A street has been named for them which, unfortunately, encroaches unnecessarily on the separation of Church and State. ... Named “Seven in Heaven Way”, the street uses the tragedy of 911 to legitimize Christianity by asserting that Heaven is a real place, and that all these heroes are actually there.I've seen some stupid and counterproductive claims by atheist groups before, but this one has to be the most idiotic. These people are just looking for something to offend them. The idea that a sign saying "seven in heaven," a phrase that can be interpreted metaphorically and which refers to no specific religion, is some sort of violation of church state separation is utterly ludicrous. Making such a claim against an innocuous memorial street sign not only promotes hostility toward atheists, but undermines the credibility of both the New York atheist group and American Atheists. The next time either organization has a legitimate case against a real violation of church state separation, it will be easy for opponents to dismiss them as extremists nuts who want to ban public use of words with any religious connotations.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Atheists Making Atheists Look Bad
Atheists are already a despised minority here in America, to the point that many people are afraid to even admit to atheism, for fear of job loss or other repercussions. As an atheist, I find it particularly irritating when groups claiming to represent atheists take unnecessary public positions that accomplish nothing other than stirring up more dislike for all of us. Consider the picture below. This is a a new street sign in Brooklyn, honoring seven firefighters killed on 9/11. The name "Seven in Heaven" is how they are referred to locally. Some New York atheists objected, and their objection was seconded by American Atheists. Here's part of the American Atheist statement on their blog.