My friend Mike asked me if I thought the SSA Creation Museum trip could be a bad PR move for the local atheists. He's a Cincinnati native, and...well, his opinion of the people's tolerance for atheism or any "alternate religion" isn't too great. Is this just going to set back Midwest atheists even more?
Honestly, I don't think it's going to make much of a difference. Think of it this way: The people who see any news report about atheists, even positive ones, and still think poorly of atheists are not going to have their minds changed. Even if our visit is trumpeted by the local news, it doesn't matter. We could be helping puppies in shelters, working at food drives, trying to cure cancer (hmm, all things we're actually doing) and it wouldn't matter to them. Atheists are still morally bankrupt people in their mind.
But for the atheists, people on the fence, or liberal theists, it's going to help. It's just like the bus ad campaign. It's our way of saying "hey, we're out here, we're civil, and we don't agree with this nonsense and we're not afraid to say so." We can't change the minds of the people who hate us, but we can improve our image with those who are ambivalent. And like always, it's good to show that us atheists exist. I hope there is a lot of news coverage throughout the Midwest, because I know there will be people saying "Huh, and I thought I was the only heathen trapped in this damned cornfield!"
Well, maybe not those exact words, but something close to it.
This is post 11 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.