The nonbeliever community has a long and noble history of resistance to oppression. Often, such activism is focused on the violations of civil rights and attacks on secular well-being. But our activism also includes fighting the attacks on science and science education and serves as a constant reminder that when we work together and with allied groups that we can have immediate and long term impact on the politics at hand. We have pushed back against violent oppressions; oppressions of the right to think freely, oppression of autonomy within community, and also oppression over the sovereignty of our body.
It is clear from our past and it especially true through our present day that reason and the expectation of humane governance is part of what makes both nonbelief and secularism so vital. Vital for the sake of our common humanity and also contingent on the idea that all human life has value. That we are all equal by right of birth and that justice is best served when it is intrinsically linked to making the world safer, richer and kinder. We also acknowledge that it is more than humans who qualify for this just and fair treatment; that it is the right of every single traveler with whom humans share the planet.
This long history of secular action and social awareness that identifies, defines and challenges tyranny is socially constructed but it is also deeply held within our primate genome. Research suggests that nonbelievers are motivated for the sake of humanity to do good without the need for recognition or reward. The evidence also shows that humans act more humanely towards one another when we act without the need to please a divine entity. According to scientific fact, we humans are indeed hardwired towards a non-denominational imperative that fosters the Golden Rule and ensures that we will continue to resist violent people and anti-humanist movements as they arise.
The majority of freethinkers clearly support the most open and cohesive political structures that will expand global human wellness. Two important statements include The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Humanist Manifesto III. Each is constructed to promote and defend humanity’s right to life, liberty and freedom from want. Under the umbrella of these exceptional human-focused statements, many in the nonbelief community also work to ensure we and others are safe, that we have adequate education and can most of all pursue individual happiness. After all human rights are equal rights for all.
Therefore, it is vitally important that the nonbelief community, which itself is not monolithic and is diverse beyond race, ethnicity, education and social-economic status, actively call out the current President of the United States and his administration for their acts of violence against others and that of the planet. This administration’s policies and those who defend the administration actively seek to degrade our human connection to each other as well as debase the sustainability of our planet. These Trump “crimes against moral decency” are many, and include:
+ The degradation of immigrants
+ The degradation of ethnic and racial minorities
+ The degradation of the poor
+ The degradation of the environment and environmental conservation
+ The degradation of public education
+ The degradation of science research and education
+ The degradation of the rule of law
+ The degradation of reproductive freedoms
+ The degradation of journalists and journalism
+ The degradation of the wall which separates Church and State
+ The degradation of social and economic justice
+ The degradation of truth
+ The degradation of civility within our political discourse
We owe it to ourselves in our time and for future generations not to be bystanders. We must not ignore or normalize violent dysfunction and outright lies, and we must not permit those who hold power to go unchecked and unanswered. To do so would certainly mean that we are in ways complicit, in effect advocates for the destruction of the ideas we cherish most, the promotion and protection of a just, fair and open society in which all humans are treated with dignity.
Knowing the nature and goals of the Trump Presidency requires all of us who hold humanistic beliefs to take action and make a difference. It requires each of us to connect, to join forces with other people and activist groups, including and especially those at refusefascism.org. In fact, a positive step in this process is to join with me by adding your name to the refusefascism.org contact list.
Refuse Fascism’s goals are clear – Working with one voice but through many people and ideas, and through constant non-violent protest they work to wake up masses of people to take political action and to create change until such time that the Trump/Pence administration is no more. It is to stimulate those who do not see the true danger of the Trump/Pence Administration while also sharing alternative narratives to liberate people from their comfort zone, tacit agreement, a lack of information or slumber. It is to enhance freedom while acknowledging the Trump/Pence administration’s danger not only to American civil rights and civil liberties, but to the rights of all people worldwide. A nation and planet endangered and destabilized by the actions of the current Trump/Pence Administration.
Such awareness also requires us to hold this administration and the government accountable for its policies and actions. It requires each of us to not sit idly by as injustice is perpetrated against one group for the sake of another group or those elite whose goal it is to divide us from one another.
Protest as you can and when you can. Come out and show your support for those too afraid or unable to organize or take to the streets. Align yourself with secular and other activist groups. Vote if it means you see change is possible if it is managed from the inside. But do not sit on the sidelines. We are someone else’s history lesson and our legacy cannot and should not be one of disengagement. When we look back and ask, “why didn’t those people stop the tyranny” in their time, if we do nothing that same pointed question will be facing you and our legacy within our time.