Hellbound Alleee says: "Leave our kids alone!"
Hellbound Alleee says precisely the thing that needs to be said, at the moment it needs to be said:
I've been reading posts at various blogs about the debate over the Blasphemy Challenge particularly at Debunking Christianity. Some say that the Blasphemy Challenge is a bad move in some political game "we" are playing to get atheists liked by Christians, or "America," or something like that.
Many of these individuals making the statement are asserting something so much more important than joining some "movement" called capital A "atheism." It's almost opposite: they are claiming moral independance for themselves. They are pointing an accusing finger, yes, at the systems that claim to own them, but it's much more important that they are saying to themselves "I am now responsible for my life, not a god," and probably not anyone else.
To take this away from these individuals and suck them into a "movement" that can take credit for their courage and use them to attain power is pretty hypocritical. If they want to lose their identities in a Group, that's their choice. But just because that's the way the Others sees it is not a justification for it. They cut themselves off from imaginary entities. Why would anyone want to suck them into another imaginary entity called "Atheism," except to get political power? I see it as dueling ghosts against ghosts: the State, the Church, Jesus, and The Interest Group. (Also "radicals," "centrists," and "extremists.") What about People?
These people- Chris Hallquist, James Lazarus, Brian Flemming, Ed Brayton, and so on- even if some support the Challenge, all miss the point. They are Old Thinkers, and none of them were born with the Internet nor realize what the Internet represents for the new generation. The Blasphemy Challenge is not about you or your non-existing "atheist movement," and if you say so you are slapping all of the honest, heart-felt Challenge participants in the face. They did it in order to affirm themselves and their independence from belief. They don't think about a movement that does not exist, or keep an eye on a public opinion they don't care a whit about.
New Thinkers understand that the Internet is not a better way to serve movements and collectives. The Internet is a way for the individual to empower himself. This is why the Internet is on the side of the individualist, not the collectivist, whatever the latter's religion or lack thereof.
Atheist Old Thinkers are trying to co-opt the energy of these young and brave people for their own agendas. As a Market Anarchist and an anti-collectivist, I say with Hellbound Alleee:
HEY, ATHEISTS- LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE!
Quash the politicos on both sides before they start oppressing individual atheists who just want to express themselves, just like the "gay movement" did and the "black movement" is still doing.