Thursday, April 28, 2011

June 21st is Atheist Solidarity Day

I hope that one day June 21 will be a global phenomenon noticeable to a majority of the world. It’s a movement that belongs to us all. It has no single founder or organization. I will also be participating but wanted the idea to be unattached to any person or group. You are all its founders. It will grow because of the power of the idea and not who started it. It’s my dream that eventually, everywhere in the world, atheists will not have to hide the fact they are an atheist.

We all have many different values, personalities, and goals. Atheism has no creed or set of beliefs. We are a diverse group with nothing in common other than the one fact that we all lack the belief in god. That is all we have in common. A large segment of society however doesn’t see it that way. They have a stereotyped and caricatured view of who we are. They are told lies and myths about us. The only way to fight these misconceptions is by being visible. How else can they see that the stereotypes are wrong? Silence and being invisible is the worst thing we can do. Ideally we shouldn't have to be so visible but it is because of the current situation that we must.

An atheist solidarity ribbon, Scarlet A, or any symbol for atheism popular in your region can be used to fight for change and raise awareness. That is the main purpose of this day. Raising awareness about the atheists who can not identify themselves as atheist because of how it would negatively change their life. Some atheists that publicly identify as atheist could be socially outcast, lose their job, threatened, or even in some parts of the world killed. It is those who can be visible without any serious consequence who can pave the way for others. By having as many as possible identify to the world they are an atheist they are helping more and more to be able to do likewise. Eventually we can create a world where being an atheist is inconsequential to how others treat us. It’s a minor thing about who we are. There are so many other things that define who we are.

Solidarity is something we can show all year long but especially on June 21. Wearing a ribbon or atheist symbol all year can not only change the stereotypes but can also help other atheists feel not so alone in their community. Atheist solidarity is what it is all about. I truly believe:

"Only in solidarity can atheists create a world in which atheists everywhere can be open about their lack of belief in god and not fear any harmful consequence."

This day will only succeed with continued hard work from everyone. Remember there is no official organizer. The first Facebook Group and this website are just starting points. I encourage you to create groups and websites for your local region. Each region is going to have different needs and methods by which change can happen. By distributing our effort we can be stronger. Solidarity all year will unite us. Show it all year long. Celebrate it June 21. The current situation throughout the world is unacceptable. Only we can change it. It must be done.

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