Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Coexist?" What about me?

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Uploaded by on Nov 13, 2011
Were you there, when dogmatic suspicions trumped the laws of other kinds?
Did you see me stand upon the cart- trembling in my binds?
Did you see me stare down on their faces with disgust
As those puritans did rally for the cause they knew was just?
Did you hear the noose man's order just before he draped my neck,
with a bulky length of rope above my temporary deck?
Did you smell the burning flesh of the thousands who before
had been burned upon the stake for the same crime I now bore?
Did you feel the pangs of lessons lost that history had to teach
As I looked upon the ground where my feet were out of reach?
As they pulled my cart away, did you hear the axel squeal,
while death's grip seized my throat, at the turning of the wheel?
Did you see the branch above me shake when laden with my weight?
Did join the crowd's conviction, or did you hesitate?
Did you find it at all peculiar, as the noose did seal my fate
That a witch my great stature couldn't even levitate?
That a dark demonic creature who could sap a down of hope
Was vanquished by some binder twine and a strand of inch-thick rope?
Did you smile with satisfaction when you heard my frail spine break,
Or did you stare into my pallid face and accept the great mistake?

 I pointed out to a liberal friend that I won't "share" the "Coexist" flag on my FaceBook page, because it doesn't include representation of atheism. 
A comment I made doesn't appear, anymore, on the thread. Could be a FaceBook glitch; could have been removed.

Atheists are actively persecuted in USA. We get fired, evicted, harassed, excluded, physically attacked, stalked. We can lose our children in a court of law. We are vilified by MANY sects on the planet. In some countries, laws say we are to be killed outright. My conclusion: religion kills.

 I explained my position in this thread, but the comment is not posted. I don't know if that is a FaceBook glitch, or if my comment was intentionally removed. To prevent this happening again, I have put my statement on my blog. It can be read below. Until atheism is part of the intentional dialogue on tolerance, until people of religion acknowledge and do something about their "brothers and sisters" who are actively seeking to persecute us, I cannot, in good conscience, post that image on my FaceBook feed. Ironi cally, I OWN and DISPLAY that flag at my home, and have been accused of Satanism in my redneck, fundamentalist community, as a result. Now, imagine if those same people knew: I'm not only an atheist; I'm a Queer, too. If you're not committed to protecting MY civil rights, I cannot, in good conscience, promote your message

I received a post on my FaceBook wall about the whole thing, and replied:
 I don't see this as a personal attack by you. Please understand that. What I do see is that atheism, as an alternative perspective on the matter of faith, and atheists, as persons who are quite literally targeted by insecure ass hats who use their faith as an excuse to persecute, are too frequently left out of the dialogue by people who are discussing tolerance, coexistence, etc. This even happens in Unitarian Universalism, which is a fellowship of churches that state, specifically, that atheism and agnosticism -- as well as ALL faith traditions -- are welcome and respected in their fellowships. Then, if one of us has the nerve to speak up and say, "wait a minute! I have civil rights, too!" we get to hear how "angry, militant and provocative" we're being and how we don't respect the faiths of other folk. See, I DON'T respect faith; I respect reason. But I personally don't care what others believe, as long as they don't impose it on me. These days, that seldom happens. We HAVE to speak up for ourselves. There's a deliberate, calculated, theocratic movement afoot in USA right now. Atheists, Queers, other faiths & even denominations are being attacked. If we don't speak up, who will speak up for us? So, I felt it my responsibility to remind people of faith, once again, that I have a right to live in peace, too.

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