We saw “Milk” last night. I found the story especially interesting because I am personally seeing many parallels with the “rights” fights. Persecution throughout American history seems to be fought against in very similar ways. You have the extremists and the pacifists that get very little accomplished due to the opposing majority drowning out their words and actions. Then there are people like Harvey Milk who know you have to give the people you represent a unified voice, it has to be loud, but not too aggressive and never violent.
More and more, I find myself looking at the current Secular movement in our country in the light of the other minority movements. In 1978 a proposition was proposed in California which would have banned gays and lesbians from working in California’s public school system. Harvey Milk and his group sent out the message for the LGBT community to stand up for who they were and show that they were an integral part of everything in our society. It is as important for atheists to feel they can be forthright about who they are, as it was for those in the LGBT movement against Prop 6 in 1978.
We Seculars have to come out about our beliefs and our feelings. We have to be honest with ourselves and others. We have to educate the opposing majority, show them that we are nothing to be feared. Then and only then, will we feel more accepted in this great country. Then and only then will other non-believers feel that they too can express who they are without condemnation.
For more information you can check out groups like:
Or search out a local Secular, Humanist, Freethinking or Atheist group in your area.