In my previous post I presented ten examples of anti-atheist bigotry in 2008
(See: Anti-Atheist Bigotry in 2008)
It is not too early to start the list for 2009.
From Friendly Atheist Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart Bashes Atheism:
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a Congressperson from Florida, saw the “Divine Performing Arts” show the other night and couldn’t stop raving about it.“I was very moved by the song that talked about the damage that atheism has caused and is causing. It was very moving, but all of the performances were moving, uplifting; they teach us about the eternal nature of mankind and of how we have to be humble.
My discussion this week has been in the context of doing moral work. I have been presenting the idea that morality involves picking up the tools of praise, condemnation, reward, and punishment and applying them to promoting good desires and inhibiting bad desires.
I have argued that, while reason tells us how to use these tools and whether they are being used to good ends, reason alone cannot do any moral work. The moral work gets done by those who pick up these tools of praise and condemnation and apply them to specific cases.
It means making public statements, since their objective is to mold the desires of any who hear the praise and condemnation - particularly children.
Diaz-Balart is doing moral work with his statement. It is a statement of very high praise for that which takes a stand against atheism - that which condemns atheism for all of the trouble atheists are causing in the world. It says that of all of the values that were captured in this concert, the highest value of all - the one most worthy of being promoted - was the value of anti-atheist bigotry.
Diaz-Balart has picked up the moral tools of praise and condemnation and applied them to promote an aversion to atheists.
My question now is whether there are any people willing to pick up the same moral tools and apply them to actually making the world a better place, rather than applying them to promote unjustified hatred and bigotry.
Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart is a Republican representative of Florida's 21st District. He can be contacted through his congressional office web site. This district is a suburb of Miami and, thus, its members can be best reached by letters and comments to media that serve the Miama market.
One also has the option of contacting any organization that one belongs to that has reason to stand in opposition to bigtroy (not limited to atheist or humanist organizations) and getting them to offer official condemnation. The more condemnation that one can muster, the more moral work that gets done.