Atheists and Agnostics Compendium
 

A Declaration Against Silence
  
"Our aim is to gain dominion over society.” When Pat Robertson made that statement in 1984 it seemed ludicrous. Today it is not funny.

Religious extremists on the Christian Right have been taking over local, state and national seats of power. They are trying to break down the wall of separation between church and state. They are working to have their religious beliefs taught alongside science in public schools. They are steadily rolling back environmental protection laws. They seek to restrict women’s rights and those of gays and lesbians. Using their religious criteria they deny rape victims simply access to information about emergency contraception, prevent the distribution of condoms to control AIDS and manage medical research and foreign assistance programs.

They have mostly stood by while some of their more fanatical members have bombed abortion clinics and murdered physicians. They have distributed hundreds of millions of dollars of public money to “faith-based” organizations without accountability. All these actions are being done in light of their own narrow interpretations of religious doctrine.

  We, the undersigned, believe this present convergence of religious conviction and political power by these extremists is a danger to our democracy, because ...

    • They take their sacred texts as absolute literal truth, claim that they alone know God's will for our country and are intolerant of the views of others;

    • They clearly intend to make our society conform to their religious visions;
    
    • They have shown by political action they can take away our freedoms, and those of our children; and

    • Their actions and goals violate the very spirit of our democracy.
 
    We recognize, too, that they will interpret our continued silence and inaction as encouragement, enabling them to gain more power and accomplish their goal of a faith-based government.
 
    We pledge, therefore, not to remain silent but to openly denounce and resist the efforts of religious extremists to impose their views on the rest of us.

     We invite all Americans to say no to intolerance; to join this pledge to alert others to this extremism; to write letters-to-the-editor; to copy and spread this “Declaration Against Silence.”

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The Declaration printed here was developed by us in cooperation with ministers in our community.

The aim of this declaration is to stimulate opposition from those who are generally silent to the incursion of the religious right into our government.

Supporters of the Declaration pledge to:

• oppose all actions that would breach the wall of separation between church and state

• contact relatives and friends in other parts of the country and urge them to take similar actions.

• copy and distribute this Declaration.

For further information see:http://www.theocracywatch.org/

Support for this effort comes from many voices. On the next page are excerpts from speeches by Bill Moyers and Rev. Robin Meyers of Oklahoma City.