Albert Einstein was one and some say Abraham Lincoln was too, but do Atheists have it tough?
Well according to the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies, they do. The new organisation was launched yesterday in London with their president saying that “the secular traditions of this country are being openly challenged on all sides”.
This article feels that the organisation is the “best thing to happen all winter”. I had a chat with the author the article, A.C. Grayling today and he felt that in the UK and US, the rights of religious people take precedence over those who do not follow a faith; Bishops have a say in legislations, tax payers money is spent on faith schools and prayers are said before the opening of Parliament every morning. He felt that in the US, it would be impossible to hold a political post without having a faith.
But if Atheists are a minority at least in the UK, so are Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Sikhs. I am a Hindu and I’ve never felt that my rights are inferior because I am from a minority faith, nor do I feel that I have had special treatment because my beliefs. People have challenged and questioned by beliefs over the years, but I’ve always seen this as healthy. Should atheists really feel so threatened?
I read a letter sent to a local newspaper earlier this year by a school boy in Mississippi. He was upset by the fact that all his school assemblies ended in prayer and students had no choice but to attend. In another school in the US, a popular teacher has been suspended for being too “liberal”. We’re hoping to speak to him as well.
We’ll also speak to some of those students who have helped launched the student’s organisation and the founder of the atheist bus campaign that has been roaming the streets of London. The campaign has encouraged a series of similar bus adverts around the world, including Canada where it has been banned in some cities.
Sunny Hundal’s article in Saturday’s Guardian is worth reading. He talks about the connection between religion and violence. Also have a read of what Professor Blakemore has to say . He looks at the brain’s ability to “generate religious ideas” and we might be speaking to him later.
Do you feel that Atheists are treated differently from believers? Do religious people get preferential treatment in your society?