I'm with Atheism+

Before I begin describing Atheism+, let's look at what the atheism movement (also called the New Atheism) has been about.

1. Destigmatization of atheists/atheism

2. Separation of Church and State (Secularism)

3. Antireligion & antitheism

4. Humanism (Social justice issues - women's rights, LGBT rights etc)

5. Skepticism and promotion of Science & Reason

Note that these stances are not derived from mere "dictionary" atheism, ie the lack of belief in the existence of god(s). This shouldn't be an issue at all.

Atheists in the atheist movement may focus on different aspects -- some are apathetic to certain stances or even opposed to them. For example, some atheists may be for (1), (2), (3), (5) but against (4) because they're misognistic or homophobic. To be sure, they ARE atheists but they certainly are not with Atheism+.

Atheism+ is essentially a rallying label -- a subset of atheists who are on board with ALL 5 stances and want to be active in the movement. In particular, the (4) is the main driver for this new rallying point -- a call to work towards repairing the damage done by religion in the social sphere.

Why not call yourself a Secular Humanist?
I am.

Secular Humanism is on board with stances (1), (2), (4), (5) but not (3). Traditionally, Secular Humanist organizations are hesitant on the antitheistic-antireligion front -- preferring to stay friendly with non-extremist religious groups. Their primary focus tend to be with (2), (4) and (5).

This I am not so enthusiastic about. I am an antitheistic-antireligious Secular Humanist. If their organizations won't be a platform for those views then I'll have to find one. And that would be Atheism+.

Also, about theistic-atheistic Skeptics divide...
And like the Secular Humanists, the skeptical organizations also tend to be of the same nature -- avoiding hostility with theistic factions.

Honestly, I, for one, do not think that a theist is a skeptic. A theist can be skeptical -- but cannot be said to be a skeptic if he/she is not applying skepticism to ALL claims including the theistic claims they accept without good evidence.

With both the Secular humanists and skeptics pussyfooting in the realm of antitheism and antireligion, the humanistic-skeptic-atheists need their own platform -- and that would be Atheism+.

Is Atheism+ divisive?
I don't think so. I'm not sure how it can be.

To be sure, we're not redefining atheism. If you don't believe in god(s), you're an atheist -- nothing to do with the 5 stances. That's why there's a "+" -- it signifies "in addition to" as in 5 stances in addition being just an atheist.

Is it a "schism"? Nope. Not really. Prior to the label, there has always been atheists who may or may not be on board with all 5 stances within the movement. That didn't cause a divide. Now there's a label to rally those that are on board with all 5 stances to do some work/activism. If having different interests/focus qualifies as a schism, then yea -- but I couldn't care for that sort of wordplay.

I'll put it this way. I have always been an Atheist+. There just wasn't the label.

If you like listening podcasts, consider checking out the Godless Bitches podcast done with Greta Christina at the AAA national convention on this topic.

How "unfettered"?

Oh dear. It seems that my Singapore doesn't seem to see the difference between criticism and hate speech.

Channel News Asia has this article:

SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said freedom of expression does not mean that one has unfettered rights to insult and denigrate another's religion or race.

Rather, this freedom must be safeguarded through mutual respect of the views and beliefs of others.

Commenting on the film "Innocence of Muslims", Mr Teo said in a statement that it is also wrong and counterproductive to respond to this inflammatory and offensive film with violence.

Mr Teo said he is confident that Singaporeans will react to this film in the same rational and calm manner as they have done previously.

He added that "we should not let events overseas undermine the peaceful and harmonious relationships built up over the years in Singapore". 

I'm pretty sure I disagree (the comment on freedom of expression).

See the following two statements:

"Religious group X are human garbage / should all be shot dead / do not deserve equal rights."

"Religious group Y beliefs are factually wrong / evidentially unsupported / just ridiculous."

The law might justifiably come down against the former sort of statements. However, the latter should be "unfettered". It's the difference between hate speech and criticism -- and freedom of religion does not exempt one from criticism. You do not have the right to not be offended.

Ideally, sane people would never go so far as to riot and kill over being "offended". Yet, religious people do. The right thing to do is to jail the rioters -- not impinge on freedom of expression. Offensive speech would be regulated at a social level -- not legally.

The Violent Religion of Peace

A scourge of protests spread across the world, the Middle East in particular, over an amateurish anti-Islamic film. At the time of writing, the film is still available on Youtube (Yay Youtube!).

The Guardian has a summary + timeline of the events here.

Here are some excerpts of a news report by the Washington Post on the extent of the damage done by these protesters.

CAIRO — Angry protests over an anti-Islam film spread across the Muslim world Friday, with demonstrators scaling the walls of U.S. embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, torching part of a German embassy and clashing with police in violence that left at least four dead. 

It was a dramatic expansion of protests that began earlier this week and saw assaults on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Yemen and the storming of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Several thousand battled with Tunisian security forces outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis... Some protesters scaled the embassy wall and stood on top of it, planting the Islamist flag that has become a symbol of the wave of protests: A black banner with the Islamic profession of faith, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”

Police chased them off the wall and took the flag down. Two protesters were killed and 29 people were wounded, including police.

Soon after, several hundred Sudanese stormed into the German Embassy, setting part of an embassy building aflame along with trash bins and a parked car. Protesters danced and celebrated around the burning barrels as palls of black smoke billowed into the sky...

Gunmen waving the black Islamist banner and shouting “God is great” stormed into the base, firing automatic weapons. They set fire to vehicles and battled with peacekeepers inside...

Four Colombian peacekeepers were wounded and were evacuated to Israel.

Elsewhere, one protester was killed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in clashes with security forces, after a crowd of protesters set fire to a KFC and a Hardee’s restaurant. Protesters hurled stones and glass at police in a furious melee that left 25 people wounded, 18 of them police.
A day earlier, hundreds of protesters chanting “death to America” stormed the embassy compound in Sanaa and burned the American flag. Four protesters were killed and 38 people wounded in that incident when police tried to clear the crowd, the Interior Ministry said Friday. The embassy said no staff was harmed.

My thoughts on this? It's nuts. IT IS FUCKING NUTS.

It is one thing to express your dislike or disagreement of something that "offends" you; That's exercising your freedom of expression. But, my gosh, it's a whole other thing to harm people and destroy property because you're offended.

And no, just because it's religious sensibilities that are being offended doesn't excuse such unhinged behavior.

The fault is wholly and squarely on the Muslim rioters. There is no blood on the video producer's hands.

It should be made clear that if there is an attempt to censor the video, it should be made because we're dealing with a bunch of religious primates and not because the video is "offensive to religious sensitivities".