Since all the political coverage has been putting me in a rotten mood here lately I decided to read about a far less contentious issue you might know of as ‘religion’. Imagine my surprise when I stopped by Atheist Revolution this morning and found out that a humanist had taken upon himself to prove that one doesn’t have to be a theist in order to be a pompous nitwit.
He succeeded if you don’t mind me saying so. It’s how he succeeded that is the basis of my request that you join me in escaping the lettuce patch. He succeeded by following in the footsteps of Greg Epstein who made a name for himself by smearing mere atheists as fundamentalists.
Like Epstein this guy refers to atheists as fundamentalists, but takes it one step further and declares we “may” live in fear that someone somewhere on this great big ball of water may disagree with us.
Surprised that you were perhaps unaware that approximately 80 percent of the world’s population believes in the existence of invisible sky creatures? “May”be thinking about hiding under your bed in pure fear now?
What I am going to do however is embrace the term ‘fundamentalism’. Why? Because having grown up around and with fundamentalists, I have a different view of the word and it’s not just another word for the big scary monster you thought lived in your closet back when you were a kid.
While it is true that fundamentalists have a set of ideas they adhere to, the truth of the matter is that fundamentalists can be and often are very stubborn when it comes to compromising that set of ideas. They won’t agree, for example, that the Bible is just another religious book just so you won’t go crying to your momma.
It’s that aspect of their personalities/behaviour that is being used as a slur against atheists by non-fundamentalist theists and their atheistic allies. It’s that stubbornness, that unwillingness to compromise ones beliefs and/or principles that is being slammed as being unacceptable.
So, I ask you – is that wrong? Are any of us, atheists or something else, truly behaving in a manner that is beyond the pale when we will not compromise on the beliefs, principles and/or convictions that we hold?
My answer is no.