Alas, I think I just broke my irony meter once again; yes the shiny new industrial strength one.
Created in 2012 as a response to intolerant atheists seeking the removal of a Veterans Memorial that displayed religious symbols, the FFAF has grown leaps and bounds and boasts over 120,000 followers on their Facebook page as of this writing. The Freedom From Atheism Foundation was created as a grassroots civil rights Facebook group to help protect the rights of religious believers, address the rising tide of intolerant atheism across the world, and be a beacon of hope and support for victims of atheist hate.
So there you go then.
If you happen to be a poor persecuted religious believer who is fed up with …
- Bands of non-believers banging on your door and demanding that you de-convert from your religion, and asserting that you are wicked and evil if you don’t
- Atheist pressure groups insisting that statues of Satan are erected on the from lawns of every single court house
- School principles reading from the God Delusion over the school intercom system every morning, and also forcing every student to recite a pledge that renounces their religious belief
… then this is indeed perhaps the group for you.
It is truly strange to have a group whose sole purpose is to promote intolerance of anything and everything except itself, the very fact that FFAF exists strongly points towards a complete lack of understanding regarding the very basic concept of secularism, an idea that rather ironically actually promotes religious freedom and does not stifle it at all.
Now, it just so happens that one of the commenters (named Kelpie) at the bottom of the Christian Post article nails it …
There is a lot of confusion about what FFRF does. The Freedom from Religion Foundation fights against illegal promotion of religion so that individuals remain free to follow their own religious beliefs.
Take the prayer banner in a public high school. It had been there for 50 years. What works for me is to change the labels. Instead of a banner calling upon all to pray, let’s say the class of 1968, in the midst of the anti-establishment movement, had put up a banner calling on all true Americans to reject religion. Every student at that school, in every assembly would receive the message that the school did not approve of religious belief. This would be illegal. And it would be wrong. It would be right for a student to stand up and oppose that banner. It is equally wrong for schools to send the message that the school does not approve of lack of religious belief.
Take the high school in Texas that had an assembly where they invited a Christian speaker to come in and preach salvation to a captive audience of children, complete with an alter call. Now change the labels. Suppose that a school invited a speaker to preach about the evils of religion, ending with an invitation for all children who now reject religion to come forward and be recognized. Do you see how offensive it is for public schools to take sides on religion?
What would you think if your kids came home and told you that the principal doesn’t like religion, so every morning he reads a paragraph from The God Delusion over the intercom?
Freedom of religion protects everyone. The government, including public schools, cannot select one religious viewpoint to promote and praise and advance. The government cannot promote lack of religious belief any more than it it can promote religious belief. This is the foundation of our democracy. Groups like the FFRF work to preserve the liberty of all Americans.
Alas, most believers will most probably read the more than slightly biased CP article, and not see the above comment at all, and so it truly deserves to be highlighted.
Now, let’s briefly take a look at a couple of the truly weird claims in the CP article …
Claim : “FFRF offensive, and historically inaccurate, sign touting Jesus as “a myth.” – And the historical evidence for your claim that the modern understanding of Jesus is not a myth is what exactly? It may in fact be true that an individual from galilee once wandered about making claims about being ‘special”, but there is exactly zero independent evidence for all the associated magic claims, and exactly zero evidence that this was god popping down to say “hi”. It might indeed be “offensive” to have your beliefs criticised, but perhaps if there was some actual evidence, then the charge that your are promoting a myth could be easily rebutted. Additionally, if you are offended about simply not being believed, then clearly your faith is not all that strong.
Claim: “atheistic organizations have begun a quest to remove religion from the public sphere, despite the fact that it is an integral part of the foundation of these nations” – The rather inconvenient fact here is that this claim is complete fiction, the US was established as a secular republic with a wall of separation between the church and the state. It is FFRF that seeks to preserve this wall, and FFAF that seeks to demolish it, but only for their specific belief. If it it was (for example) Islam that was seeking a special exception, then they would be up in arms about it.
Claim: “organized movements of atheism have persecuted those who do not share their vision of a godless world” – You know that he is talking about Stalin, and no that was not an “organized movement of atheism”, but rather was a band of political fanatics promoting an irrational political belief that had no evidence to back it up at all … does that remind you of anything?
Claim: “intolerance exhibited by militant atheists, historically and in the present.” – Since exactly when has a refusal to embrace the promotion of bullshit been deemed to be “intolerance”, and in what way exactly are non-believers being “militant”?
Claim: “History has demonstrated that atheists, especially once they get into positions of power, have been brutally repressive toward those who do not share their faith.” – except for the rather obvious observation of this is not true or factual in any way at all.
Claim: “They are working to restrict freedom of religious expression and freedom of speech.” – except once again that this is simply not factually true at all.
It just goes on and on in the same tone, and then they seriously wonder why some non-believers (who to be frank are being twats for doing so) get pissed and opt to offensively vent at them on FB.
One can’t perhaps help but ponder the thought that if we took the article and simply swapped the words “Atheist” and “Christian”, then it would become a far more accurate and honest article. As one other commenter on the CP article noted …
It’s amazing how many Christians speak of grace and humility and “tuning the other cheek” and “love your enemies” but the minute their beliefs are challenged they kick all that stuff to the curb faster than a Sunday morning televangelist steals from the old and infirm.