One of the most famous atheists in American history, Paul Kurtz, died late last year at age 86. While not religion-friendly, he was by no means a hater. Indeed, he hated what he called “angry atheists,” the kind we see with increasing frequency these days. It is hardly a stretch to say that today’s breed of atheists more closely resemble fascists than they do intellectuals like Kurtz. Consider some of their latest attacks.
Students at an elementary school in Little Rock, Arkansas were invited to see the play, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” at a local church during the Christmas season. Seeking to avoid controversy, no students were required to attend, and bus service was scheduled for those who wished to go. A ruckus ensued when one atheist complained, enlisting the help of a local atheist group. Due to the pressure from the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, the church’s pastor called off the production for the school and instead invited the public to attend a showing over the weekend.
For several decades, the Illinois village of Alsip has erected a cross on its water tower, but this year it was not displayed: the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) threatened to sue, forcing the village’s authorities to cancel the display. Town officials said they simply couldn’t afford legal fees had FFRF filed suit. Outraged by the FFRF opposition, one resident said, “This ticks me off. This is about taking more of our freedoms away. What happened to freedom of speech?” This sentiment can be found throughout the country where FFRF is involved.
Freedom From Religion Foundation is one of the most aggressive “angry atheists” groups in the nation. It was co-founded by Annie Nicol Gaylor, whose values were clearly enshrined in her 1975 book, Abortion Is a Blessing. Fortunately for her daughter, Annie Laurie Gaylor (she runs FFRF today), Annie Nicol did not exercise her blessing.
Today’s atheists have no identity save for what they are against. What else but malice would drive atheists to display their hate-filled message alongside religious symbols in Santa Monica last year? This year local officials practiced their neutrality by censoring all displays equally; a federal judge sided with the city.
So we not only have to deal with “angry atheists,” we have to deal with their sympathetic dunces on the bench, as well.