It’s encouraging to see our secular movement growing and gaining strength. We are meeting, networking, organizing, participating and proliferating.
As our numbers increase, so does membership in the growing number of secular organizations. We are receiving national and international media attention, with the important message of reality-based alternatives to lives and minds dimmed and shackled by the influences of religion and its myths and superstitions.
Each day, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens who share our worldview are standing up, speaking out and accepting their role in what may be the most important and consequential social change in the history of humankind. It is the evolution and transition from a world of mythological beliefs and practices toward lives, societies and nations founded upon science, facts and reason.
Many of us seem to lack the perceived freedom, social support or opportunity to make our freethought known to others. Yet, freethinkers today are much like those minority groups which have gone before us to proudly proclaim their identity, become recognized and ultimately accepted as equals in the political process and to claim their rightful place in society.
Nothing is more important to our future success than for nontheists to “come out” to their families and friends, their coworkers and communities. One has to wonder, for each one of us who is openly nontheist, how many of our family members and friends secretly share our rejection of religion and dogma?
On March 29, the day known as Good Friday to Christians, public attention, popular discussion, social practices and media coverage worldwide will focus on thea Christian myth — Jesus dying on the cross, then rising from the dead to save humankind from sin. Most of us don’t get this at all, but what an opportune time for nontheists and secularists to plan, organize and publicize a nationwide, or even worldwide, effort to encourage those of like mind to “come out” en masse.
We can create a back story now to next year’s Good Friday, one which encourages public discussion, facilitates conversations and provides nontheists with the opportunity and moment to openly join us in this most important of social change movements.
Good Friday? No, it will be a Great Friday! We can own this. Great Friday can become our annual, purposeful, secular response and alternative to yet another religious holiday.
We have the message. We have the resources. We have this opportunity.
Gary McIntyre, a Kentucky resident most of his life, was “saved” while growing up Baptist. He started to question religion in college and remembers giving a Speech 101 presentation on “something you feel strongly about.” It was titled “Why I Am Not a Christian” and drew mostly negatives reactions.
He considered himself an agnostic much of his adult life but now says atheist and humanist more accurately describes his worldview. Gary joined FFRF in the mid-1980s after seeing Dan Barker on a television morning show.