Should There Be An ‘Atheist Day’?

It seems to me that nowadays every group has their own day, week, or month at least within the US. For instance, March is National Nutrition Month as well as National Reading Month.It’s also National Women’s History Month. I had to look these up though. I knew March was national something month, as it seems every month of the year has become. Its great to attempt to raise awareness of an issue or recognize a group. At the same time, these awareness days, weeks, or months get little actual attention from the media or people.

Now there are some atheists that want to declare March 23 as Atheist Day. The idea is relatively simple as they state within their declaration:

We atheists and atheist allies hereby declare that from now on, March 23rd is Atheist Day. We recognize the struggle of atheists to live authentic lives in many parts of the world. The struggle to openly affirm one’s atheism. The fear of intolerant governments, mobs, and religious zealots.

It’s true that atheists in some parts of the world live in fear of imprisonment and even death simply for being non-believers.

People should be able to live in peace and security, no matter where they reside in the world. We in western countries are lucky in that respect. That’s not to say that atheists do not experience subtle forms in discrimination professionally or socially. These are legitimate concerns. To my knowledge, I’ve never been discriminated against at work or socially due to being an atheist. I may be part of a tiny subset of atheists in this respect.

The idea of an Atheist Day is laudable, but I am skeptical that it will actually accomplish anything the organizers are seeking. It would require mass gatherings around the world, hundreds if not thousands of atheists, to garner even a modicum of media attention. Sentiment about any cause is media driven.

I think that Atheist Day, March 23, 2019, will just be Sunday for most people.

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