Dear AFHR Members,
Due to the death of Marie Alena Castle, our founder, our inspiration, our driving force, and our communications director, AFHR will be dissolving. This means that in the near future the website, AFHR yahoo email group, and our domain will shut down. Also, our magazine, The Moral Atheist will no longer be published.
We can no longer accept donations.
We thank you for your support, your involvement, your spreading of the word, your reading of the magazine, your taking a stand for individual liberty, your comradeship . . . thank you for your contributions, large and small!
AFHR Board of Directors
The Best Policy Guide for a Religiously Neutral Secular Nation
Divided We Fall is substantially updated from Culture Wars: The Threat to Your Family and Your Freedom, with much new material and added chapters. The title is part of "United We Stand, Divided We Fall," a rallying cry dating to ancient Greece. DWF focuses on the second half, the divisiveness of religion when it is entangled with secular government. As Tim Gorski says in the Introduction: "This book is unique in not only showing how silly and wrong these [theological doctrines] are, but in showing the how and why of their connection to our laws and legal institutions. Most importantly, this book shows how these entanglements corrupt our government and hurt all of us. . . . What you read here is not so much against believers as against believers' religious beliefs forcibly impacting others through our laws and legal institutions. Even believers should not want that. Most believers will be surprised and disappointed at how supposedly well-meaning ideas are carried to absurd extremes to justify dreadful public policies with sometimes horrifying effects. This book explains how this has been happening routinely for many years, and how the situation has become worse with the political ascendency of religious extremists who helped elect Donald Trump."
A unique aspect of this book is that it is the only one written from the perspective of a decades-long political activist. I have been there, done that, seen it all and have for a very long time been fed up with seeing how ordinary citizens can complain about their government yet not do the simplest things to correct the problems. We can"t sit around waiting for a savior — we have to be our own saviors. It's not politically difficult or time consuming and I show how it's done.
From the Preface: ". . . There have been a few negative comments. None have shown my arguments to be wrong, only that I am not polite, as if those who support inhumane laws have a point and I should respect it. This taboo against openly challenging the harm done in the name of religion is at the heart of our culture war.
"To readers who want to keep that taboo in place, this book is not for you. You remind me of that part of Donald Trump's base that doesn't seem to care who gets hurt as long as the religious ideology or social fantasy that pushes some primal button in their psyche is validated. Apparently, I should kick the victim to the curb and placate the aggressor.
"I can't do that. Evil is as evil does and the evil in authoritarian religions is reflected in their doctrines, proclamations and especially their legislative agenda. The evil is expressed in their arrogant words, and I quote them. It's a mindless kind of evil generated by an ideology that itself is empty of rational content. I have seen its destructive effects and I call it out for what it is. There is a quotation circulating on the Internet (most recently by writer/politician Cecil Bothwell, provenance unknown) that says: 'We all place ourselves in danger to one extent or another when we stand up. But we place our children and grandchildren in even greater danger when we don't.' If some readers prefer not to stand up and prefer to believe that the religious right assaults on our freedom and civil liberties should be politely ignored, excused, respected or, worse yet, welcomed, there are books that support that view. This isn't one of them."
It is the role of unbelievers to force religions to be benign.
Martin Marty, Lutheran theologian,
Minneapolis MN, 28 April 1998.
Atheism accepts the natural world as all there is. To live without god beliefs is intellectually stimulating. To find one's own purpose and be responsible for one's own life is exciting. To be free of the imagined surveillance of good and evil spirits is liberating. To seek a peaceful world through work and friendship and civic action is life-affirming.
Marie Alena Castle, March 1994