Monday, October 29, 2012

A letter to Atheism+: Don't go the way of the Religious Right

To the people and the leadership of the Atheism Plus (or Atheism+, as it is more commonly known) while I know you may have good intentions with your movement, I believe that your intolerance towards those who do not share your beliefs, even those who can express their objections to your movement and the principles behind it in a civil manner, is not good.

Already Atheism+ is being criticized by others because of this intolerance (and just simple over sensitivity towards what can be considered common internet behavior) and this criticism isn't coming from just Christians, it is coming from other Atheists, even those who's own beliefs may be similar to those of Atheism+. Some critics are even calling your movement a cult. The fact that your main online forum has published a list of banned members and are attacking people who criticize your movement by labeling them things that they are not does not help.

While I agree that you do not need to tolerate internet trolls who basically make other people's internet experience miserable, you do not need to label everyone as trolls who comes to the Atheism+ forum, or Free Thought Blogs, and does not agree with you. Removing the posts and comments of those who disagree with you, and even refusing to attend Atheism functions who's speakers include people whom have views that you do not agree with doesn't help either with the image that Atheism+ is trying to promote tolerance.

For these reasons I fear that your movement will do to the beliefs that you proclaim in, Atheism, the same as the Religious Right has done to Christianity, and making all Christians look like a bunch of intolerant and science rejecting individuals who only vote Republican, and who use shame to try to force other Christians to follow the Religious Right and it's principles and guide lines.

I am in fact a Christian, but because of the Religious Right and it's actions and intolerance towards others whom do not agree with them, or of a different belief then them, and even intolerance towards things like science, it has become increasing difficult to admit that I am a Christian amongst the skeptics community due to the negative stereotypes of Christians (especially Christians from the south, like myself) created by the Religious Right.

I don't hold many of the beliefs that the Religious Right does, and I will vote for whomever I want to, not just a straight Republican ticket, yet I don't consider myself any lesser of a Christian, but many members of the Religious Right probably do. In fact, the Religious Right may even consider me to be a faux Christian, and perhaps a bad person in general.

While not I'm saying that Atheism+ will go the same route as the Religious Right, it may in fact do so unless it changes it's policies, and acknowledges that just because a person doesn't agree with you then that doesn't mean that they are a bad person, and that they have every right to not agree with you, just as you have the right not to agree with them, but, it is not right to try to show extreme intolerance towards those whom do not share your beliefs and principles.

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