Over and over I hear from atheists and agnostics around the country “I’m so glad I found you. I thought I was the only one who felt this way about religion.”
To be the only freethinker in a family or community of religionists can be a lonely business. The nonreligious often feel like an endangered species in the East African community member states.
Religions are difficult to talk about-that’s part of the problem. We believe in religious freedom, but not to the extent that religious beliefs should be imposed upon others. Unfortunately, if we look around ourselves realistically, many of our problems today are caused by just that. Those that think they are possessed of the “one true religion” assume they are entitled to impose their beliefs upon others. We disagree.
After centuries of religious warfare in Europe, modern civilization was built on the concept of secularism – the separation of religion from the public sphere. With the problem of terrorism, and the even greater problems caused by the “war on terror”, many of the pillars on which our civilization was built are eroding.
Our liberties are being curtailed by draconian legislation. Internationally, the rule of law is being disregarded. Rational thought is no longer considered paramount. Secularism has been eroded and replaced by tacit endorsement of all forms of religion, especially in education. Religious intolerance is increasing, as is social disharmony.
We aim to reverse these trends and reassert the ideal of establishing truth through reason and observation. We aim to re-establish the ideal that represents the only real alternative to sectarian strife – the ideal of secularism, based on the universal values of honesty, compassion, freedom and justice. In view of the many problems that humanity faces in the 21st century, this is a critical task. We need your support, and your help.
We invite you at this perilous time for the future of separation of church and state to join the Atheist Association of Uganda, which has been working in closed doors nationally and effectively since 2004 to promote free thought and to keep state and church separate.
Kirumira Mpagi Micheal (Mr)
Jul 3, 2011
Message from the President
The following is a letter from the president of the Atheist Association of Uganda.