This Saturday past, 10,000 atheists gathered together in our nation's capital.
Atheists, you see, are America's newest oppressed minority. Their so-called Reason Rally gave the throng an opportunity to educate the public of the plight of the atheist, to share together their non-belief in a deity, and to secure a larger role for themselves in public discourse.
"There are too many people in this country who have been cowed into fear of coming out as atheists," brayed prominent British writer Richard Dawkins, the chief prophet of the growing secular movement. Michael Shermer of Scientific American magazine discredited everything I had ever been taught of American history and culture by informing the crowd that actually, "This country was not built on religion and God."
This outspoken brand of atheists, decrying that they live in a religious social milieu, protest that they are discriminated by the 85 percent of American society who claim a belief in God. Christian discrimination, they explain, leads to their inability to serve in public office, a denial of reproductive health care, and being forced to read biased textbooks.
Now, I have personally never heard of an atheist being denied condoms, but I am part of the problem, I suppose.
These "nontheists" as they refer to themselves, are attempting to position themselves alongside other socially oppressed minorities: GLBTs, people of color, and women -- all of whom are also under attack by the Republican Party, according to the Democrat re-election strategy, anyway.
It is not simply that the atheists want to point out and stop perceived Christian discrimination against them; the atheists boldly ridicule Christian belief. Christians are depicted as country bumpkins clinging to damaging, old-fashioned, and irrational beliefs while bearing shotguns and Bibles.
This view hauntingly resonates with candidate Barack Obama's view of the inhabitants of flyover country: "And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."
A website dedicated to the Atheist Revolution headlines that it "Breaks free from irrational belief and opposes Christian Extremism in America." Recently, in Harrisburg, Pa., a radical atheist group upset with Pennsylvania's "The Year of the Bible" declaration, placed a billboard in a racially diverse neighborhood that depicted an African slave with the biblical quote, "Slaves, obey your masters."(Colossians 3:22). The billboard was torn down by "unknown parties" in less than one day. The Pennsylvania state director of American Atheists who put up the offensive advertisement, also offended Muslims last year when he wore a "Zombie Muhammad" Halloween costume.
The Atheist/Secular Movement is an outgrowth of the progressive ideology that has been sweeping through our country over the past generation or so. Fostered by Hollywood and academic intelligentsia, the progressive philosophy has taken root in the political class, the national liberal media, and the Democratic party leadership. The progressive philosophy is humanistic, value-relative, and very social-activist.
America is a diverse society. America is becoming a divisive society. At one time America was proudly held up before the world as a great melting pot, blending heterogeneous people into an exceptional American experience.
Now, multiculturalism has become the goal and little concern is directed at social and cultural blending.The bitterness of each group toward others is exacerbated by internet anonymity and a national media composed of journalists and hired-gun talking heads that eschew objectivity in favor of presenting propaganda to its agenda-affirming audience.
Christians and Jews in particular, should be concerned with this bold movement to turn their beliefs into Orwellian thought crimes. Mark G. Woodworth, Ph.D., of Geneseo is an attorney and public policy analyst.
Today is Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Never in the history of Rock Island was there such a demand for houses as at present. Our city is suffering for the want of suitable tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The choir of Central Presbyterian Church presented a ladies concert under the direction of S.T. Bowlby.
1914 — 100 years ago: Miss Rosella Benson was elected president of the Standard Bearers of Spencer Memorial Methodist Church.
1939 — 75 years ago: Mrs. Nell Clapper was elected president of the Rock Island Business and Professional Women's Club.
1964 — 50 years ago: Gerald Hickman, of Seattle, Wash, will move his family to Rock Island to assume the position of produce buyer for the Eagle Food Center chain of food stores. This announcement was made today by Bernard Weindruch, president of Eagles.
1989 — 25 years ago: Care & Share, formed in 1984 to provide food to jobless and needy Quad-Citians, will disband because the major part of a crisis created by plant closings is over. Food for the needy is still necessary. So groups separately will continue to raise money and collect food.