Recent vandalism to Atheist billboards have been reported in news outlets and lauded by others. This type of resistance to the First Amendment rights of Atheists is not new, however. Atheists have been victimized by discrimination for years, but the high visibility of billboards has brought the issue to the forefront and also brings to light the reason why there is not only an upsurge in more people identifying themselves as Atheists, but why many of them who have been quietly sitting on the sidelines suddenly and in great numbers decided to put on the gloves and come out fighting. A survey that has shown that Atheists are the least trusted group of people in America, behind Muslims, Homosexuals and Sexual offenders and continue to endure a fight for acceptance into society.
The proliferation of New Atheism and Militant Atheism is a movement that continues to grow from the exasperation of unbelievers in response to the discrimination. Sometimes referred to as Anti-Theists, these individuals and organizations are very active in their efforts, but differ from the violent religious extremists of the world in their use of non-lethal weapons such as strident speech, reason, logic and science through venues such as books, websites and science journals. Their training is not completed in military camps, but in classrooms and Internet educational websites.
The newspapers, Internet and television news are rife with daily body counts of religious martyrs and their victims. Images of destroyed buildings, billowing smoke and death seem to be daily occurrences. All this death and destruction and sometimes the inevitable slavery of entire nations that sends shock waves through the secular world is largely approved of by like-minded religious extremists and touted as being sanctified by their god. For many of these factions, the rewards for causing this mayhem for those who perpetrate it are an eternity in paradise at the feet of their savior or prophet, enjoying various rewards for their efforts. Almost without exception, this violence is perpetrated by members and organizations representing the two Abrahamic religions of Christianity and Islam. Terrorist activities are not coming from Islam alone, but there are Christian terrorist organizations, as well.
The New/Militant Atheists and Anti-Theists are often chastised by religious moderates for consolidating all religion as being inherently dangerous. Representatives of mainstream Christianity and Islam often downplay the violence of their extremist counterparts by pointing out peaceful attributes. However, the penalty of death as well as other atrocious acts against human beings for breaking certain canon laws such as adultery, homosexuality, blasphemy and apostasy is not difficult to find during a quick search of the Koran or the Bible.
The United States has seen a steady increase in activity by the religious right in their efforts to get laws passed that favor Christians and discriminate against unbelievers. Part of their agenda includes the reintroduction of Christian prayer in public schools and the reversal of Roe v. Wade. These issues, along with the insistence that the United States is a Christian Nation which has no historical support, keep organizations like “The Freedom From Religion Foundation” and “Americans United for Separation of Church and State” extremely busy.
Because of the problems that Atheists continue to face and the discrimination that is consistently levied against them, their tolerance of religion has largely been abandoned and replaced with the goal to relegate religious belief and faith in supernatural gods to the library shelves next to the Greek and Roman mythologies that have long since been abandoned by their followers. The agenda of the New/Militant Atheist and Anti-Theist is the promotion of Atheism as the preferred worldview through logic and reason, and to uphold science as the means and method of discovery and insight.
It does not require a lot of understanding to realize that the Abrahamic religions of Christianity and Islam are fundamentally incompatible. Each has it’s own Holy Book that respective followers believe to have been divinely authored by their god. Each faith teach doctrines of exclusivity that includes being the one, true way to what each understand to be the one, true god and each of their Holy Books demand world domination.
So, the Atheists have joined the war, so to speak. Estimates put the unbelieving population of the the United States at about fifty-million, and close to five million identify as specifically Atheist. These are numbers that cannot and should not be ignored because Atheists are gravitating from the status of a silent minority to being extremely vocal. They are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles, doctors, lawyers, managers, employees, friends and neighbors and they have no plans to go silently into the night.