IHEU Statement To The United Nations Highlights Dangers To Religious Dissenters In The World

image of a Holy Bible with a warning sticker

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) gave a report to the United Nations detailing that Atheists, humanists, freethinkers and other non-religious people are discriminated against around the world, where expression of their views is often criminalized and subject in some countries to capital punishment. The report was in response to efforts by Islamic countries to obtain a world ban on “defamation of religion” which mirrors efforts by religious conservatives in the United States attempting to cover their bigotry under the guise of “religious freedom”.

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Complaints About Criticizing Religion Usually Means Stay Silent

image of a Man and woman arguing

On Wednesday, American Secular Census (ASC) posted an article that focused on secular women. The report didn’t have any new information for me since I am a geezer in the movement but I wanted to address something that has bothered me ever since I identified myself as an atheist and secular humanist. There seems to be a notion that criticizing religion is always wrong and that we stunt the growth of freethought by doing it. I feel this is a false notion and is a wrong point to focus on when trying to build a secular community.

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I’m White And Have A Penis – So What!

image of a buff guy doing curls
Self-portrait – Really!

Not since college have had been immersed in gender politics like I have recently. It’s weird that in the twenty plus years since I experienced diversity debates in college, the arguments haven’t changed. I think it’s because the young people who come up in the freethought movement discover biases based on gender and feel that this is one injustice they can overcome. I have to admit that I’m white and I have a penis – so what! I think we all need to work on those issue we can solve together and acknowledge that we can’t be perfect. I’m not going to pick a side and I’m not going to apologize for being white and male.

What sparked this blog post is the STILL burning Atheism+/gender identity storm in the freethought community. Each side of the debate are doing purity checks and using extreme gender politics in an effort to make a utopia in their own image. Instead of using our tools to make a better world all freethinkers, both sides want to burn down our own house and rebuild it how they assume it should look – opposing view points be damned.

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Isn’t Atheism Plus Another Name For Humanism?

image of Atheism+ Equals Humanism

In the wake of some very public and nasty debates about diversity and lack of respect for women in the freethought community, Jen McCreight, author of the blaghag blog on the Freethought Blogs Network created what she is calling a “new wave of Atheism” whose name evolved into Atheist+. Her goal was to move Atheism from just dealing with the god question – Atheists don’t believe in a god – but to also deal with issues like diversity and social justice. It seems to me that Humanism addresses all the issues McCreight feels is missing from Atheism and Humanism is non-theistic. One question I have is why not be a Humanist?

Some of the issues Jen McCreight sees Atheism+ dealing with include Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Ableism, Classism, Ageism, Neurotypicalism, Animal welfare, environmental issues, and political issues (Health care, crime, drug laws).

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