License Plate Holder:
I Am Atheist
I Am America
Hope your move is settling down. A while back there was a discussion about a symbol for atheists like the cross for Christians. I'm not sure there is a single symbol that could identify all of us as one, but I do think that we need to make certain the powers that be know we are here and we are not going away. Something that indicates equal ownership of our country. I have made my statement in the following manner. I have a license plate frame that says:
I AM ATHEIST
(On the top portion)
For me, it says all I want and need to say. Perhaps this is something others might like. If so, I hope to see more. If not, mine does some much needed "talking" for me.
Hope you are well, and if I ever get to Portland, I hope we can share the corner of your local gathering place.
From: "Positive Atheism" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: January 26, 2002 3:25 AM
This is excellent! As individuals in a subculture known for "rugged individualism," as one of our ideological opponents used to put it, I'm all for individual and individualistic statements, and don't hold out much hope of us ever finding anything to draw us together as a group. (Think gaud!)
The only change I would make is "I am American!" To say "America" seems, to me, to be too inclusive, and the whole point of America, to me, is that there's room for everybody.
As I stated on page 5 of our November, 2001, issue, in response to Gloria "Wendy" Ray's letter to a Georgia newspaper ordering all atheists to "Get off of our country":
I've been told to get out of the land of my birth and my heritage (a blend of European Colonial settler, Native American, and recent immigrant -- how much more "American" does one get?). Folks have insisted that I depart from this nation whose Declaration of Independence and Constitution boast the signatures of three of my ancestors. But never until now have I been ordered to "get off of our country" by somebody who pretends to be even more American than I (but who is, in fact, no less of an American than I am, since there are no degrees of American citizenship)!
But that's just me. I honor you both for being able to see what you see in it as well as having the nerve and the pride to put that thing on your car! I wonder how many people would want one of those! Over the years we've been swamped with requests to come up with an atheistic symbol. I don't think a symbol would work, but I'm still holding out hope for slogans. Unfortunately, slogans have this stigma of oversimplifying things, and I wouldn't want to see atheism seemingly oversimplified, but I think that most truisms can be reduced to a bumper sticker. Not all of them, of course, but most of them!
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