These are two pieces based on related thoughts written at different times quite some time ago... probably between 1.5 and 3 years ago. So it seems that the time is near... it feels good to finally be a proud American again.
We need social reconstruction. I won’t even talk of reform, for it seems to imply that the current state of being is salvageable. While not all is bad in the current state, it will be easier to destroy what we have and build completely anew.
This destruction must be accomplished through persistent intellectual pressure in numbers as large as we can possibly gather. To attempt barbaric acts of violence will fail surely as the enemy has the physical prowess to squash us without so much as a blink of their eye. Our new way is the better way not because of our physical stature, but because of our mental superiority. We are capable of pushing our values and rational views upon the feeble-minded masses, and their lack of true faith and understanding of their position will leave them to crumble at our feet.
We are not republicans, we are not democrats, we are not liberals, and we are not conservatives. We are… reconstructionists. We are the largely non-religious. We are those who are tired of tolerating intolerance. We are those who are tired of feeling discomfort and hesitance when saying, “I am an atheist” or “I am not a Christian”.
In order for a world of true tolerance, we cannot have the majority in power. They know not what tolerance is, for we must tolerate them and not vice versa. A separation of church and state is not possible, no matter what measures are put in place, when the church has such a stronghold on the minds of our leaders.
We must slowly put ourselves in those positions of power. This will not be a 10-year plan. I don’t anticipate seeing satisfactory realization of my vision in my lifetime. But if I can set the framework and build a foundation, I am confident that my children can live life in a better world.
I don’t have the outline for a plan. I only know my final goal – an open atheist in congress. Once this goal is reached, there will of course be subsequent, more ambitious goals. I think we need small steps. We can’t go from one member of congress to presidential office. We must start locally and we must get like-minded people on board with us. The most effective, non-local approach I can think of is to organize an atheist migration or two. This would involve the relocation of large numbers of dedicated atheists to states with small populations so that we could harness the power of numbers to place a worthy representative in office. This is radical, yes… but I see no other alternative that could produce immediate and favorable results. I am totally up for ideas.
An approach of local focus would involve challenging ordinances and such – attempting to influence city councils, placing ourselves in mayoral positions. It would be more systematic than an atheist migration. I just question how long such a movement would take to start seeing positive effects. This all starts with sharing ideas and finding others who are motivated to work towards this wide-eyed goal. It is time for change. Someone has to take the reins of this carriage we call society. Someone has to lead us down a different path. It will happen at some point. Why not me? Why not us? Why not now?
Ever since I gave life to my initial ambitions in my Social Reconstruction piece, I’ve been mulling over the details. What, exactly? How? When? Where? The wide-eyed idea is so powerful, but without any specific plan of attack laid out, the idea will remain only an idea – never a course of action.
The initial thoughts seemed to focus around some sort of political movement – an uprising, even. I would often say that when reading my initial thoughts and realizing that they were a product of my mind; I felt like a cult leader – or an aspiring one, at least. I would like to thank Azrienoch for his assistance in the fostering of my extended thoughts. He posited the goal of deciding what laws and such would be marked for destruction. He talked of finding the legal means for overturning these laws and ordinances on a local level and then moving forward with the outreach. All these ideas and suggestions were spectacular. It gave me direction.
The direction it gave, however, was down a non-political path. I still think there are a great many things in our political system which need a grave amount of attention. Maybe my ambitions will lead me that way yet again in the future since I really don’t know where I’m going.
When I got thinking of Az’s comments, I came to the realization that there aren’t really any specific laws that I want overturned. It’s more of an atheist agenda of acceptance. I think the laws in place are fine, but the religious mindset that enforces and interprets these laws needs an upheaval. Atheists do tend to be a bit more liberal when it comes to political alignment. However, there are atheists who are pro-death penalty… there are atheists who are anti-welfare… there are atheists who are pro-life. There is no way we would be able to agree on a political agenda because of our diversity – the fact that we are atheists only means that we think freely. We aren’t required by political affiliation to take a given stance on a given issue.
With that said, I think my anger at the current state of affairs only lies in the glare through which atheists are viewed by the public eye. As my initial thoughts said, it is a Social Reconstruction, not a political one. I think, now, that I was just a bit misguided at first.
Fifty years ago, racial differences were not tolerated as they are today. Blacks and other minorities were glared at… rooms would become instantly silent due to the presence of a black person. We have grown as a society since then. Now, if I walk in somewhere and there are blacks around, I simply go on with whatever I was doing. It is no big deal. Do I notice they are black? Sure, but it doesn’t effect the way that I operate.
Today, I can silence a room by saying “I am an atheist” the same that a black man could have just by walking through the doorway. I realize there are differences, this isn’t a perfect analogy – but it’s a pretty damn good one. If atheism was something that others could see with a simple glance (as skin color is), I think atheists would deal with a great deal more ridicule than what we currently do.
I’m sure back then, some ignorant people felt “sorry” for blacks. That’s not to say that I’m not sympathetic to what blacks endured – but I don’t have the mindset of, “I’m sorry you were born black.” I seriously want to smack people when they seem sorry after they learn of my atheism. When they are awestruck and say things like, “Oh, wow,” that makes me think, “Oh, wow… how can they be so ignorant?” Like it’s an affliction of some kind.
So what I strive for is a world of religious acceptance similar to the racial acceptance we enjoy today. Don’t get me wrong, things aren’t 100 percent racially harmonious right now, and I don’t expect it to be… I don’t expect 100 percent religious harmony. But we can do better than we are now. There will always be the willfully ignorant, and there is nothing we can do about that except to spread information and knowledge as far as possible.
What I hope for may very well take some political involvement, but I don’t think that’s all it requires. I don’t think that political involvement is the largest part of the puzzle, although I may be wrong. Unfortunately, I think the biggest piece of the puzzle is educating young minds. I say “unfortunately” because young minds are so often religiously brainwashed by the time they would even be capable of thinking for themselves.
I still don’t have a plan of attack. I still don’t know how to make all this happen. I’m not even sure if I fully know just what it is that I want to make happen. All I can do is keep the gears of my mind turning… all I can do is continue to share… maybe a like-minded person will read this… maybe we can feed off of each other… maybe we can find an answer.