Sunday, May 16, 2010

Punished for Saving a Life

A hospital administrator authorized an abortion in a case where the patient's life was in danger from the pregnancy - and was punished by being moved out of the position. It was a Catholic hospital.

Note two things about this link:

1) The post is by an agnostic with a widely-read political blog. He's known for his politics, not his agnosticism.

2) It's an example of one of the more negative measurable, real-world impacts that religion has in the U.S. (you can no doubt find similar current concrete examples in your own country).

I'm posting this in an effort to better take my own advice to everyone about focusing on concrete negative impacts of religion, and to view atheism's challenge as primarily a political one.

This isn't to say that all of the more philosophical discussions you'll see in the atheist blogosphere are are slippery, academic stuff that we shouldn't waste our time on. But if a belief is to have any effect on the world, it has to find its way into action and rhetoric. You have to do something about it, and most of all you have to make sure that your ability to believe it and talk about it is protected. I think if we atheists took half the time we spend online debating with creationists and anti-vaxxers, and instead used that time for face-to-face organizing activity in response to concrete real-world problems caused by religion, we'd already be running the show.

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