I know many of you have seen Glenn Beck on Fox and are as sickened by the wacked-out message he is sending.  He claims that he is just putting two and two together and reading the signs on the wall. Personally, I think he is mixing apples with oranges and forcing people to eat fruit salad.  Whether he is identifiying a problem we have in the US with religious tension, or stirring up said tension himself, he is insinuating - daily- that "the time has come", that "the prefect storm is arrising".  He speaks not just of political unrest, but of Muslims bringing a caliphate to America, and We The People standing firm with the religion of our Founding Fathers (ha), and doing all things to the glory of God... yada yada yada.

Every other day or so, I catch about 5 minutes of his show while I am switching channels.  Yesterday, he was telling people -- once again -- to stockpile food, and to 'look around and know who your friends are'  while raising his eyebrows above his glasses.  He really frightens me and I don't even believe any of his jumbled, psychotic crap.  What scares me the most, is that I know tons of people who do.  I think that there are so many deluded Christians out there who have watched a little to much reality TV, read every book in the Left Behind Series, and played soooooooooo many video games, that they can't wait for the End Of The World to begin so they can 'kill people for Jesus'! 

And all this got me to thinking: What if this storyline plays out? Either way.. because he saw it coming, or he and the Fear-Mongers stirred it into action? 

How does a small atheist family in the middle of the Bible Belt defend itself? (Please don't advise me to stockpile weapons or join a compound.)

How will I maintain my beliefs without being targeted by my neighbors?

Where would you go to stay safe and when? 

How can the Atheist community do something of good measure to stop the religious people of the US before they do something stupid?  This is my real hope.....  Although I think Christians would see any uprising by Atheists as an attempt to wipe out Christianity and contribute to bringing about the end of the world.  

Or am I just playing into the whole delusion?

Any thoughts a welcome.

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I think all you can do is just live your life and do nothing but be confident in your own non-belief.  Glenn Beck is a fear monger and nothing more.  When and if there is a religious war, which I feel is unlikely, it will be due as much to Glenn Beck's ravings as it will be to religion itself. Both are equally despicable. If you can ever engage moderate Christians in debate you should but other than that, just live your life. The only way to live, is to live without fear. Believers live in fear. Fear of their god, fear of the unknown, fear of hell, fear of others.  Glenn Beck to me is a scared and delusional little man. The fact that he has so much influence reflects the joke that is Fox news but even pressure is coming from the right to get rid of him.  Be strong. Be brave. Live without fear. 



Baltimore, MD

Very well said. I agreed with everything you wrote.
Well said!  Fearless.

A little fear is not a bad thing.  But, I agree with the general sentiment.

There's not going to be any "religious war" in this country.  In the near term, evangelicals will continue to seek increased power and influence within the existing political and social structure as long as they keep receiving approbation from deranged demagogues like Beck, but the chances that such a movement will lead to widespread, violent conflict are nil. 

In the long term, today's angry and desperate impulses toward theocracy in America will wane as the citizenry's enthusiasm for religious dogma continues to diminish.  All the railing against nonbelief (and other anti-religious attitudes) is more of a fearful, convulsive reaction against change than it is the vanguard of some godly uprising. 

The friction and wrangling way well worsen in the years ahead, and yet at the same time I'm sure that those like us, who inveigh against religious control, will see more and more support in almost every part of the country.  Tensions will no doubt increase, but in the long run secular reason will gradually win out.

Both replies so far are very reassuring.  I hope that you are both right.  I'm wondering if the feeling of doom from my fellow citizens is just local.  Can I ask if either of you, Robert or Don live in the Bible Belt? 
I agree with Greg.
A lifelong atheist, as was my mother (whose father was a big fan of Robert Ingersoll), I grew up on Long Island in the 50s and 60s.  For more than 35 years, I have lived in Vermont, the least religious of all 50 states.  I am well aware, however, of the oppressive level of prejudice and fervor that exists among rabid (and not so rabid) believers elsewhere.  I still can't help but see the trends, especially over the last decade, as positive, in the sense that atheists are more open and declarative and numerous and connected--and accepted--in most places, in comparison to how things were, say, 30 years ago.
I used to (Atlanta). I'm less concerned about a 'religious war' than a systemized suppression. Think the Red Scare. That strikes me as far more likely to occur, and even that I am not particularly concerned about.
Thank you, for the optimism and encouragement! I will try to embrace it.
I still wish there was something more proactive that I could do.
It's pretty tough being on the front lines, culturally speaking.  The opprobrium is painful, and the social costs can be high.  But, Kristin, if you have the courage of your convictions (and not too much to risk), I think you can be active in expressing, or exposing, your nonbelief, when it's appropriate--that is, when the occasion unavoidably arises.  At least you can be confident, I feel sure, that the broad theocratic upheaval that makes your fearful, is not going to come to pass.
Perhaps the various denominations will be so busy annihilating each other they won't notice us up on the hill drinking beer and betting on the action.


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