Hey Atheists, Make Up Your Mind! Are you a Religion, or Not?

Written by Wes Walker on September 3, 2013

Here’s a question for the rabidly Separation-of-Church-And-State crowd… is Atheism a religion or not?  Could you please make up your mind, so we can address you correctly?

So far as I can tell, you are trying to paint yourselves as both-and-neither, generally happy to be whichever one gives you the advantage to be culturally dominant, to claim a supposed moral high ground and to engineer a society to your personal preferences.

Frankly, it’s time somebody called you on it.

Most of the time, you paint yourselves as irreligious… and say that your irreligious paradigm makes you far superior for any role remotely touching public policy.  Which is a joke, really, because you have opinions on (say) life, death, the worth of person, law, duty, morality, relationships, property, and accountability, just as someone from any religion might.  Elevating your own values above another person’s does not make your secular biases more objectively true.

You paint yourselves irreligious as a way to de-legitimize others from the positions of political power you want sole control over.  Like suckers, your rivals too often let you do so unchallenged.  Your secularism is not neutrality — not even close.  But you pretend it is, until your rivals acquiesce, and close themselves off in a cultural ghetto, where you kindly permit them to privately exercise their religion (for now) so long as nobody has to see it.  Even this last part has begun to change.

Sometimes the Fundamentalist Atheist paint himself as religious, although it may not always be intentional.  Like when “Smithsonian” magazine promoted “Evotourism” which bears a strong resemblance to a Religious Pilgrimage.  Recommended destinations were all the usual shrines — the Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s House, Dinosaur National Monument, Komodo Island.

Sometimes it’s a stunt, or done for shock.  Like so-called “debaptism”, or an Atheist Church.

When it is done intentionally, if not for publicity, it is likely for political leverage.  For example, recently there was a case before the pseudo-court “Human Rights Tribunal”.  (These are not presided by actual judges, or governed by standard rules of evidence, but they have authority to render judgments as though they were. Do not let them take root where you live.)

The ruling stated that:

Atheism is a creed deserving of the the same religious protections as Christianity, Islam, and other faiths, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ruled in a new decision.

“Protection against discrimination because of religion, in my view, must include protection of the applicants’ belief that there is no deity,” wrote David A. Wright, associate chair of the commission, in an August 13 decision.

You can read the background yourself, it was about whether Atheists could distribute their materials, since the Gideons could distribute Bibles.  I don’t personally object to that idea, and think calling Atheism a religion (even if it isn’t codified or organized) is more honest than the usual claim that being irreligious is somehow unbiased.