This is another one my comment posts on the CNN Belief section. This was in response to the founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation opinion piece about how those awful Atheists should be careful for what they wish for.

Being an activist atheist and after decades of hearing theists decry we want the destruction of religion and also claim it will be the end of civilization can wear one down. But, someone needs to stand up to these bullies and point out this is not true. This is just one of many stereotypical accusations thrown about blatantly by social conservatives. The accusation is not true! Most atheists are smart enough to know religion is a part of the human condition and won’t disappear (wishful thinking). We can only hope religious fundamentalism fades with time and has less sway in the political realm.

We think religion is a personal, private matter and we do believe the freedom of conscious is crucial for a successful democracy such as ours. We stand atop the Jeffersonian wall of separation and defend both the atheists and theists first amendment rights. We American modern atheists can not and should not be compared to notorious foreign tyrants of the past. We are proud citizens of a country in which we are allowed to speak our minds and live our lives as we see fit. Being an Atheist means only one thing. It does not define who one is, its only a statement of non belief in a supernatural being or beings. That’s all, nothing more or less. We are just like you, except we don’t go to your church. We are your neighbors, co-workers, family members. Our numbers are growing, and more and more of us are coming out and standing up for our civil rights just like any other minority who have been denigrated forever.

Of course I can’t speak for all atheists, but many of us, don’t care what you believe or why as long as it doesn’t harm you, your family or anyone else.

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Comment by Lori Gilliland on December 27, 2011 at 8:33pm

Dear Earther,

It's sad, but true that raising children to believe in Hell and eternal torment is horrible. But it seems there are less and less of those kinds of parents and now a days kids growing up today have a better chance of discovering its not true. We can only continue to speak out and hope to change hearts and minds. I cringe when I think of conservatives trying to make my children pray in school, so I can imagine how religious parents might feel about liberals. When discussing children, it is very controversial to say one group knows better than the other how to raise children. I know of people have grown up in a fundamentalist community and escaped. Some of our loudest, proudest activists are ex-clergy. I am a person who overall sees humanity in a positive light. We eventually progress, just not fast enough.

Comment by Earther on December 27, 2011 at 3:10pm

Lori, thank you for writing to CNN on this issue.  I have a question for you that I stress out over all the time in my mind.  I believe lieing is a form of abuse and I believe teaching religious views are lies.  Therefore I believe the most harm done is to innocent children of religious people.  Separation of church and state seems to be so week. It feels like what the catholics did the angelicas are doing now in trying to control the government.  For how long do we say it is okay for us all to believe what we want when people are suffering because of the greed of what people believe?  When do we defend ourselves and how do we defend ourselves.  I would like to think it is okay to just let other families train their children however they want but is that the ultimate reality or will it finally catch up to us?  Peaceful living is ideal if it is true, but who governs it?

Comment by Lori Gilliland on December 26, 2011 at 11:14am

Hi Steph, I normally don't stick around and or go back later to see if there are any responses to my 2 cents. I did this morning and there are almost 3,000 comments to slog through. Thanks for asking. It takes a lot of time to read thru them, and many or not most are not very informative. Once in awhile there is a gem in the mess.

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