As you can see from my twitter account (@atheist_andy) and the advertisements for my books on the right hand side of the screen, I am clearly unafraid, and in fact proud to put my real name to my words, be they a fantasy novel, or erotic short stories or… Dare I say it… Atheism and the dangers of religion!
All of this is due to my personal life experience. Being born and raised in the United Kingdom as part of a free-thinking and non-judgemental household, I was always given the choice to look at the available information both for and against religion.
Either way, it would have made no difference to my family whether I grew into a committed atheist or an evangelist christian, or any other form of religious belief.
Also, in this country, apart from the more extreme viewpoints, religion is something of a non-issue. I’ll qualify that, if you compare the UK to the US or the Islamic states around the world, it accounts for a lot less in the everyday lives of the population. A fact for which I am immensely grateful.
I have never had to, or even felt that I had to hide my religious position from anybody.
It is such a shame that other people around the world cannot say the same thing. You only have to look at the recent news stories covering the appalling experiences of Mubarak Bala and Maryam Ibrahim to see the dangers of Islam. People who faced the very real threat of death purely for their religious position. You note that I make no distinction here, one openly declared themselves as an atheist and the other is a committed christian.
I won’t go over old ground, as I’m sure that you are all aware of the details of both cases, the only connection is that both were ‘guilty’ of apostasy. I have said it before and I’ll say it again;
“Apostasy can be said to be a victimless crime, I say anyone found guilty of apostasy is a crimeless victim.”
And these two high profile cases are just the very small tip of a very large iceberg. For instance we have the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko Haram (“Western education is sin”) and the lesser known story of how this same organisation murdered a group of young boys. These disgusting acts were carried out in the name of Allah.
Although moderate Muslims may say that Boko Haram do not represent the true religion of peace that Islam purports to be. Make no mistake, Boko Haram are following the Qu’ran more closely than any moderate does. They are putting the words of the prophet into action.
This post could quite easily turn into a list of atrocities and human rights abuse committed in the name of Islam, such as Alexander Aan, imprisoned in Indonesia for being an atheist or Asmaa and Fatima Azeem, two Pakistani sisters who faced persecution for being atheists and who sought asylum in Sri Lanka from their own conservative Muslim family.
But lets be totally honest here, Islam is far from the only offender when it comes to abusing atheists as well as people of other religious faiths. Of course the easiest example is the Holocaust, where Hitler, a committed Catholic initiated the extermination of the Jews before and during World War two. And to all you christian history revisionists out there;
Yes! Hitler was most definitely a christian!
But also lesser known stories, such as Damon Fowler, who stood up against prayer at his school in America and was ostracised, demeaned and threatened and ultimately thrown out of his home by his loving, tolerant, christian family.
Or the way the US Supreme Court is attempting to dismantle the 14 Amendment of the Constitution based on the theocratic manifesto called the Manhatten Declaration by a confederation of Catholics, Southern Baptists, and evangelical fanatics.
Although this is an example of christian intolerance of the LBGT community, you can see that it is but the first step on a slippery path towards an oppressive religious state.
Considering the noble ideals upon which the founding fathers built the country, it seems to me that this would be a huge step back.
Even the supposedly peaceful Buddhists aren’t free from taint either. You only have to look at the recent events in Myanmar (previously called Burma) to see how religious belief, any religious belief can be the cause of strife, tension and terror.
So then, I’ve examined a few examples of how religion causes people to do some terrible things, now to have a look at how atheism is guilty of the same thing.
[tumbleweed rolls by]
You see, although Stalinist Russia, China and North Korea are seen as atheis states, they’re really not. They are states that follow a political ideology that prefers to have no other form of public control or voice. Any government based on repression and complete control cannot afford to have any other organisation addressing the public in a way that could be detrimental to their power. An atheistic stance is a side effect not a cause.
Atheism as a concept is not and has never been a form of government. It can’t be. For one thing, unlike a theocracy, it has no credo or dogma upon which to base its laws and moral standpoint, however twisted that morality may be.
Atheism is the non belief in a supernatural deity figure based purely on a lack of evidence.
That is it!
Nothing less, but more importantly nothing more!
The only danger that atheists pose to anyone is a financial and political hit to organised religion. The more atheists there are, then the emptier the collection plate and also the less powerful the religious lobby in government.
At no time in history has any government or organisation committed any atrocity or human rights abuse of any kind in the name of atheism.
Its a pity that no religion can say the same.
And that is why many of the atheists I know or am aware of, especially in Africa, Canada and America choose to keep their atheism anonymous.
Sadly, one would think that my atheist friends in America and Canada would not have a problem with openly coming out as atheist, but as you can see from the few examples I have shown above, this is clearly not the case.
It is also especially galling as, even in the face of their attempts to oppress atheists in America, the christian right will also claim persecution.
Which is clearly ridiculous.
But then, it is no less ridiculous than their clinging to an outdated, outmoded belief system that was broken before it even started.
And also stolen.
That’s right, stolen. Every parable, every example of Jesus’ divinity and every christian holiday, festival or observance can be found to be lifted directly from earlier religions.
Every single one!
A religion based on fraud,theft and plagiarism is hardly in a position to be able to claim the moral high ground in any way.
I reject all forms of religion and if you are thinking clearly, so should you.