Today the Tri-State Freethinkers, who recently organized a successful protest on the opening day of the Ark Encounter in Kentucky, issued a press release indicating their intentions to protest the Ku Klux Klan’s recruitment rally in Madison, Indiana on September 24. The group’s president, Jim G. Helton, states:
Our first priority has always been to defend equal rights and the separation of church and state. The KKK is nothing more than a Christian hate group. Their racist remarks and historical acts of violence are protected by the guise of religious freedom. They are a shining example of what can happen when the bible is read, cover to cover, and its words taken literally. Our country gives the KKK the rights of free speech and assembly, but those same rights allow us to call out their hateful bigotry and discrimination. They would have us return to a time in this country when the law segregated people who were different from them. Religion is quite possibly the most divisive tool humanity has ever created. It prescribes a set of unquestionable rules that tell you what to do, what to eat, what to wear, who to love, and to hate those who are different from you. As humanists, we believe all people should be treated equally, regardless of race, sex, gender identity, or economic status. Religion has always been and remains the greatest obstacle to equality.
Something tells me TSF won’t get the kind of anti-protest demonstration they encountered at the Ark Encounter, unless there’s a Trump rally being let out nearby. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Christian groups like Creation Today — who showed up at the Ark Encounter to antagonize protesters and get publicity — would join them this time around in solidarity, as human rights advocates, to protest the hateful rhetoric and history of the KKK, in a true love-thy-neighbor gesture. I’d be shocked if they did, since they’d much rather try to debate atheists or solicit donations than do anything meaningful.
Again, I have to take my hat off to the Tri-State Freethinkers. Their focus on a positive message and dedication to their community is the example all secular activist groups should be following. Keep up the great work, TSF. The secular community is watching and we appreciate what you’re doing.