You Won’t Believe What Atheists Are Demanding from President Obama Now
At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama cautioned Americans not to be “bystanders of bigotry.” He visited a mosque to combat anti-Muslim bias and declared, “I, too, am a Jew” as a show of solidarity to the Jewish people.
Now, atheists want a nod from our commander in chief too.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the president giving him props for embracing citizens of all colors and religious viewpoints as part of “one American family,” but they are also complaining that Obama didn’t go far enough. Apparently, atheists feel excluded.
“We respectfully invite you, in your final year in office, to do something no American president has ever done: reach out to secular America,” Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote in a letter. “Such attention from the office of the president would demonstrate that freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists and rationalists are accepted citizens. As you pointed out in your first inaugural address: ‘We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus—and nonbelievers.”
The atheists pointed to a June 2014 gathering of “Nones,” those who don’t identify with any religion and are the fastest-growing segment of America, at the Lincoln Memorial for the Reason Rally—and they want Obama to show his face at what is the largest event for secular Americans.
“Those of us who are nonreligious daily encounter unwarranted stereotypes, putdowns and assumptions that we cannot be good people or good citizens,” the co-presidents wrote. “A December 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Psychology found, appallingly, that atheists rank, with rapists, as least trustworthy!”
The atheists also pointed to research from the University of Minnesota that reveals atheists are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to social acceptance, in comparison to a variety of minorities often typified as “other,” including gays, Muslims, recent immigrants, Jews and racial minorities. The study, published in the American Sociological Review, April 2006, even reported that atheists are the people they would least like their children to marry.
The statistics and complaints go on and on—and on. Clearly, atheists want some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the contributions they have made to U.S. society. In closing, the letter encourages Obama that by showing up at the rally and addressing nonbelieving Americans, he can send a signal to the rest of America that mistreatment of atheists is unacceptable.
I agree that mistreatment of anyone—regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation—is unacceptable. I don’t think President Obama showing up at an atheist rally is going to fix what ails the atheists, though. The authors of this letter and those they represent are looking for their identity in a government nod rather than surrendering to a living God they reject and embracing their true identity in Christ.
I pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers in their path to share the Good News of the gospel. I pray that God would remove the blinders from the eyes of all unbelievers so they can see the glorious truth that sets them free. And I pray that the so-called Nones would experience the amazing grace and the radical love that awaits them. Amen.
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