Just something I have been thinking about...
Mssrs. Paine and Ingersoll, Where have you gone?
The success or failure of an ideal, a way of life, or a movement is partly the appeal of the paradigm in question, partly the intrinsic truth of the matter, but mostly the ability to instill in others the philosophical, emotion and rational substance that the matter instills in those who hold it dear. Without speakers of the utmost alacrity in seizing the opportunity to promulgate said passions and who cannot deliver passionate oration in defending those ideals, all we may witness is the death of something that otherwise may have thrived. We need prolific speakers capable of delivering the secular message with such alacrity that there can be no debate against the purity of our ideals.
Yes, there will be disagreement, I know this, but that is fine. It is healthy. But that does not change the fact that we, and I mean all atheists, agnostics, freethinkers...whatever silly and insignificant name we choose to call ourselves...we need to realize that our common goal is important enough to rally around and is not something that is safe to leave on the back-burner of our lives anymore. The gauntlet of the faithful has landed on our doorsteps once again and is growing strong. We need to stand up for ourselves and NOT let them make any one of is feel ashamed for finding a more substantial truth to the whys and hows of existence. We may not have the entire truth, but we are getting there.
Robert Green Ingersoll was a very public agnostic back when agnosticism was by far more un-tasty to the general public of the US. Today, while the stigma of being anti-religious is still poignant, atheists and agnostics are so much more free to explain our POV without fear of Comstock like laws. Yet there is no person of note that will stand out and espouse our ideals, for to do so would be to incur the supposed wrath of the American people. It has come to social stigma alone, which has grown more powerful than legal oppression, that decides the fate of those who dare to question dogma these days. It is a method that has been used with the utmost fecundity by the current US Administration. A method used to inspire a feeling of religious fealty among a nation of otherwise differing opinions and has created a situation where religion thrives well: through fear of enemies, mistrust of neighbors and a semblance of holy war.
Politicians bow to the religious mindless and insert god into speeches to placate the mindless need to revere an imaginary friend to those who may otherwise have none. Are we to believe that NONE of our politicians on the national scene are atheist? Or do they simply not admit it? Where are the great people of today that are not afraid to stand up and speak out for a world without god, as Ingersoll did so eloquently over 100 years ago! Where are the great minds like Paine and Jefferson and Ingersoll today!? We need to find them and find them quickly.
Kowtowing to religious groups and people minimizes the secular nature of the reforms of history and of the present that were not religious in nature. It insults the efforts of those who do not succumb to the absurdity of a weakness of the mind, yet promote values even more pure and honorable than any religion can, for it relies on MAN and our ability to love and understand the position of man in the universe.
"Secularism teaches us to be good here and now...I know of nothing better than goodness. Secularism teaches us to be just here and now. It is impossible to be juster than just...Secularism has no 'castles in Spain'. It has no glorified fog. It depends on realities, upon demonstrations; and its end and aim is to make this world better every day