Bringing together non-believers
Like it or not, atheism has become more than a “lack of belief in gods”.
Sure, if you want to pull out a dictionary you can prove me wrong and say that is all atheism is. Yet doing so would be naive as to the world we live in and ignoring the movement that is happening in Kenya and all around the world.
Many people want to call this movement by many names, humanism, secularism, skepticism, or your choice of label that strategically avoids the word atheist, but when your movement is made up of at least 99% atheists, guess what, you have an atheist movement.
Perhaps though, a better term would be atheist community. Because we don’t have leaders, we don’t elect people to speak on everyone’s behalf, but the media does take to certain voices more than others and we use these outlets to our advantage. This community is a necessity to the lasting effect atheists can have in the political arena, and you cannot ignore that atheism is entrenched in politics.
Now it can be said that for many, the only thing atheists have in common is their rejection of god claims, because atheists can come from many different political and social backgrounds. So maybe not all atheists agree on the same political ideologies,
Atheists want the benefits of a secular society, but too many refuse to do the work. They are more concerned with a dictionary definition of atheism that they forget what is at stake.
Without atheists united in some form of community, we stand the risk of being lost overnight to a theocratic right. Ready to overturn whatever secular laws remain in the constitution. While some atheists are worried about definitions, the right is worried about overturning women’s rights, ending marriage equality and enforcing bad economic policies that drive more Kenyans into poverty.
While we are busy infighting claiming, “no one speaks for me”, the religious right is speaking and gathering followers. If we continue to run around unorganized, they will claw whatever gains we are making back.
So there is, and should be a strong atheist movements, groups like Atheists in Kenya (AIK) and FIKA and countless other atheist based organizations all fighting to enforce secular laws in this country and around the world.
These groups should put weight on their shoulders to make sure the theocratic right do not overtake Kenya and anyone who believes in upholding secularism. We should be thanking these groups and individuals in this fight, not chastising them for being “the face” of atheism as many have.
We may not elect atheist leaders, but many people shine through and stand up for all of us. We don’t have to claim to agree with what every group does or says all the time either. Just as each atheist is unique in many of their own ways, so are groups.
You can get behind the groups you like and ignore the ones you don’t. You never have to state that any particular person speaks for you, but you can allow those people to speak and make your world better, and if you disagree, then speak up. Ignoring it and simply saying it is not a movement means you will let others speak for you. Silence is an action, the action of inaction.
Communities of atheists are forming whether you like it or not, you can either get on board and help in this struggle or you can simply opt out and watch change happen one way or the other and do nothing to help or stop it. The good news is, while some sit back and criticize the work of these community activists, these activists don’t stop working. They do the dirty work even when some in their own community refuse to thank them.
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Bringing together non-believers