Thursday, 20 February 2014

American Atheists

I chose Atheism because it is an interesting anomaly that there is a website promoting the lack of belief in any god. The fact that the words "STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS" are emblazoned in the most immediately noticeable place on the website gives a clue as to the position (or, at least, perceived position) of atheists in the generally religious America. The chosen badge is also interesting, reflecting Atheism's stereotypical ties to scientific fields (specifically physics in this case). Their priorities, according to their About page, are fighting for civil liberties for atheists and promoting the total separation of church and state.

Atheists are a minority in the United States (only 10% of the population), and the Activism page suggests that the organisation is interested in expanding itself - "With our community projects, billboard campaigns, and educational resources, we encourage the millions of atheists who are "in the closet" to come out as atheists and be proud of embracing reality." I find it fascinating that a label defined by a lack of something is so interested in "converting" others, although it does make sense that it is attempting to "raise the profile of atheism" in a country where belief of some kind is emphatically the norm. "The American identity" is most evident here in the organisation's promotion of elements of the constitution, and on being free to hold individual non-normative beliefs without any fear of discrimination.

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