A few months later, you listen to the news, and find out that Muslims are demanding that the commands of Sharia law be placed on the wall of your local court.
Sometime later, your daughter comes home from school and informs you that Muslim parents are requesting that Muslim prayer be instituted at the school, and that the biology teacher should teach that Allah created all living things.
A Christian friend of yours suddenly finds out that his promotion at work has been blocked because he does not believe in the truth of the Quran.
As a Christian, how would you feel if this happened in your country? What would be going through your mind?
Think about this for a moment, and then read through this passage again and replace ‘Muslim’ with ‘Christian’, ‘Islam’ with ‘Christianity’, and ‘Allah’ with ‘God’. Now you have some idea of how atheists feel about the rising power of the Christian Right in the
Laughing Boy, while commenting on a recent blog post of mine, posed the question of why atheists are so concerned about that which they don’t believe:
I'd think a person with your obvious positive qualities (and I am most definitely not being sarcastic) would quickly get bored writing about what he considers nonsense. Do you have other blogs where you invest as much time and energy discussing other things you find equally absurd as God, e.g. trolls and fairies?
This is a good point. I can’t speak for other atheists, but I have my own reasons for writing about Christianity (see here). However, there is another, less personal reason: the protection of secular society. The power of a supernatural being is directly proportional to the number of people who believe in that being. Few people believe in trolls and fairies, and those who do lack the power to influence major political decisions with their supernatural beliefs. However, belief in the Christian God is widespread in the Western world, and this has both good and bad, but very profound, implications for society.
I agree with Laughing Boy’s sentiments elsewhere on this blog: an incredible amount of suffering has resulted in societies where religious belief, and maybe even non-belief, has been forced onto individuals. One of my aims, like many other atheists and theists out there, is to protect secular society, which ensures that each and every individual has the freedom to chose what they believe, and that each individual should be free to worship (or not to worship) according to the beliefs that they have chosen. No person should be forced or coerced – by family, society, culture, law, or government – to believe in, or subscribe to, a specific religious creed.
I’m probably overambitious, but I hope, in some small way, that my blog furthers the ideals of secular society: by keeping the debate alive and by informing individuals that no belief is perfect or free from error or abuse.