Us so-called “New Atheists” have gotten a bad rap in many circles. As our numbers have grown, one counter-attack from the religious is that we are not like the old atheists – that we are militantly against religion and are attacking liberal-minded believers who are not concerned with our atheism.
For my part, I am rarely anti-theistic. Generally, as long as you don’t try to impose your beliefs on me – or the government (e.g. educational system) – I think your religion is none of my business.
And then something like the attack on Hemant Mehta – the Friendly Atheist – happens (how militant can a guy who calls himself “friendly” be?).
When the religious attack good people like Hemant – try to get him FIRED from his job for beliefs that are never brought up in his MATH class (it’d be pretty difficult to talk about atheism while discussing algebra), it pisses us off.
So, now I’m mad. A lot of atheists are mad. Hemant’s unfortunate experience has reminded us that we must be vigilant to protect our rights. We must band together. We must speak out against religious wing-nuts.
Congratulations to the Illinois Family Institute for getting more of us atheists up in arms.