An excellent post from the Blue Collar Atheist at the new Freethought Blogs consortium.
American Blood: Why the Atheist Fight is Everybody’s Fight
The story is a month old, so I’m sure you’ve caught the controversy over the mangled-beam cross at the 9/11 memorial site, and the fact that atheists oppose the thing.
You’ve probably also caught the blowback, which includes online death threats to atheists by nice Christians.
Responding to the subject on Facebook, a commenter named Janice D. blamed atheists for the whole thing:
“Yes, the Christians are feeling very threatened in today’s political climate [...] Their God IS being kicked out of everywhere in the name of political correctness.”
To which I say …
First, is somebody really defending the right of people to make death threats to those who disagree with them?
Second: IT’S NOT IN THE NAME OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.
It’s in the name of equal rights, and the constitutional principal of separation of church and state.
To the people being denied those equal rights, a response like Janice’s (definitely not hers alone, by the way) is as offensive and insensitive as all those white bystanders during the civil rights movement, who said stuff like “I just don’t get why these negroes are so angry. Why can’t they just get along?”
Yes, the Christians are feeling threatened.
The question remains – Why do American Christians feel threatened? They are still the dominant power in American society so what makes them so fearful of repression? Why are they making claims about how the “powers-that-be” are turning them into second-class citizens? For it is the xians who are the ones attacking minorities, it is xians who are the ones forcing false history into our schools, it is xians who insist that their religious artifacts be placed on public grounds – so why do they think they are being oppressed?