05 July 2013

Other Skeptics

You know, I'm all about "separation of church and state" and stuff. And I'm an atheist. And I celebrate Christmas. Whatev.

I got really annoyed before Christmas* by a full page ad in the New York Times, run by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. For one thing, the world just doesn't need any more people shoving belief - or non-belief - down our throats. It's private. Keep it that way. (And while we're at it, let's get "in god we trust" off of our money.) That same organization has run other full page ads in the Times - like one that urged Catholics to quit the church over the "Bishops' war against women's right to contraception". (That ad was accompanied by a billboard in Times Square). Yesterday, they took on Hobby Lobby, and quoted six of the Founding Fathers "on their strong views against religion in government, and often critical views on religion in general".

Here's the thing. I basically agree with them - yes, separation of church and state - yes, keep the government out of my uterus - yes, contraception should be available and the employer shouldn't get to pick and choose - but what really irritates me is that The Freedom From Religion Foundation bills itself as the "...largest membership group for freethinkers (atheists, agnostics and other skeptics)..."

I hate their implication that atheists are skeptics. I'm not a skeptic; I believe that there are no gods.

Then again, like Groucho, I don’t care to belong to any club that might have me as a member. Not to mention the fact that, I am a skeptic, just not that kind of skeptic.

* Um, I'm working through the "draft" posts - most of which aren't even drafts as much as a handful of links and sentence fragments. Hence the reference to Christmas, which was actually Christmas 2011. It's okay though - FFRF really did have a full page ad in the New York Times on 7/4/2013, on page A9. So my impulse might have been a year and a half old, but not much has changed, although the word "skeptic" doesn't appear in their tag line in yesterday's ad. Now it says "FFRF is the nation's largest association of atheists & agnostics, working to keep religion out of government." So, let's see. Post anyway because I'm flying my cranky flag? Or don't post because they've figured out that atheists aren't skeptics? No, post because hell yeah, separation of church and state, and while we're at it, get "under god" out of the pledge of allegiance, where it didn't used to be.


Swistle said...

Oh, man, I can get GOING on the subject of the insertion of "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance. That drives me NUTS: that it didn't used to be there, and now it's there and impossible to remove because people don't even know it wasn't original.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I am becoming quite weary and impatient of continuing to fight these battles--I am delighted to see younger people picking up the gauntlet on some of these things.

I am with you on not being a skeptic, but an atheist--skepticism implies that there is still a doubt.

Catherine said...

I quite enjoyed the footnote here, with its little peek into the Magpie Mind.