Finally had to delete my Quora topic/feed on “atheism” since most of the questions were from “believers” who wanted to know how atheists can wake up in the morning, how can they look in the mirror, how can they go on living, and even how can they read novels! I realize I was being absurdly, even ridiculously ahead of my time with my “atheist comic sci-fi pulp fiction” series consisting, so far, of Orange Car with Stripes and Missy Tonight, in which I postulate a planned atheist urban development complex with its own TV station and university, and in which I have a little fun at the expense of so-called “new atheists” while not in the least putting down atheism itself. I may be a lifelong atheist but in my writing I’m essentially a humorist (a humanist humorist?).
It’s a laughing matter that so many people are so threatened by atheism, but on the other hand, it’s not a laughing matter at all. A new study shows that atheists are still subject to persecution in many forms in many parts of the world, including the good old U.S. of A, and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known!
The report, “Freedom of Thought 2012″, said “there are laws that deny atheists’ right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry.”
Other laws “obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents.”
While freedom of religion and speech is protected in the United States, the report said, a social and political climate prevails “in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans.”
In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial, the report said.
Our time will surely come, but it may indeed come last, after all the ethnic and nationalist issues have been resolved, after all the gender and sexuality issues, after all the religious divisions have been smoothed over somehow, after every other possible “outsider/differentist” issues have been reconciled by a species that will eventually sort all that crap out in a millenium or two, the believers will still insist on persecuting those who merely wish to privately make a distinction between fantasy and reality. Sigh.