This blog is getting away from me and I’d like to bring some more people on board to help. I upgraded to a personal website and I have decided it will serve a few purposes. It will serve as a place for me to showcase the viewpoint I inhabit, as a place to record my writing experience, and as a place for those of us passionate about secularism to congregate and start acting like a unified and organized segment of U.S. society, just like other numerous minorities do. Most of all, I’d like to bring secularism into the public spectrum where it belongs. Studies say we are more numerous than Puerto Ricans are in this country. Puerto Ricans of all people! I’m sure the number is higher in Florida, but the national census lists them as making up less than 5% of the national population. 5%, when atheists are conservatively said to be just above 10%! Other studies say we make up as much as 25%, that means a quarter of the U.S. population is made up of nonbelievers, whether they are open and honest about it or whether they are a “closet atheist,” still piously attending religious institutions with their family and friends and terrified of the sojourn existence of an atheist. What that says is that we don’t have to make this journey alone, there are many more who feel the same way. What many don’t realize though, is that atheists don’t exactly have a community and it isn’t something that brings people together. Instead, “atheist” is a term that separates you from others by saying only that you are against theism, “secularist” is an inclusive term that says what you are for, and that is equal treatment of all regardless of their religious affiliation. Many think the U.S. was formed as a Christian nation, but a quick web search will inform you that the founding fathers intended it to be completely free of religion. They had rebelled against England specifically because of the King’s official position as the head of the English church and began the Constitution with the First Amendment in 1789:
“Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The very first line, it really couldn’t be much simpler. One of the principal authors was Benjamin Franklin and he was also a close friend of Thomas Paine. Paine was the author of a pamphlet that was circulated around Pennsylvania shortly before the Revolutionary War called Common Sense and many historians believe that this directly influenced the language of the Constitution. Paine was a very vocal deist, he is thought to have believed that the Earth was created in 6 days by an omniscient being referred to as God, but that God had remained uninvolved in humanity’s affairs since then. Franklin debated with him about this, firmly believing that the God of the Bible in the Old Testament existed and he had the ability to answer prayers, a true theist belief system. Although they disagreed on such a fundamental argument, it didn’t seem to affect their friendship. Franklin went on to become a high-ranking government official in new government, a diplomat. Paine, never desiring fame or fortune, withdrew from public life.
The fact is that America was formed as and remains a secular nation, no matter what the Christian-Right would have us believe. Their days are numbered and they know it. With nonbelievers now much more numerous than they were before, it is time for secularism to take its rightful place in our government and expel the ones who wish to turn it into a theocracy.
If you are passionate about secularism, advocacy, atheism, history, or any of the multitude of things I write about, you’re talented at writing, or you just want some publicity for your own blog and are willing to assist me with learning all the little tricks of WordPress, I’d like to talk to you. You can comment on this post, send me a message on Simbi, or even send me a message through WordPress.