I've had it! I sit up here in Canada watching my neighbor to the south as slowly, methodically, the far religious right creeps ever deeper into their government (local, state and federal - witness the Republicans & the Bush years), attempt to re-write history (as is currently happening in the public school system text books in Texas) and would like to re-imagine the USA constitution to more aptly suit their purposes. For decades the fundy-forces have been raising, grooming their young adults in private schools & universities to infiltrate all levels of government and society, their purpose being to absolutely make the USA into a Christian-run country. And that SCARES the crap out of me!
It's bad enough that most religious fundamentalist countries have access to basic modern weaponry to force their views and agenda on others. Luckily, for the most part, they are rather backward. Now imagine a similar scenario controlling the American arsenal. Add to that the goal of many fundy's to bring about the "rapture" in their lifetime (think nuclear).
I'm probably a little older than the mean age of other forum users, so I may have a longer perspective. In my younger days the fundamentalists in the States were not as powerful or organized as they are now. Oh, they had their bread-basket States sown up as they do now and they did some damage, such as the KKK and the likes, but their reach was more localized. Over time though, this has changed. They have become organized and focused. They have a solid goal in mind.
For a while I despaired that anything could be done. After all, "free thinkers" are likely to be stoic individuals & closet Atheists who could not publicly criticize the untouchable, sacred cow. How could we form into the groups (people power) necessary to influence most political systems and thus have a voice to be heard over the masses entangled in the pervasive destructive meme?
Then came the internet. At first the fundy’s labeled it as “evil” due to their lack of understanding the “Internets”. When their tech-savvy youth eventually became of age, everything changed. They came to realize the net’s potential to spread the meme. Now we had Porn and religion - the internet seemed lost as well. What they didn’t count on was the rise of the social aspect of the internet and its ability to span the globe, bringing like-minded individuals together. For the first time it was possible for “free thinkers” to unite, but things initially moved slowly.
It took the likes of Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris to finally make atheism main stream thus drawing us out like never before. But we are still a unorganized, scattered, fragmented world-wide community spread across a multitude of websites, forums, blogs etc. If we seriously want change, we too must centralize. The religious have the advantage here - they are required to group together weekly and thus reinforce the meme. Unfortunately this grates against my (and most) “free thinker” individualism, but it is also what the fundy’s fear – that we too will eventually have the lobbying power they now hold (does it not seem they are ramping up their “take-over” in the US?). This is why every time an atheist group goes public and receives press, they are labeled as “militant”. The hypocrisy of this label is glaring.
So, where do we start?
There are some fledgling unifying organizations, some who have been around for a long time but never had much opportunity to grow until now. Their focus is to eventually raise their numbers for some clout. But they have also shocked the fundy’s out of their complacency when public cash donations supporting bus posters and billboards pour in, out stripping expectations as campaigns are mounted. There’s hope to be found here.