There has been a lot of great pro-atheist/secular press lately. Among the good news is a recent study showing a vast increase in the number of people calling themselves non-religious, and the decreasing numbers calling themselves religious. While I am heartened by this news and proud that the admitted non-religious now make up the third largest religious demographic, something in this report raised my eyebrow.
While virtually every single religion has lost ground, one group, the evangelicals, are gaining ground. Evangelicals encompass the so called “charismatic” churches. In your face, door-to-door evangelism to spread the viral meme that religion has become. This is the Rockin’ for Jesus crowd. These are the people waving their hands in the air while listening to bad 80s rock about fairy tales. The people that hold up signs about god killing soldiers because we don’t stone homosexuals; these are evangelicals.
So while the religion is very slowly getting smaller, (and thank god for that, ha!), it’s becoming bolder and more dangerous; concentrated idiocy.
As a people, we should be proud. It’s about time we’re able to say, out loud, that we don’t believe in this nonsense and that it just doesn’t make any sense. I believe it’s likely that the numbers of atheists have been up around 10% for some time and that people were simply afraid or too embarrassed to say anything openly. It speaks highly of us and our country’s development that this barrier is slowly lifting and that atheism is finally expanding.
Of course, the United States is still way behind much of Europe when it comes to accepting non-believers as equals. There are plenty of people in this country that have admitted they’d rather live next to a Muslim than an atheist, as completely idiotic as that is and despite the fact no atheists have ever bombed a government building or flown planes into sky-scrapers. There are likely even more people that are proud as some idiot redneck at a prize pumpkin competition that we lag behind Europe in this area.
The problem is, that the more evangelical we become as a country, the father behind we fall in the maths and sciences. Europe is making major headway into the physical sciences and is quickly beginning to upstage us. Japan is famously technologically advanced and is essentially always on the bleeding edge. All this technology has it’s roots in the educational system, science and academia.
Not surprisingly, evangelicals aren’t really fond of academia and learning. Evangelicals aren’t interested in anything other than, as they would likely put it, “The Word.” Unfortunately for us, however, the Word doesn’t keep the power on or put satellites in orbit or anything that’s actually useful. We are essentially losing our place as the leader of the free world because these backwards bumpkins, and those that enable them (I’m looking at you, Catholics and Lutherans), breed like rabbits. While they’re breeding, they make sure to breed in a healthy lack of respect for anyone that disagrees with their fanciful little worldview.
As I watch and read news and reports on the internet, I fear that the worst is yet to come. The fact that the most progressive president in history will still not endorse gay marriage because of idiotic religious objections to a private matter indicates just how far we have to go. The more we push out the envelope to making sure we are properly represented, which we simply are not, the more these backwards people push back, and they outnumber us. As we become more of a political force, you can bet that the full political power of the churches, who have never failed to butt into politics despite that tax-exempt status, will be brought to bear on us. The attacks will become more personal. <edited by user request> People like EvilTomte will feel the need to defend these idiots out of some misguided attempt at fairness. In doing so they will only risk endangering their own rights in their countries. The religious are not interest in fair, they are interested in following their religion first and foremost.
From my perspective, it has become the most important issue in my life, save my family’s safety. With the recent assaults on non-Christians becoming a much more prominent I have found it necessary to cut ties with my Christian friends, after realizing they will put their inane mythology ahead of my rights. It doesn’t matter that I’m not gay, had I been so, every single one of my close friends would have voted to take away my right to marry and I find that unconscionable. I consider it a matter of self-protection for myself and my family that I no longer associate with these people, in addition to being the only real action I can directly take against the planned erosion of my rights.
So the next few years, maybe the next couple decades, could be very interesting and will get darker before the next enlightenment hits us. The Dark Ages followed the fall of Rome, when neediness and a lack of education caused people to fall on old mythologies to make themselves feel better about their horrible lives and low standard of living. Religion has always preyed on those that need their lives to mean something, especially if that life is a hard one. The irony is that religion represses scientific advancement thus ensuring people’s lives remain hard: it’s a self-propagating system.
Atheism and secular society is entering the feisty teenager stage as it begins to understand it’s just as important and even more valid than these ancient mythologies. The old-school, all-controlling, oppressive religions are heading into their death throes… well, hopefully, anyway. The two are bound to butt heads directly and it wouldn’t surprise me if it did so physically. Perhaps when these archaic religions stop seeing their belief as a reason to wage war on other beliefs, I’ll be more like to associate with them. Until then I’ll remain wary of religion and its motives and will be sure to keep them at a safe distance.