Tomorrow, Atheists Will Protest for Free Expression: We Have to Make Them Care

Tomorrow, a coalition of atheist and secularist groups will hold (mostly) coordinated protests on behalf of the jailed atheist bloggers in Bangladesh. My employer, the Center for Inquiry, is among those leading the effort. I’m writing so that I can convince you to attend one, if you’re near enough to do so, and to share the fact of the protests with everyone in your social networks. Why? Because, yeah, it’s about the bloggers, but it’s not just about the bloggers.

Atheists in the U.S., in Canada, in Western Europe — we are by no means everyone’s favorite ideological/”religious” minority. But we, for the most part, enjoy the same liberties and freedoms that everyone else does in our respective countries. Folks might complain about us, write pointed op-eds, rail against our evil secularist incursion into government, or troll us with angry comments and blog posts (oh wait, that last one we do to each other), but we’re okay. We’re still at it. We’re, for the most part, safe.

The fellas in Bangladesh, they do what we do, they think similarly to the way we think, and they’re in jail because of it. More who are like them have been threatened with arrest. A newspaper editor who has been an opponent of the government’s was arrested, and they cited his reprinting of quotes from the bloggers as one of his crimes.

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