A look at the second class status of atheists, and why it is NOT Dawkins, Silverman et al’s fault
Over at Alternet, there is an excellent article by Frank Shaeffer, about the revolting religious right drivel, blaming atheists for the terrible school shooting in Connecticut. In essence, what these cynical church leaders are saying is that those who do not believe have the blood of children on their hands. Even though the bile coming from these guys, have been covered on this blog before, it is worth taking another look at some of their “gems”. Here are some of my favorites:
Dobsoncommented while speaking to listeners of his Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk program: “I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist… And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed [this Newtown massacre] judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.”
Bryan Fischer of the American family Association said the victims at Sandy Hook had lost God’s protection because prayer has been prohibited from schools. “The question is going to come up, where was God?,” Fischer said. “I thought God cared about the little children. God protects the little children. Where was God when all this went down. Here’s the bottom line, God is not going to go where he is not wanted… Now we have spent since 1962 — we’re 50 years into this now–we have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we do not want to pray to your before football games, we don’t want to pray to you at graduations, we don’t want anybody talking about you in a graduation speech… In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God’s word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. We’ve kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey, I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve got to invite me back into your world first. I’m not going to go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentlemen.”
Old Paths Baptist Church Pastor Sam Morris (of Tennessee) said: “Why do you still send your kids to the governmental schools?” the pastor asked the congregation. “What’s behind this shooting that we saw on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Connecticut and the other one’s like it? What’s going on. Well, number one, deception… I got news for you, when you kicked God out of schools, you’re going to be judged for that.
But as David Niose pointed out recently, the rabid fundamentalist figures are only part of the problem. Their liberal Christian brethren share the blame. Their silence has been deafening; they haven’t spoken a word as the fundamentalists spew out this hate speech. Can you imagine what the reaction would be like if any minority other than atheists were blamed for the horror in Newtown?
So this is the situation we are dealing with. We officially have a second-class status, and we need to speak out. We can’t let this go unchallenged any more.
I have a final word for those (including some of our own, like Greg Epstein) who complain about our “tone”: honestly, do you believe the hatred that is coming our way is because of books like “the God Delusion”, and banners saying “keep the merry, dump the myth”? Can you tell me that if we stayed in the closet forever, we wouldn’t be subjected to these kinds of attacks by Huckabee, Dobson, Fischer and others?