A sad, lonely group of American atheists that spends virtually all of its time attacking Christian symbolism has sent a letter to President Barack Obama seeking official religious recognition for Americans who are not religious.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent the 914-word letter to Obama on Thursday, the same day he addressed the National Prayer Breakfast.
“To help counter anti-Muslim bigotry, you spoke at a mosque yesterday,” the letter from co-presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor begins. (RELATED: The US Mosque Obama Has Chosen For His First Presidential Visit Has Deep Extremist Ties)
“Last week, you spoke at the Israeli embassy and, in a show of solidarity with the Jewish minority, said, ‘I, too, am a Jew,'” the lengthy missive continues. “It is laudable for the President to embrace citizens of all colors and religious viewpoints as being part of ‘one American family’ and to caution citizens not to be ‘bystanders to bigotry.'”
However, the Freedom From Religion co-presidents insist, it is time for an American president to “reach out to secular America” who believe fiercely in nothing.
“‘Nones’ are the fastest growing segment in the U.S. population by religious identification.” the letter pontificates. “More than a third of Millennials — 35 percent — identify as nonreligious. In fact, ‘Nones’ have recently surpassed Roman Catholics as the largest ‘denomination’ in the United States.”
The letter then decries the “ubiquitous social stigmatization” suffered by “U.S. freethinkers, atheists and agnostics.”
“Those of us who are nonreligious daily encounter unwarranted stereotypes, putdowns and assumptions that we cannot be good people or good citizens,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation laments. “A December 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Psychology found, appallingly, that atheists rank, with rapists, as least trustworthy!”
The authors argue that atheists are an oppressed minority “at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to social acceptance, in comparison to a variety of minorities often typified as ‘other,’ including gays, Muslims, recent immigrants, Jews and racial minorities.”
The letter also celebrates important “freethinkers and nontheists” such as Billy Joel, Pete Seeger, Luther Burbank, Ursula K. LeGuin and, of course, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“By showing up on June 4, as you did at the mosque, and addressing nonbelieving Americans, you can send a signal that the marginalization of a quarter of the U.S. population is unacceptable,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation implores Obama. “Please use your ‘bully pulpit’ to help erase harmful attitudes toward the nonreligious minority in the United States, as you have done for religious minorities.”
America’s atheists were last in the news because someone kept vandalizing an Adopt-A-Highway sign heralding a stretch of road occasionally cleaned by a California atheist group. In the fall, an unknown perpetrator sawed the sign off its posts and painted over the first letter and the last letters of the all-caps word “ATHEIST,” thus transforming it to “THEIST.” Members of the heathen group said they would not be intimidated by the damage to their highway sign on the southbound side of Highway 101 near the town of Atascadero. (RELATED: Atheists Are Really Sad Because People Keep Vandalizing Their Adopt-A-Highway Sign, You Guys)