What resurfaces time and again are peoples notions of civil liberties. How often have I heard that the ACLU "needs to be stopped"? I can't tell you.
Some past post comments here on Atheist Haven (yes, I'm pointing to the fundies) carry with them an air of...not disdain necessarily, but "wrongfulness" of the atheist mind-set. As if what is "wrong" should probably be snuffed out; left with no voice. Here we venture forth into minority rights. After all atheists do comprise a minority of people. The same could be said of black people in the run-up to the civil rights movement in the 60s.
Ok, now I have to talk about it. One particular comment before I joined Beast in the endevour known as Atheist Haven, Shaun said that my wife should be ashamed (if she be a Christian) for marrying an atheist. Taken into context; this would mean that Shaun believes that it is wrong for a Christian to marry an atheist and I'm assuming that he wouldn't have any qualms about a law being passed to bar this type of union. This is the utmost example of bigotry. Atheists, as a minority, are unworthy of the rights of the "faithful" majority.
Currently this debate is a firebrand amongst the gay and fundamentalist communities. The right to marry the opposite gender. So far it isn't illegal for me to marry my wife, be she Christian, Muslim, Jew, Black, Hispanic or Russian. It is illegal in much of the United States for gays to have the same benefits afforded to same-gendered couples.
Why do I bring up the gay marriage issue? Because the rationale is based entirely on the Christian biblical/moral code. If this kind of sentiment can shape the the law of the land; what can stop it in other aspects of our lives? And how has it affected our lives already?
As much as I like conspiracy theories, this is no conspiracy theory. Far from it. It's real. It's "wrong" for a man to have a marital relationship with another man and conversely it is "wrong" for a woman to have marital relations with another woman. I don't have to point any further than conversations I've had with Christians about this. It goes against god. Period. Hence, the infringement of civil liberty in this regard.
My main point is that we atheists, as minorities, are entitled to civil liberties as well as the next person. Currently this is so, but with the burgeoning rise of the atheist voice comes an equal rise of Christian enmity stemming from their "faith" being called into question and/or it otherwise being scrutinized. What else gets their goat is the rise of secularism in society and within the state.
This I think is the real hot-bed issue. After all with a true secular society comes virtual abolition of religion within the public sphere. This is probably why we are seeing increased enrollment of "Christian children" into private charter schools rather than send them to public schools that are secular. On the face of it that's fine. In the end though these types of schools are essentially Christian factories churning out citizens that will probably have a particular bias against secularism. Because they themselves have no experience with an education system that's secular. Hypothetically, some of these citizens are going to go on to become leaders in our communities having been raised with a bias FOR Christianity. I would hope that these citizen-leaders would embrace the notion of secularism, but that hope is ever so finite.
What happens when these citizen-leaders reach into politics? Under my assumption they will invariably tow the line of Christian mores. Generation by generation we could very well see the erosion of secularism in society and with that will come the erosion of our civil liberties.
Atheist Blogroll Search: "Civil Liberty", Secularism, "Charter School", ACLU, "Minority Rights", "Civil Rights", "Gay Marriage", "Christian children", "Public Education"