Freethought NOW!

Nonbelievers are the future

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James Haught W VA Nonbelievers are the future
James Haught poses outside the Capitol in West Virginia.

I was delighted to be chosen for one of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s full-page ads proclaiming “I’m secular . . . and I vote” in state capitals across America. Even though I’m in my 90s and fading, it made me feel that I still can fight for the noble cause of freethought.

The ads help demonstrate that we skeptic “Nones” — especially young adults — are the future of America’s culture. Year after year, we grow larger, while aging churchgoers die off. The latest round of FFRF ads was published at the same time a new Pew Research report predicted that Christians gradually will become a minority in the United States.

As Christians shrink, I hope they lose their outsized power to impose hidebound judgmental strictures on the nation. In contrast, churchless people generally support secular humanist values that make life better for everyone. Progress toward human rights, democracy, equality and a social safety net began three centuries ago in The Enlightenment, and has advanced repeatedly as reformers have won struggles.

If more “Nones” become politically active, they will make the United States of America a better place. The basic purpose of the FFRF ads was to foster political awareness among this cohort.

Around 75 million American adults now say their religion is “none.” This group has surged enormously since the 1960s — especially since the 1990s — and now is larger than any denomination. Sociologists are amazed by the rapid decline of faith in America and Western democracies. The culture is changing swiftly. Now it’s socially acceptable to be a doubter. Hurrah.

Ernest Hemingway said repeatedly that every person who thinks is an atheist. Many top scientists, scholars, reformers and other “greats” feel the same. I think it’s a matter of honesty: Honest people don’t claim to know supernatural things about gods, devils, heavens, hells, miracles, visions, prophecies, virgin births, resurrections and such church stuff. To me, religion is fairy tales.

We are the future. Our day is snowballing. Let’s keep the momentum going.


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