If atheism is a religion…

My friend, Vincent, left this on my facebook wall.  It’s just the type of “fuck with ‘em while smiling” activism that I love.  If I were still a college activist, I’d be printing out these petitions today.

The next time someone says “atheism is a religion”, you should ask them if they support atheist organizations being able to claim discrimination and oppression every time they’re criticized, getting tax breaks, and being able to have special laws that render them immune from normal ones.

I’m pretty sure that if you hand them a petition to sign, called “equal rights for the atheist religion”, they’ll sing a different tune.

Love it.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Courtney C.

    Your friend Vincent sounds like a swell fellow.

  • Loqi

    I want me some of that tax exempt status.

  • Jerkoff

    But atheists aleady cry that they are being discriminated against, claim tax breaks for their groups, and want special laws for gays, etc.

    Yep. I say they are a religion.

    • Nate Frein

      I’d love to see citations on those second two assertions.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com TerranRich

      “Special laws for gays,” eh? Just like the “special laws” for them black folk decades ago so they could use the same water fountains as the rest of us, right?

      • theAtheistAxolotl

        Yes. Because the expected norm for the in-group is way too good for the out-group. They obviously don’t deserve those special privileges like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those were meant only for the good little christians.

    • ACN

      You picked a fantastic forum handle. It makes it very easy to lulz at teh trollz.

    • OhReally?

      Could you tell me what supreme being atheists worship? No? There isn’t one? Hence no religion. Look up the definition of the word.

      • sqlrob

        Can you tell me what supreme being Taoists worship? No? There isn’t one? Then Taoism isn’t a religion.

        /specious argument is specious.

        • steelery42

          Taoism is not a religion. It is a life philosophy. Taoism is an add-on to another religion. Taoist Buddhist, Taoist Humanist, Taoist Catholic if you like. Taoism basically doesn’t contradict anything.

          /bad analogy is bad.

          • sqlrob

            If you want to use the same dictionary he’s using, it’s a religion.

            a religion developed from Taoist philosophy and folk and Buddhist religion and concerned with obtaining long life and good fortune often by magical means

    • Baal

      When I can go 3 blocks in any direction and find 3 properties that don’t pay taxes (you know their share of the roads, sewers, police, fire and such) that aren’t churches, we can talk.

      • sqlrob

        This. (You have to go three blocks to find 3?)

        I wonder how long it’ll be before the continuing shortfalls will cause cash-strapped governments to start looking at taxing churches. The law I’d like to see that would clear a lot of things up would be that only the fraction of donations that go to charitable work are deductible (and apply that all around, not just churches). That 10% tithe to the LDS isn’t deductible, just that 0.07% that is used for charity.

        • Nate Frein

          I think we’d do even better just to tighten up the laws against political activism. The moment a church starts doing *anything* in the political arena, BOOM, taxed.

    • Anonymous

      They get tax breaks for groups that are non profit 501 C3 organizations–in other words, they fill out a ton of paper work and jump through a whole bunch of hoops to get the same designations that churches get just for hanging up a cross (churches of already established religions don’t have to go through as much paperwork to get the same designation). Also, nobody is arguing for gays to have special rights–they’re arguing for gays to have the same rights as everybody else.

  • Adam

    The tax exempt argument usually works pretty well.

    • Randomfactor

      Keep in mind that nonprofit atheist organizations can be tax-exempt as well. What religions have IN ADDITION to that is vastly looser reporting requirements. They say “trust us.”

  • Gordon

    When people say “Atheism is just another religion” they never mean “we should treat the views of atheists with kid gloves and automatic deference” (the way we treat religious views) they mean “we should dismiss atheism out of hand” (the way we should treat religious views).

  • Lee

    So… “No you can’t deny women thair basic right…” to what? But you can deny that baby their right to be. Your right end where the other person’s begin.

    • Rick

      Baby or fetus? There is a huge distinction between the two.

    • John Horstman

      Irrelevant; if I need a blood transfusion to survive, I can’t take the blood from an unwilling donor. ‘Fetal personhood’ is a derailing tactic – the fact remains that a woman* has a right to determine if someone inhabits her* body and drains blood and nutrients from her* (if you think an embryo or fetus is a person) or how to treat a clump of cells that’s a part of her* body (if you don’t think an embryo or fetus is a person) because she* has a right to bodily agency. Until I see fundamentalists petitioning for investment in the science necessary to transplant any embryo or fetus into the bodies of the (obviously-willing, no?) anti-abortion fundamentalist women who protest the right to bodily agency for all women, I call bullshit. Until you back the idea that I can forcibly extract your heart if I need it to survive because of a right to life, I call bullshit. Until every rabidly-anti-abortion protestor is also calling for universal access to prenatal and neonatal care and opposing gun ownership, I call bullshit. The ‘life’ ‘argument’ only flies if you already don’t consider women to be people deserving of bodily agency. I call bullshit and misogyny (which is also bullshit).

      • John Horstman

        *or any person who can become pregnant but doesn’t identify as a woman