Jeremy Hall is a US soldier in Iraq and recently filed a lawsuit against the US government for being harassed and threatened merely because he is an atheist.
Jeremy pointed out that he has been pressured a lot for his beliefs and has even been ashamed to say he is an atheist. He recounts what many atheists claim, that they are often treated with some form of prejudice.
What is especially interesting in this case is to analyze exactly why the army would be worried by atheists. Could it be that it is the same reason that Bush needed to say that “God told him to strike at Saddam”? Why have there been so many wars in the name of god? The reason is simple. In the name of a god, people are ready to believe (thus do) anything – ready to believe that flour and water can turn into the body of Jesus, that wine can be his blood, that an image on a piece of toast can represent the face of Jesus, that statues of Mary are really weeping, that a President receives messages commanding war from god himself, that people of another religion like the Muslim religion (Iraq) can be killed without any problem and vice versa. The point being that one who believes in a god will never question God’s orders, and in the case of the military, are thus considered good soldiers. Atheists, on the other hand, believe only in what they see, in what they perceive - and then decide accordingly what they will be involved with and what they will not. For military and governments, this is of course much more difficult to control and these people do not make good soldiers since they reason and question instead of just following orders. “Serve God and country” has always been very effective way to send young people to war. Of course enemy soldiers are told the same thing – that god is on their side. It’s been the same in every war. Without believing god is on their side, without thinking one is going to heaven after death, well, there would be a whole lot less people willing to die for their President, Pope or country.
The Raelian Movement is comprised of "religious atheists". (not unlike Buddhists) We are deeply spiritual in our philosophy and support only nonviolent solutions to any disagreement. We also notice that many people falsely equate atheism with a lack of spirituality and that we are sometimes viewed as heathens, immoral or devil-worshippers etc…heehee… which are concepts every bit as nonsensical as the existence of an all powerful God who is loving but plans on making non-believers burn in hell for eternity.
We feel that atheists should take part in an ongoing debate, a sort of nonviolent struggle between rationality and superstition. Currently there are not a lot of atheists who are outspoken. Unless they are discriminated against or prevented from being who they are like Jeremy Hall’s case, most atheists don’t feel the need to debate or go out on a crusade to proclaim there is no God. We feel, however, that the present social climate could change quickly if more atheists were to speak up and say it loudly, “There is no God”. We know from experience that speaking out, organizing, taking the time to meet, form groups, invite public debate etc. really changes society.
As we all know, there is always more than 2 sides to every story and we invite you to discover more the Raelian vision of the debate: There is no God yet we have been created; there is no heaven and no eternal life after death yet we can make a paradise here and with the technology of cloning, reach eternity ... a whole new concept of life full of hope and free of guilt and fear .... a much more pleasant idea to live and fight for.