On one level, it is a fair enough question. Despite that I can’t help but be amused by the speed with which this statement may be followed up with pious assertions of “Christian Moral Values” and often on a wide range of topics for which it is impossible for anyone to know anything about, such as life after death, for example, and just as often in the same breath as accusations upon the apostate of gross arrogance, both in their attempts at a repudiation of these crumbling axioms and in disgruntlement at the simply staggering monument to the blind hubris which His humble servants will protest.
I am, I think it should be obvious by now, an anti-theist. I refuse to accept that my best contribution to a progressive, liberal and peace loving world is for me to turn a blind eye towards pedophiles in the priesthood or to tolerate politicians in the pulpit. That anyone should be expected to play-act along with this corrupting game, in some sugar coated alternate reality, where everyone can go about their day happily oblivious and electively self-deluded, is simply ludicrous.
The opposite of the religious fanatic isnt the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. – Eric Hoffer
By Hoffer’s logic, then, the opposite of a person so middle of the road in their religious conviction, is someone who can highlight the dangers of this passivity where the neophyte might otherwise settle themselves with the notion that while resistance may be futile, it’s better to belong than be alone.
The unquestioning faith that these kinds of ordinary faithful have, not necessarily in the belief that every last word of the bible is true, but that the church authority is best placed to tell them which parts of it to believe and which parts to ignore, is precisely the kind of blindly faithful myself and millions of other secularists want to reach out to and educate.
These well meaning, but tragically misled masses, have been actively discouraged from establishing for themselves whether or not anything that they have been told is true can be proven so, and often regardless of what biblical verisimilitude has to do with the illusion of cosmological design.
It is clear that when [a priest who no longer wishes to stand by his remarks] said, “I respect you have energy for this, but for me it appears akin to arguing about the dating of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother’s house.”, when I asked him for his opinion on the article I posted on the Stanhope fossilised tree, he simply and genuinely didn’t join the dots between his responsibility as a man of the cloth to educate his fellow Christians on matters where religion has traditionally blazed a trail, but for which it increasingly provides no more than a metaphysical safe harbour for every kind of nut ball creationist to holocaust deniers in the bishopric.
So, yes, activist atheists may well be accused of focusing on religion. But let’s face it, you couldn’t pay much less attention to the truth than if you were an activist Christian; those wheeled out in front of the cameras lunatics, who’ll just as readily align themselves with Bill O’Reilly and the baffling anti-logic of condoms as a cause of HIV AIDS, in those grubby parts of the world nice white, middle-class people of faith prefer not to think about, as they would fail to distance themselves from the racist idiocy of anti-Obama rednecks, who quiet their inner turmoil at having never read a book other than the bible, with the illusion of serving a higher purpose.
If standing up and insisting that we, as a singularly determined human race, need not spend a single second more creating this illusion for ourselves isn’t the duty of all free thinking people, who prize the truth over dogma and evidence over blind faith, I challenge you, my literate and capable reader, to illustrate what is.