It’s a good idea, I agree with all of the points, and I would like nothing more than to see this ‘literary work’ off the shelves.
I am not going to sign it, however. Let me explain.
Thus far, atheists as a rule are viewed as naysayers. It seems that our press is WAY less than favorable. Everywhere I turn around, it seems like we’re always saying ‘no’ to someone. Sometimes I agree, sometimes not. Case in point: the War on Easter. Sure, it was more of tongue-in-cheek effort (from what little I garner), but to the droves of the hoi polloi, it appears to be a nasty attack on children on an egg hunt. I personally think that ole Peter Cottontail has actually helped dilute the meme. When I was a kid, we did the Lent thing (not very successfully, I might add), our ‘celebration’ consisted of cavity causing chocolate bunnies and coloring eggs. Our energies are better-spent educating folks as to the pagan origins, rather than mount what seems to be a soiree aimed at a bunny.
The War on Xmas is another one. Here we have a deeply entrenched holiday (we can safely skip over the pagan origins at this point) in most Western countries, and it’s losing it’s meaning rapidly. Between the over-commercialization, the sad-sack wino Santas that seem to grow with each passing year, it’s viewed by the unwashed masses as an attack on old Saint Nick (“You got a problem with a jolly old guy who give kids PRESENTS? You gotta be kiddin’ me!”), and it’s losing a lot of its meaning. Not to mention the tradition of families getting together on select dates.
We need to take into account the perversity of human nature, as well. Chances are, more people are likely to step up antagonistically to bat, and we may cause more interest instead of less. This may very well spur sales, rather than nullify them. I think more people will actually go out of their way to purchase the bloody things (though if you really want to, you can actually get a freebie), just to toss a silent vote into the fray (“I showed them nasty ole atheists, I did!”).
Don’t get me wrong: I want religion gone, to be sure. Right now, however, our public relations campaign seems to be primarily one of negativity – and most Americans don’t really care about right and wrong, they want warm fuzzy feelings, even if the root of those feelings is a load of crap. Try taking something away from someone that makes them feel good – even if it’s bogus – and watch the fireworks begin. This is on an individual as well as a collective level.
My point here is that we need to contribute more positive items to the world. Charity work, volunteer work, throw some money at a recurring problem, hell, give out free copies of the Atheist Manifesto, or The End of Faith (‘cause let’s face it, you can get all sorts of bibles for free, or next to nothing – sure, you get what you pay for and all, but when it comes to the Almighty Dollar, people ain’t gonna pay extra for something unless the novelty value is extreme, and most think that we believe in ‘nothing’ – where’s the value in that?).
Short version, is what I’m always trying to teach my 17-year-old niece – pick your battles. Choose the ones you can win.
Or, to quote Sun Tzu’s Art of War:”Do not camp on difficult ground. Unite with your allies on intersecting ground. Do not stay on open ground. Be prepared on surrounded ground. Do battle on deadly ground.”
The way to win hearts and minds is not to deprive, but to provide. Alternatives. Different paths. Open a gate, open a mind, or plant a seed.
One last quote, and I’m done:”You have to be the change in the world you want to see.”