Recently, I have been an observer of several online conversations about the atheist/secular movement and the LGTBQH movement. Most point out the similarities and ask, reasonably, what can we learn?
Let’s start with the premise that there is LOTS to learn from the LGBTQH movement. One thing to learn is about acceptance and inclusion. Honestly, the movement started primarily with gay males. Since the Stonewall Riots of 1969, it has come to include Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transsexuals, those that are Questioning their sexuality, and most recently the HIV-afffected. They have opened the doors and let many into the movement.
Some in atheism think that we must be doing something wrong since we are not having the same impact that the LGBTQH movement has had. In forty years, they have gone from being in exile to having over 50% of men and women believing that gay marriage should be recognized by the law.
In almost fifty years atheists have managed to become (stay) one of the least trusted groups in the United States.
What I have been considering is how atheism and sexual orientation are different for religion.
Religious belief is made up of a huge number of specific beliefs, cultural patterns, etc. Religious people and organizations have, for centuries, shed beliefs. Slowly, but they have shown a willingness to do this over and over. They no longer believe that the earth is flat, that the earth is the center of the universe, and some allow women ministers. Of course, each religion and person sheds those beliefs in their own time.
So, back to atheism and religion.
In the most basic and important way, atheism is not like the LGBTQH movement, scientific knowledge, or anything else. All these poke at the edges of what is means to be religious, to believe, or to have faith.
On the other hand, atheism strikes at the core belief. We are asking, arguing, or debating with people about matters that are not trivial to the central tenets of their life. We are driving the proverbial stake through the heart of the matter.
For this reason, we will not be able to match the pace of change that other movements have created. We must, however, stay the course and lead.
“To lead others is to help them change their
thoughts, beliefs and actions
for the better.”
~ Jim Rohn
© 2012, KHR. All rights reserved.Just so you know, I HATE these messages . . . and now I have one! Rippere.com is only about my experience of the world. It is not related to any organization with which I am associated.