It may not be a full frontal assault yet, but you are under attack. It may not even be a conscious decision by your theist family and friends, but there is a whispered conversation taking place. A conversation that excludes and demeans your thoughts.
Take for example the following:
This week I am the bad guy. Actually, at this time of year, I'm the bad guy every fucking day. I get tired of religious bullshit assaulting my senses daily and am prone to take a stand. A portion of my family is in an uproar, I am persona non-gratis. Tempers have flared, verbal smack downs have been issued. The glove has been dropped by loved ones now lost, oh ye of little faith. The steps are being walked, the pistols loaded; death to anyone who would dare to offer an opinion that conflicts with this country's glamorous addiction to religion.
Some have to take themselves seriously, since anyone who opens their eyes once in awhile will not participate. At times, drama is all there is for the willfully ignorant.
A family member posted an image that she thought was honoring veterans. I looked at it and decided it slammed atheists that served in the military, so I left a comment. Always the same; we can to a certain point joke and tease, learn and teach, unless fantasy is the subject. I was lambasted for deciphering the anti-atheist code.
Now that we are firmly entrenched as a warrior country, when something pertaining to the military is discussed, we're supposed to jump up and salute. Americans are in a jam, hating war yet afraid to denigrate the soldier. The Vietnam backlash is so ingrained in our culture, that clarifying a thought about patriotism is not only unwanted, but an affront to all. Minds that babble bullshit will not be corrected; ever.
To frame the discussion properly, I do
have Vietnam vets in the family. I've heard the horror stories of their time in Vietnam and I know how they were treated when they returned. It is not their fault that our government went to war.
The person(s) that are upset with me are one of those vet's offspring. They post fairly constant memes that honor vets since they are proud of their father's service. Not a problem. Though I do not agree with the warrior culture, I understand. I have great respect for the gentleman, even though I disagree with almost everything that he says. Conservative christian of the Limbaugh type; you can smell the hate that oozes out of his enraged pores when he gets worked up about those traitorous liberals, and amusingly, any conservative that would work with them. He is the poster boy for the Tea Party, it's my way or the highway.
We don't talk politics, pretty much pointless.
Being a white male in a country that continually finds a part of the populace to oppress, the atheist putdowns catch me by surprise. Not the in your face slams, I can handle confrontations, but the sneaky little messages that are spread around by an unknowing or uncaring populace are starting to aggravate. I understand the message even if they don't.
My horrible comment on the cartoon in question was very relaxed. I only made the point that whether correct or not, some people find the pledge of allegiance to be a separation of church and state issue. Nothing more. Didn't get excited, it is after all, family. After my comment I was verbally smacked down for my audacity to start a conversation. I could tell that I had grievously offended the family member in question, so I removed my comment and apologized. I thought possibly the longwinded bitching by someone who doesn't understand how social networks operate would disappear, but it didn't. After a day or so I removed my apology as well; kiss my ass. Go ahead, post another atheist slam and see where it gets you.
Tis the season of course. I open up an email yesterday from another family member, who is closely related to the conservative faction of the family, that contains fantasy. Father from heaven coming down and saving their children nonsense. Of course, cannot ignore. I take it easy and replied, "look at this, a fairy tale in my mailbox." Nothing too dramatic.
I was informed that the email was intended for my wife. Guess they are still hoping she can be turned back to the nonsense.
My point is that as atheists, we are continually slammed by the theist community. They see absolutely nothing wrong in promoting their religion; in fact it's their right to brainwash the world. But don't dare promote reality since for a theist, reality is not only abhorrent, but is also a dire insult.
Now I'm not in any way comparing atheists and atheism to the denigration of those not white, or those that prefer their own gender as mates, or even the battles that women still are fighting; not yet anyway. Atheism, though targeted by the religious, hasn't seemed to be a problem that directly effects how this guy lives; but it's coming. It's been coming since the religious right took over conservative politics, and soon we will be the hot topic.
The battles that groups have had to wage to be included in American society will be our battles. You think atheism is frowned upon now, wait until the national debate centers around us as it has on women's rights, or any other battle for equal rights. Whenever one battle is won in the equal rights arena, another one will rise. It's coming to a town near you soon. We've been quiet and unobtrusive like other groups in the past. Everyone has been ignoring us. Now with the dawn of in your face atheism, I think that public attention is turning our way. It has always been there, but wait until you are the national topic.
It will be great fun.
It is not the men and women in the front line that needs denigrating but the politicians and the armament manufacturers that egg the pollies on to continue waging war!
Respect the warriors but disrespect the machinery that sends them to battle!!
I know it is only an in utopia that we will have no possibility of war. As long as men and women can be trained to see us vs them there will be need for war to help some guy make profits and there will be cries for patriotism. I am not a fan of patriotism either and maybe someday that word will be disused and dropped from the dictionary.
I have been in an argument with a close friend who considers my atheism a philosophy of life that is a passing stage and his muslim faith to be a the way to live. Anytime I offer dissenting opinion family is in arms. We will come to an agreement someday that I have every right to disagree with them
Your friend holds dangerous beliefs. Mohammet was no saint; his Koran, a cribbing of the O.T. Just believing that one belief system is any better than another one where religion is concerned is a dogmatic non-starter. You cannot argue with these people.
I stopped arguing with him a while ago. At one point he told me he wanted to research on this matter of god and science and then he gets a book titled 'allah can be known through reason' or something to that effect. A book that is aimed at discrediting scientific facts and the author claims the scientific discoveries that have made in the last and present century were all foretold in the koran. How do you argue with such a person even if you have the strength and time to?
No use arguing with the dogmatic.
It is HOW the "egg them on" that is so disgusting and troubling. Sometimes, it is an insider tip. Sometimes a campaign contribution. Sometimes a little something sweet comes your way and they make sure you know where it came from. Sometimes, your wife works for the same lobby. If there really was a Jesus he wouldn't be kicking out the money changers but the bankers, CEO'S, lobbyists, and pols who are on the wrong side of history but the Right side of money.
But if we can't tell soldiers to stop killing, the wars will continue. If we can't say we dislike women and children dying, and that they are the hands that do the deed, none of this will ever end.
If the weapons industry doesn't kill our troops the products are sold legally or illegally to back up proxy wars for regime changes and whatever else is "in the American interest." Because of technological advancements, the weapons are imitating computers in almost immediate obsolescence: leading in weaponology, a nation can be neighborhood bully all over the world, but the inventory keeps building and product must be shipped out somewhere. All this pre-dated Eisenhower, mind you. Wilson tried to blockade Veracruz because ships like the "Ypiranga" were headed there to discharge arms and ammunition header for the Huerta regime. Wilson said, "It's time to teach the Mexicans to elect good men." One should not be where one does not belong.
Point taken, but the maker of the point is taking liberty with the name war if you count the years 1775 - 1918 as one war or even as a continuous set of wars. The poster maker is also leaving out many police actions such as the war in the Philippines after the Spanish American war which killed thousands and many other police actions. The number of years is a bit of a stretch and makes the point of the large number suspect.
These has been a lot of action http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_ope... though you have to either go with 100 percent of the time or less than 2/3rd's of the time
ditto for Canada, you might make the argument that Canada has been militarily active for more then 250 years at least by the same measurement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Canada