Fighting God/Promoting Secularism

by | December 1, 2015

David Silverman’s book, Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World  was released today.  Amazon describes Silverman as

one of the most recognizable faces of atheism. . . . a walking, talking atheist billboard.

The Amazon blurb says

Silverman argues that religion is more than just wrong: it is malevolent and does not deserve our respect. It is our duty to be outspoken and do what we can to bring religion down. Examining the mentality, methods and issues facing the firebrand atheist, Silverman presents an overwhelming argument for firebrand atheism and reveals:

– All religion is cafeteria religion and almost all agnostics are atheists.
– American society grants religion a privileged status, despite the intentions of the Founding Fathers.
– Christian politicians have adversely (and un-Constitutionally) affected our society with regard to science, health, women’s rights, and gay rights.
– The notion of “atheist Jews” is a lie forced on us by religion.
– It is not “Islamophobia” to observe dangerous teachings and disproportionate violence in Islam.
– Atheists are slowly but surely winning the battle.

Fighting God is a provocative, unapologetic book that takes religion to task and will give inspiration to non-believers and serve as the ultimate answer to apologists.

Since Silverman is the President of American Atheists, he probably doesn’t discuss Canadian society or Canadian Christian politicians in Fighting God, but this does not mean that some of the points above cannot be adapted to apply to Canada as well:

  • Canadian “society grants religion a privileged status,”
  • “Christian politicians [try to and] have adversely affected [Canadian] society with regard to science, health, women’s rights, and gay rights.

If Canadian “[a]theists are slowly but surely winning the battle,” there is no indication that they are winning the battle (is battle even a Canadian word?) for secularism. Most atheist, humanist and secular organizations pay lip service to secularism but fall short of advocating for a completely secular and religiously neutral society.

One humanist organization took to Twitter to ask, “As a Humanist, do you celebrate Christmas?” and included a link to an article by Dawn Cutaia entitled “Merry Christmas from an Atheist.”

What part of the word Christ in Christmas is ambiguous to that particular humanist organization? Even Cutaia knows what the word Christmas means,

The annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on 25 December in the Western Church.

but she forgets that atheists can’t celebrate the birth of Christ when they don’t believe in Christ. Cutaia says the Christmas myth story

makes me have hope for humanity. It’s a great story. A little baby born to save a world that is unworthy of being saved.

Baby Jesus has had 2000+ plus years to save the world; he hasn’t yet, and by the way, the world is worthy of being saved.

What are humanists, secularists and atheists thinking when they ask asinine questions like “do you celebrate Christmas?” Do they think secularism and religious neutrality is just for governments and publicly-funded schools? Do they think that a few days in December are the best and only days to get together with friends and family? There are numerous other days during the year to celebrate with friends and family!

If secularism can be defined as “no discrimination against anybody in the name of religion,” it  should also be defined as no favouritism for anyone in the name of religion. Hemant Mehta says, “Silverman wants those of us who are already atheists to be much more vocal about it”; the corollary is those of us who are already atheists should be secularists and should be much more vocal about our secularism.

4 thoughts on “Fighting God/Promoting Secularism

  1. Tim Underwood

    I love Christmas. Protestants really don’t know what mas is about. The Christ part they get but they also, for the most part, realize it is an Imperial Roman invention. They developed their own celebrations just to compete, or so it seems.

    We raised a few children with Santa Clause and Rudolph. They seemed to appreciate the ruse. We watched Ebenezer every Christmas eve with intensity.

    The job of de-conversion is accomplished in myriad ways. David Silverman’s contributions are as valid as any of the others and I totally support his efforts. I’ll just have to admit to being a Jack Atheist; similar to that Jack Mormon epitaph.

  2. PatG

    Love Christmas/Yule. Most of the trappings the “War on Christmas” warriors harp on about were stolen from pre-Christian Europe. The days are dark, the weather cold so what better time to get together with family and share company, food and light?

  3. Joe

    More of a Halloween guy myself, Christmas is just another excuse, as if I needed one, to eat and drink a lot. Liking Halloween doesn’t mean I believe in the supernatural, so why should liking Christmas? And as long as Yahweh isn’t demanding I babysit and change Jesus’s diapers, I am happy to celebrate someone’s birthday. There are lots of things we can criticize about religion… Trees, elves and reindeer? Pfft, getting mad about that just makes us look like thinskinned petty idiots.

    Pass the eggnog!

    1. Tim Underwood

      That Yahweh myth is quite interesting in itself. There is a bumper sticker that reads: ATHEISM IS MYTH UNDERSTOOD.

      I think we should try to have fun with these old stories, just like with Halloween. Even if they were created to dominate and control, they demonstrate how our ancestral ruling classes succeeded in all their impressive public works: cheap labor and organized delusion. However painful, the artifacts were impressive, for the preindustrial era.

      The World Wars, within the industrial era, demonstrate that the organized delusion thing should have been dispensed with.


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