Leah Libresco, the atheist-turned-Catholic blogger on Patheos, has written a post calling on her readers to donate to the Secular Student Alliance to combat the harm done by those responsible for the Distributed Denial of Service attack on the SSA website.
As Adam Lee has pointed out, atheists have come together twice now to pay for the removal of pro-atheist/anti-Christian vandalism on churches. It’s only fair and just that those with different metaphysical beliefs but similar beliefs about free speech and peaceful coexistence should stand up for each other every so often.
Of course, there might still be some hesitation; why should anyone give money to an organization with views diametrically opposed to theirs? Well, in this case, people of all religious backgrounds should be able to recognize the importance of the Secular Student Alliance, of strengthening all kinds of student groups so that young people have a place to feel safe and welcomed, of protecting and empowering the marginalized, and of fighting against church-state separation violations. Leah certainly seems to feel that way, but one reader (“Gilbert”) had this gem of a comment:
“Any chance of collecting the money on our side? ’cause I really don’t feel like giving the Puppy Kicking League my contact info and ending up on their permanent friend file. I already have enough regular fundraising spam from organizations I actually support.”
Yup. In addition to being baby eaters, sinners and evil little things, we’re now puppy kickers to boot. We are coming for you with our pictures of smiling atheists and updates on successful student groups!
Look, Gilbert: atheists aren’t welcomed in the Boy Scouts, an organization supported by public land and accommodations.
We have to contend with gleefully law-breaking obstructionist administrators in their high schools.
And we have to stay closeted at conferences for fear of being kicked out of their homes.
These all took place over the last two weeks. Who, exactly, are the puppies and who the kickers in these scenarios? And who is fighting back, defending the minority, and providing haven, resources and support? The SSA.
It’s also worth pointing out that in addition to all of their excellent work, the SSA is basically the nicest organization representing atheists at the moment. Nothing they do is militant or unreasonable. There are much angrier and meaner ones out there to fight discrimination, ostracization, and bigotry. I suggest you make alliances where you can. You don’t want this guy coming after you:
There’s plenty of room for legitimate disagreement and anger in the religious sphere. By all means, pick fights with us, argue with us, be annoyed with us. We don’t mind. But take care who you casually demonize, because the SSA are the good guys, and we’re going to stand up for them.
Also, we fucking love puppies.