Well last night’s NYC Atheists meeting was interesting. I guess I’m a moderate conservative with a heart full of tolerance compared to some people. :3
You see, there are certain members who are currently involved in a lawsuit to remove the “cross” from the 9/11 memorial. Now I am a sentimental crybaby when it comes to 9/11. I can’t go down to that site without getting a lump in my heart. I hate that over 3000 people died pointlessly. And I can fully understand why in the aftermath certain religious people turned to and found an icon in this cross shaped beam of steel.
Now I know it’s just a steel beam and since it’s steel crossbeam it’s duh in the shape of a cross. But now that it’s been anointed by holy peoples and worshiped, prayed to, kissed etc for over a decade since then, it’s part of history. Not to mention that it’s actually from ground zero and as such belongs in the museum. Now my fellow atheists argue that it is being used as “prime real estate for advertising religion”. But my argument to them is this: so?
Let’s put it this way. Say I don’t like a certain artist. All this artist paints is “trash” imo and that it’s horrible and overrated. Now if this artist gets a showing at the MoMa, will I be happy? No. But do they deserve to be there as a cultural icon and marker of that time? Yes.
To put it another way, go to the Natural History museum. See for yourself the ancient Greek sculptures of dead gods and goddesses. Once great religious icons, now seen as relics of the past. Just because something IS religious, does not make it “evil”. I think that taking atheism to this negative, litigious path just makes us all look bad and spiteful. I know I didn’t make any friends tonight by saying this. But it’s what I feel in my heart. Let the people have their peace in whatever shape they need it to be.
On a final note, we are not forth graders in need of gold stars. So why does every meeting seem to devolve into glad hand politics and back patting? Yes yes, someone wrote for the newsletter or organized something. Send them an email of thanks. Or just mention their name so we can thank them IF we appreciate it. But saying things like, “Person A did a FAN-tastic job on this article you should all read it! So n so, stand up and tell us more about it! It’s really a great piece! Heck, that one group we’re buddies with said THEY liked it!”
Come on guys, I appreciate hard work too. But get over it. This is a meeting with many people and we’re trying to get MORE things done. So let’s not waste time congratulating each other on the little things when there are bigger projects to be tackled. Especially when you spend a large chunk complaining that not enough people are showing up and that we need MORE support and MORE action.
By all means, take the advice I gave about using PR sites and using social networking and change.org. USE the means we have to spread a message. 😀