Sunday, December 09, 2012

Globe letter: 'atheists’ activism not evangelism'

Susan C. Pinsky of Acton writes:
I find it odd that the Associated Press, and, by association, the Globe assume a peculiarly Christian-style motivation (i.e., evangelism) for the atheists in the short news item “Christmas display fight goes to court” (Daily Briefing, Page A2, Nov. 19). 
Atheists set up signs, including the Thomas Jefferson quotation “Religions are all alike —–founded on fables and mythologies,” next to a 14-scene Christian diorama on public land. And the AP reporter characterized the members of this group as “eager to get their non-beliefs into the public square as never before.”
I would suggest that atheists are not proselytizing non-belief, but rather illustrating, by the notion that turnabout is fair play, that religious displays on public land are, at best, insensitive and inappropriate and, at worst, prejudicial and dangerous. 
There is no atheist evangelism here, only a challenge to blurring the separation of church and state. No one’s religious freedom is safe if government is in the business of celebrating religion.