Future of Humanism
The Future of (Secular) Humanism (or "So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades")
This has all begin to change, thanks to the internet. Now, anyone can find a wealth of information on religion and atheism, and more importantly, a wealth of friends. MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube are filled with young atheists just itching to share their beliefs and make new friends. As a result, it is impossible for atheists with internet access to feel as alone as I did. Company leads to strength, and strength leads to openness and honesty. Atheists will never be alone again, and so they will never be silent again.
We have not seen the end of the growth of atheism. The factors I mentioned above will not go away, and as a result, the secularist tide will continue to swell. This is just the beginning.
Today's teachers need to be aware of the substantial growth of the atheistic population, particularly among young people. At this point, it's safe to assume that there are atheists in every school, every classroom, and every family.
Today's students must also be aware of the growth of atheism, but don't worry, they are taking care of that themselves. Information about atheism is plentiful, powerful, and free. More students are talking about it, so more will consider it, and learn that atheism is not only relevant, but reasonable.
None of this should imply that it's easy to be an atheist in today's world. We are still one of the most hated groups in the country, especially in the "Bible Belt." Atheist children need support from authority figures and protection from bullies and "prayer warriors" that instigate fights with atheists in an effort to force them back into the closet. American Atheists asks all parents and teachers to be aware of and protect the atheists in your charge, and remember that there will be more as time progresses and America evolves.
David Silverman is Vice President and National Communications Director for American Atheists. In these capacities, Mr. Silverman has appeared on Happening Now, ABC Nightline, Hannity and Colmes, The O'Reilly Factor, Scarborough Country, CNN's Paula Zahn NOW, Fox and Friends, CN8's It's Your Call, and NPR's All Things Considered. David runs the NoGodBlog and hosts the Atheist Viewpoint TV show.