We aim to misbehave
Pharyngula waxes lyrical against the apologist whinging that some atheists are hurting the cause by being too forthright and vocal, by exploring the example of the suffragettes fighting for the right to vote. He makes a good point – there has never been a revolution against pointless tradition that did not come with impassioned speeches that could blister paint. There has never been a stand made against injustice that didn’t involve harsh words. And rightly so, for the more ingrained the status quo, the harder one must shout and fight and kick and scream to be heard above the earshattering din of conformity. One only has to think of the fights against the oppression of women, against slavery, against apartheid… why should the fight against religious indoctrination be any less proud?
PZ puts forth the following analogy for those who believe that atheists should employ more etiquette and politesse in their dealings with the religious oppressors:
Successful revolutionaries ignore the admonitions about which fork to use for their salad because they care only to grab the steak knife as they launch themselves over the table.
Of course, for atheists the steak knife is a figurative one. For most revolutionaries of the past, it was very, very literal, and usually followed by the molotov coctail and the machine gun. The other side should count themselves lucky that we are reserved enough to draw the line at calling them flaming idiots, instead of actually setting them on fire. But the point has never been to calm us, it’s been to shut us up entirely.
They won’t stop until we’re completely silent, and there’s no point in compromise, so these faint-hearted enablers of superstition are going to have to excuse us if we ever so politely request that they go fuck themselves, beg pardon, and please, use a rolled-up copy of the Republican party platform to do it, if you don’t mind, thank you in advance.
In a time of revolution, the opposite of anger isn’t peace – it’s apathy.