We here at GTA have been accused of being "militant" atheists. I suppose it could be argued that our passion for freedom, individuality, and rational thought could be seen as aggression towards systems like Christianity, but the closest we've come to any semblance of activism has been our "War on Relativism." Ironically enough, these accusations tend to come from Christians who are themselves extremely aggressive and active against atheists, so it may just be run-of-the-mill projection.
However, it should be noted that there are, in fact, literal "militant" atheists:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Secular Coalition for America has a new coalition member -- the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). MAAF joins with the other members of the coalition, which include: the American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance International, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Institute for Humanist Studies, Secular Student Alliance, Secular Web (Internet Infidels), and the Society for Humanistic Judaism. The Secular Coalition for America is the nation's first lobbying organization that works to increase the visibility and respectability of nontheistic viewpoints in the United States and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all.
The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is a community support network that connects military members from around the world with each other and with local organizations. In addition to community services, MAAF takes action to educate both the military and civilian community about atheism in the armed forces and the issues faced by atheist service members. MAAF identifies, examines, and responds to military practices that unconstitutionally promote religion over nonreligion or discriminate against the nonreligious as well as religious minorities. MAAF supports the First Amendment right of freedom of conscience for all service members.
MAAF clearly embraces the Secular Coalition for America's goal of respecting individuals' right to celebrate their backgrounds and to enjoy whatever traditions they choose -- while, at the same time, steadfastly working to ensure that no religion imposes itself on our government.
Lori Lipman Brown, director of the Secular Coalition for America expressed her pleasure regarding the expansion of the coalition: "I am very proud of the men and women who serve in our armed forces and I'm thrilled that MAAF provides a community of support, and a voice, for those members who do not hold a god belief. There are indeed atheists in foxholes and MAAF's efforts will ensure that their contributions are no longer overlooked."
Jason Torpy, president of MAAF, stated, "My group has benefited greatly from the work of the Secular Coalition for America and we are excited to become an official member of the organization. We will provide support and a constituency of service members and veterans to ensure that our political leaders act on the coalition's important message."
Visit http://www.maaf.info for more information on the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and http://www.secular.org for the Secular Coalition for America. A joint message from the presidents of both organizations can be found here: http://www.secular.org/news/maaf_sca.html.
For more information contact Lori Lipman Brown at 202-299-1091.
It's a good reminder that there are very often atheists in foxholes, one of which, as a matter of fact, happens to be my good friend and cousin.