Complain Now to Create the Future You Want

Future Music Festival 2011
Future Music Festival 2011 (Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer)
Every single time I have ever complained about a church-state violation to someone in a position capable to doing something about it, the immediate response with which I have been greeted has been the same: surprise followed by the statement, "Nobody has ever complained before." I suspect that this statement is often accurate. After all, this is Mississippi. It seems probable that no one had previously complained. But the important thing is that somebody has now complained. And no that some one has complained, what is this person prepared to do about it?

Speaking out is often difficult, especially in an environment that can be downright hostile to nonbelievers at times. But we cannot assume that every one of our neighbors is acting out of bad intent. Some really do not know any better. They have grown up in Christian privilege and have never had a reason to question it. Some are willing to correct their behavior when we explain why it is problematic. And believe it or not, some even apologize once they understand the nature of the problem.

I really believe that this sort of complaining is one of the ways we atheists can assist future generations and leave our world a somewhat better place than we found it. The battles that we fight today should be easier in the future because of the groundwork we provide now. Ours may be the first church-state complaint, but that might be all some take. And for those who do require more, at least the next one won't be the first.

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