Re: Choosing one's fights, was Re: George W. Bush's Speech on September 20, 2001

From: Olga Bourlin (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 01:17:49 MDT

From: "Michael M. Butler" <>

> Olga Bourlin wrote:
> > Children need more nontheistic "role models."
> Maybe so. Me, I do the nontheism thing most of the time
> in my own head but I don't proselytize.

I didn't say anything about proselytizing. Do you think in order to simply
become more visible in our society (a basic right) - that that would take
proselytizing? Do you think in refusing to accept a kind of second-class
citizenship (which seems to have been accorded to nontheists) - that that
would take proselytizing? Why do nontheists need to proselytize at all -
simply to "be?" The percentage of Jews in the United States is something
like 3%, and it is safe to assume that most Americans who are not Jewish at
least know that Judaism exists. Yet, compare that to the percentage of
nontheists (anywhere from 5% to 10% of the population, which is tens of
millions of people, i.e., not exactly a tiny minority) - who are essentially
invisible to the general population. What accounts for this?

> Olga, we're just on different spots on the nontheism circle,
> as I see it.


I might be able to get under some folk's radar.
> I favor sheaves of strategies, and I'm happy with there being
> diversity of nontheism. :)

The knowledge of this diversity of nontheism is only among nontheists, I'm
afraid. The general population is hardly aware there are nontheists, or
else they think it's a type of coming-of-age rebellion some people go
through (kind of like C.S. Lewis' oft-cited temporary fall from grace which,
as it turned out, was a necessary step in his development as a mature
Christian, you know - atheism? whyyyyyyyy, "been there, done that," and
it's helped me to come back to and really, REALLY understand God).

> Did you ever see the movie _Dogma_? Did you enjoy it?
> Would you believe that Kevin Smith, the auteur, claims
> to still be a practicing Catholic?

No, didn't see the movie. So far, what I learned about it didn't inspire me
to go out and get the CD. Maybe I'll see it someday, though.


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