Saturday, April 17, 2010

A goal for the future: Debate hosting

What place should the atheist/secular movement claim for itself on the stage of tomorrow?  Our message is spreading.  We've achieved an audible volume for our voice, but now what?

I don't anticipate that the non-religious community will grow into a united political party at any time soon, although that may become the case decades from now.  But in the meantime, what are we to do?

Our "cat herding" difficulties are slowly becoming a thing of the past as we atheists and other non-religious people come to realize that our individual differences at the the level of party politics is of relative unimportance.  In fact, I think we're beginning to recognize that our political diversity is actually a strength rather than a weakness.  We stand united, at least loosely so, on a good many social issues of the day; gay rights, woman's rights, and too, on certain other first amendment questions.  Some of what we stand for, as on questions surrounding church/state separation, we stand for very strongly in a very united way.  And it's this combination of points that cause me to think that we atheists and secularists seem to be poised to claim the high ground of being America's most natural Patriots.  We're the Thomas Paines, and James Madisons and Thomas Jeffersons of the present day.  If this image of being natural patriots is true, how shall we use it to our advantage and make it work for ourselves and for the betterment of a larger society?

Almost every election season (but more so of the presidential election years) we're treated to a variety of political debates as nationally broadcast media events.  A few hosting organizations have become mainstays over the years; The League of Woman Voters, The Jewish Defense League and even MTV are examples.  Perhaps providing a stage for political debate ought to become a goal for our own movement to achieve.  Rather than attempting to solidifying our political diversity and remold it into a single voting block (an action that would likely divide us rather than unite us) it may be to our advantage to simply become a willing host organization for fair and open debates... debates held before audiences of "We the People" - we the atheist/secular community.

I'd be interested in hearing the calculated words to speeches coming from would-be politicians mouth's knowing they stood before an audience that was largely non-religious.  Under such a circumstance, do you think the words "God bless you and God bless America" would fall quite as easily from any hopeful's lips?

A move of this type might be good for everyone... What do you think?
A goal for the future: Debate hosting 

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