Why Atheists Have Become a Kick-Ass Movement You Want on Your Side

    By Greta Christina | 10 May 2012
    AlterNet

    Image: Thompson Photography via Flickr

    Why would any organization or social change movement want to ally itself with a community that’s energetic, excited about activism, highly motivated, increasingly visible, good at fundraising, good at getting into the news, increasingly populated by young people, and with a proven track record of mobilizing online in massive numbers on a moment’s notice?

    If you need to ask that — maybe you shouldn’t be in political activism.

    And if you don’t need to ask that — if reading that paragraph is making you clutch your chest and drool like a baby — maybe you should be paying attention to the atheist movement.

    The so-called “new atheist” movement is definitely not so new. Atheists have been around for decades, and they’ve been organizing for decades. But something new, something big, has been happening in atheism in the last few years — atheism has become much more visible, more vocal, more activist, better organized, and more readily mobilized — especially online, but increasingly in the flesh as well. The recent Reason Rally in Washington, DC brought an estimated 20,000 attendees to the National Mall on March 24 — and that was in the rain. Twenty thousand atheists trucked in from around the country, indeed from around the world, and stood in the rain, all day: to mingle, network, listen to speakers and musicians and comedians, check out organizations, schmooze, celebrate, and show the world the face of happy, diverse, energetic, organized atheism.

    Atheists are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Atheists are gaining clout. Atheists are becoming a powerful ally when we’re inspired to take action — and a powerful opponent when we get treated like dirt.

    Case Study Number One, “Powerful Ally” Division: The million dollars currently being raised — and the goodness knows how many people being mobilized — for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walks,” by the non-theistic Foundation Beyond Belief and the Todd Stiefel family.

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    8 COMMENTS

    1. I cannot quite believe how terrible an article that is. Here's me thinking that this is some sort of reputable website after reading a very good piece before this and then clicking a link to this one. What a bizarre "article", its just a ra-ra chant for atheism, not even dressed up as anything thoughtful. Blah, blah, atheists will give you money, blah blah, atheists met in the rain, I mean, really? What is the writer wasting their tie on this rubbish for. This "article" could have been one paragraph long, given the substance in it. Poor form.

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