Here’s why atheists have to fight for their rights

Mar 29, 2018

By Greta Christina

“You atheists are just taking on the mantle of victimhood. There are laws protecting you — especially the First Amendment. Therefore, you’re not really discriminated against. And it’s ridiculous for you to claim that you are.”

Atheist activists get this one a lot. When we speak out about ways that anti-atheist bigotry plays out, we’re told that we’re not really oppressed. We’re told that, because we have legal protection, because anti-atheist discrimination is illegal, therefore we don’t really have any problems, and we’re just trying to gain unearned sympathy and win the victim Olympics. (I’d love to hear Bob Costas do the commentary for that!) It’s a classic Catch-22: If we speak out about oppression and point to examples of it, we’re accused of “playing the victim card,” and the oppression becomes invisible. And if we don’t speak out about oppression … then the oppression once again becomes invisible.

If you’ve ever made this “discrimination against atheists is against the law” argument, I have some really bad news for you. You may want to sit down for this, it may come as a shock:

People sometimes break the law.

Theft is against the law — but people sometimes steal. Bribery is against the law — but people sometimes bribe other people. Arson is against the law — but people sometimes set buildings on fire.

Anti-atheist discrimination is against the law; in the United States, anyway. But people still sometimes discriminate against atheists.

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2 comments on “Here’s why atheists have to fight for their rights

  • @OP – “You atheists are just taking on the mantle of victimhood.
    There are laws protecting you — especially the First Amendment. Therefore, you’re not really discriminated against. And it’s ridiculous for you to claim that you are.”

    It seems that in Costa Rica, some of the god-deluded think that the existence of laws protecting citizens’ legal entitlements to gay marriage, is their country’s most pressing political problem!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-43610095

    Costa Ricans have two choices in the presidential elections on Sunday: Alvarado or Alvarado.

    Conservative evangelical Fabricio Alvarado is running against centre-left Carlos Alvarado, who is no relation.

    The candidates have been neck and neck throughout the campaign, which has been dominated by debate over legalising same-sex marriage.

    In February’s first round, no candidate won more than 40% of the vote, which means the two best-performing candidates went through to a head-to-head second round.

    Fabricio Alvarado won 24.8% of the vote in February, while Carlos Alvarado gained 21.8%.

    Carlos Alvarado Quesada, 38, is the PAC candidate.
    He was the minister of labour under the former administration.

    A graduate of the University of Costa Rica and the University of Sussex, Mr Alvarado Quesada is also a novelist and a former journalist.

    He is running on a progressive platform under the slogan “Elijo el futuro” (I choose the future).

    His opponent is Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz. The pair have sharply different views.

    Mr Alvarado Muñoz, 43, is standing for the conservative National Restoration Party (PRN).

    He is a journalist, devout Christian, evangelical preacher, and a singer of Christian music – he wrote the evangelical song, Tu amor es todo (Your love is everything).

    There have been a number of key issues, including fears about the national deficit and the country’s murder rate jumping to its highest ever level last year.

    But the core divide between the two Alvarados is same-sex marriage.

    In January, the Inter-American Human Rights Court ruled same-sex marriages should be recognised – a decision applying to all signatory nations of the American Convention on Human Rights.

    Mr Alvarado Muñoz is strongly opposed to the measure. He has vowed to fight it, railing against the “secular state” as well as “gender ideology”.

    Mr Alvarado Quesada, however, backs the ruling. He has accused his opponent of homophobia.



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  • @#1 – In January, the Inter-American Human Rights Court ruled same-sex marriages should be recognised – a decision applying to all signatory nations of the American Convention on Human Rights.

    Mr [Fabricio] Alvarado Muñoz is strongly opposed to the measure.
    He has vowed to fight it, railing against the “secular state” as well as “gender ideology”.

    It looks like the secular voices of reason, have prevailed over the voices of theocratic bigotry!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-43614744

    Carlos Alvarado [Quesada], Costa Rica’s centre-left presidential candidate, is set to be the country’s next leader after elections on Sunday.

    Costa Rica’s electoral council made the announcement based on ballots from 91% of polling stations.

    Mr Alvarado won 60% of the vote to his conservative opponent’s 39%, the near-complete count shows.

    His rival Fabricio Alvarado (no relation) has conceded defeat.



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