's already going around my home town saying my sister and I cast spells on our father and he died. If you'll look at the web site I posted above, you'll see that there are groups in america that believe catholics are a type of witches, and there are lots of people out on the internet with sites like that, totally free to post vile, insane, vicious religious crap. In 1999 the preacher that ran that site was saying that the Illuminati had a plot to ignite Jupiter as a sign of the coming of the antichrist, and he's only one of many nuts with sites like that. We're pretty sure that he got away with murder when his wife supposedly committed suicide. He's not a civil right sproblem, he's my problem.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on September 27, 2009 at 8:24pm
I am sorry, I certainly didn't mean to suggest that you should put yourself in danger. But, of course one can't help thinking of people like Rosa Parks, the Little Rock Nine who put themselves on the line for civil rights. Also, gay rights activists like Phillys Lyon and Del Martin who formed the Daughters of Belitis, one of the first gay rights groups, in the 1950s, and Frank Kameny who filed the first civil rights action based on sexual orientation after being dismissed from the US Civil Service for being gay.

Gay rights and African American civil rights were won by people such as this - and the right to be free from religion will require the same kind of bravery - both by organizations and individuals.
Comment by Bitsy Haywood on September 27, 2009 at 7:28pm
here's a link to the kind of site he likes: http://www.cuttingedge.org/
Check out their archives. What they lack in brainpower, they make up for in venom and energy. These kind of sites are constantly stirring up the fundamentalist faithful to fear new plots and see evil in everything happening around them.
Comment by Bitsy Haywood on September 27, 2009 at 7:22pm
Easy to say when you don't know anyone who is foaming at the mouth about athiests, witchcraft, illuminati plots, and so on. Believe me, there are fundamentalist crazies that anyone in their right mind would be scared of. I know someone that would be seriously determined to hurt me if he knew or even suspected I was an athiest. I'm not afraid of a brick through my window, I'm afraid of a bullet through my window.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on September 27, 2009 at 6:29pm
Although Christians are working hard to 'reinterpret' this study here is some interesting information for you, Bitsy:

"Survey: One Quarter of Americans Could Claim 'No Religion' in 20 Years
September 22, 2009 12:01 AM ET | Dan Gilgoff |
By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

If current trends continue, a quarter of Americans are likely to claim "no religion" in 20 years, according to a survey out today by Trinity College. Americans who identify with no religious tradition currently comprise 15 percent of the country, representing the fastest growing segment of the national religious landscape."

The new study found that, in addition to seeing relatively strong retention numbers, American nones are quickly gaining new members. "Twenty-two percent of the youngest cohort of adults self-identify as nones and they will become tomorrow's parents," according to the report. "If current trends continue and cohorts of non-religious young people replace older religious people, the likely outcome is that in two decades the nones could account for around one-quarter of the American population."

You may also be interested to see the list of court cases the Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed against religious intrusion into secular areas.

Of course, the main way in which atheism will become acceptable is if atheists come out and stand up for their rights - just as African Americans and gays have had to do. We will never win acceptance by hiding ourselves away.
Comment by Bitsy Haywood on September 27, 2009 at 6:11pm
FYI, it's a lot safer being an athiest in college towns.
Comment by Bitsy Haywood on September 27, 2009 at 6:10pm
I'm glad you think so, Kristy, but I'm not seeing it where I'm living. If change is coming, I don't anticipate it having any impact on life in America's "Heartland" for at least 30 years, if ever. As for myself, I do not dare "come out" because it would be dangerous, physically, emotionally, socially, and to my job/career. There's an athiest group that meets in a college town nearby, but I don't dare go because of those dangers.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on September 16, 2009 at 11:33pm
Oh, don't take my word for it. Here's a quote from Terry Sanderson -
President of Britain's National Secular Society:

"Make no mistake, atheists are in the vanguard of a world-changing movement ... "
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on September 16, 2009 at 11:27pm
There is actually an atheist movement - thousands of us are involved across hundreds of countries. We are lobbying politicians, writing letters to the editor, working within political parties, being watchdogs within the education system, there are bloggers, and podcasters, and writers and academics - all keeping in touch through various networks and all working with the one cause in mind - to protect secularism in government, education and welfare and to counteract the political power of the religious right. Do not think for one minute there is not an atheist movement - we exist and our number is legion.



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