What Can I Do To Help?

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From: Recovery Watch <RecoveryWatch@PositiveAtheism.org>
Subject: Re: Recovery Watch
Date: Friday, September 10, 1999 12:04 AM

We all need to wake up and become the well-oiled, highly-trained, organized voice that the Christian Coalition has become.

We can start by opposing the Religious Liberty Protection Act, as described on the American Atheists website.

We can also work together with the American Civil Liberties Union, a very powerful voice against the Religious Right (though rather vacant when it comes to the threat of Steppism). The ACLU has recently developed a voting guide, similar to the Christian Coalition's voting guides -- except this one is on the Internet and records the Senators' and Representatives' records on Civil Libertarian and Separationist issues.

Other organizations include the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. I know people in both these groups. American United tediously monitors everybody -- from that not-quite-has-been Jerry Falwell to the phenomenally rich and equally powerful Pat Robertson -- and reports to e-mail subscribers what they're up to and what you can do about it.

Rational Recovery's Political and Legal Action Network is very busy "outing" Twelve Steppers who hold positions in government wherein they make decisions concerning whether a person is going to be mandated to attend Twelve Step meetings. For a member of AA to be in a position to mandate citizens into AA is a blatant conflict of interest.

I get e-mail lists from all these organizations, and contact my representatives whenever these organizations alert me that something stinky is cooking. Sure it's time-consuming, but many of these Christian Coalition wags are full-time volunteers.

This coming presidential election was described by Alan Dershowitz as "promising to become the most anticonstitutional election in American history." Every time one of these jackasses puts his foot in his mouth and promises more tax money to the churches, we ALL need to dash off a letter to the editor of every paper in town, plus all the major papers (NY Times; Wash. Post; etc.) and all the newsmags (Time; Newsweek; etc.) and all the local television stations and networks. We all need to keep a direct line to our Senator and Representative, and keep tabs on local elections down to the judges and school boards. This is a lot of work, but we can no longer take it for granted that the truth will prevail on its own weight.

If all else fails, the United States is not the only place to live. We may want to do as the atheist Abraham Lincoln suggested: "When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy." (Letter to Joshua F. Speed, August 24, 1855.) I prefer following the example of U.S. Founder Thomas Paine, struggling for Liberty where it does not exist (like here). (In response to Benjamin Franklin's comment, "Where Liberty is, that is my home"; Paine said,

Finally, we still need to hope with George Eliot, who said: "Fatally powerful as religious systems have been, human nature is stronger and wider, and though dogmas may hamper they cannot absolutely repress its growth." Things have improved greatly since she said this -- back in the days when she had to call herself "George" in order even to get her work published.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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