Do you mock a potential ally?

Painting all religious people as demented fools gets atheism nothing, and costs us something valuable. Here is why atheists should think before they mock.

Churches are wildly successful businesses in the USA, and their business plan is to be nice and friendly and kind. Why do they do that? Partly because good PR is profitable. But also to form alliances, for political reasons. The only religious group that works hard to piss off their potential political allies are the atheists.

What? You say, atheists don't need friends. We have logic and reasoning on our side! We can get secular laws passed by arguing religion on YouTube. Okay, but who makes our laws? Politicians. How do they get elected? Millions of votes. So, no single religious group, including atheists, can elect politicians without allies.

Note the proof in the last American presidential election. Many of the highest prophets of the Mormon church have said that God has a penis, and God impregnated the "Virgin" Mary with his god penis. Genuinely, they do. Non-Mormons almost universally think that's outrageous heresy and blasphemy. Yet, Romney the Mormon bishop could not mathematically have received 48% of the popular vote without the help from a lot of Mormon-haters. That's the power of political alliances.

Without help, atheists can't elect officials who will promote a secular agenda. Not even the most insanely optimistic projections suggest that atheists will ever be the majority in our lifetime. We need the support of moderate religious people and others who believe in separation of church and state. These religious people will side with us if we let them. But some atheists push them away for their Facebook amusement.

Most of the Jews I know, for example, aren't any more religious than you are, and would be happy to vote *with* the atheists, agnostics and freethinkers and *against* fundamentalist Christians. Start differentiating between friendly theists and the dangerous fundamentalists.

If atheists want secular laws, they need to elect secular officials. We can only do that by building alliances with religiously moderate people. Atheists can't do it alone.

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