We have been attacked quite a bit this past week.
There are some Atheists that don't understand what
we are about or what we are trying to accomplish.
Its been some very rough waters my friends.
We are being judged as a group in an unfair manner.
Unfairness and judgmental attitudes arise from ignorance about something.
This is the case with ASH.
In the hopes of helping to alleviate much of the confusion about us and what we are and what our goals are,
I have decided to post this.
We are stronger working as a team than working as individuals.
The above statement was the entire reason for the original group.
We were all being attacked by religious groups purely because we were talking about Atheism.
Groups like Tcot would attack us single Atheists and we would be spam/blocked into suspension.
This was happening all the time.
This sparked the initial idea of forming a group.
The SuperHero aspect was because the first members of the original group
(AtheistAvengers) liked superheroes.
The Avengers movie had only just been out and it made sense to use the idea as a way of uniting
us into a team that would help each other out in being attacked by fundamentalists on twitter.
At the time, many of us were suspended repeatedly.
The days of Tcot and other groups attacking us have just about stopped because we organized.
When it became know that some of us Atheists had banded into groups committed to helping each other and other Atheists, the Fundies began talking about us the : AV, AJL, AXM they mentioned how they were not going to go up against organized Atheists.
I was pleasently surprised to hear this was happening, for, prior to the groups...
we were being eaten alive by the mass attacks that Fundies would wage against Atheists.
Do you remember those days?
I think people have short memories of what was happening before we joined together.
What none of us could see was that there are people who are destructive in all walks of life, including Atheists.
This was a time of three separate groups, agreed to help one another,
The AV, The AJL, And The AXM.
We only used the designation of our respective group at the front of our usernames, we were so few, and people took the commitment seriously enough that we didn't think we would need to do more than that. We were wrong. As we became popular the groups began to be barged into by people of low standards and commitment.
We could do nothing to stop any twitter user from adding whatever initials they wanted to, to their username.
The Twitter Rules of Use were clear.
We could do nothing at that time to control our own standards of who would be able to join the group even if by initials alone. This confusion led to a now notorious blow-up that involved me and MrOzAtheist. I admittedly over reacted to a user adding the AV: to his username. I was wrong in doing so, and apologized to this user the next day. He is now a very good friend, @N1CKFURY1.
This blow-up caused issues within the group, even though I was being pressured by members within the group to stop interlopers, many members left at that time. I accept full responsibility for the situation and the aftermath.
To this day I still hear about it, even after the problem was rectified the stigma remains.
The groups did not end there, in fact they became stronger.
The difficulties in maintaining member standards, forced us to pursue a means of officially badging members as to prevent the confusion of those interlopers just adding letters to the AVI and then making us look bad when this nonmember would act poorly. Another thing that happened at this time was that those that barged into the groups and were causing serious mayhem with their constant infighting, @TheNeoAtheist and @SirenXPW, they were asked to leave. They would not be given the official badges, their behavior warranted this. Some of those that left at this time, still do make efforts to damage the group. We actively watch and ignore them as to not allow their influence to harm other members.
Around this time or shortly after there was another major blow-up with a few members and other Atheists including @MsGrumpy. The infighting that occurred was very petty and unnecessary, and continued for 2 days.
The AV members involved were asked to and made their apologies publicly, in fact all Atheists on all sides made their apologies with only one exception: @MsGrumpy
She would under no circumstances apologize to anyone, not even to those not involved in any of the infighting such as myself. She holds a grudge to this day about what happened that night. I feel very sad that she could not find it within herself to apologize for the sadistic and mean things she was saying about other Atheists that had already apologized for the initial issue. How we apologize to others, has a lot to do with our true character as a person.
Needless to say, I lost respect for this person as a result of her inability to embrace and offer something as simple as an apology. Being able to make an apology is a sign of maturity and human decency.
We were told by other Atheists at this time that our group should have rules of conduct so as to be able to punish behavior that was harmful to others. This was demanded by those that were no members.
Rules on an open forum? It seemed crazy, but it was being demanded that we "control" our members.
Because of this Atheist infighting issue, it was decided by the leaders of the
three groups, that rules of conduct were necessary to prevent this from
ever blowing up again. Hence the "No Atheist Infighting" on our guidelines page.
It has helped much to state very plainly that as a member, infighting will not be an accepted behavior.
It was after this huge blowup that the leaders of the three groups realized that even though members of only one group were involved in the blowup, all three groups were being blamed for the situation. So therefore it was decided that if we were going to be blamed all together, we may as well BE all together.
That's when the reformation as ASH occurred.
United as one team, we numbered at about 50 members.
The road from there which was about February 2013(3 months ago)
has been one of incredible growth within the team and our membership
World-wide, as we are now going Global.
Recently there was an issue with us being attacked for issues that individuals were having with the ASH group. Many disparaging remarks were being tossed about, many things were being said by nonmember Atheists to member Atheists trying to get them to react and break the very rules of conduct we were told by nonmember Atheists that we needed. This is currently ongoing.
One member was recently let go by the group for not stopping when the argument crossed the line into infighting. It had nothing to do with the argument being waged, only to do with the infighting aspect.
This prior member is not a bad Atheist, in fact I personally agree with him on many things.
The infighting occurring had to be ended and others needed to see that we ASH were
standing by the very rules we were told we needed to have by other nonmember Atheists.
Apparently Old grudges are not forgiven within the Atheist community.
As can be seen by the current series of attacks on ASH members.
None of this makes any sense to me.
ASH has always been here to help all Atheists.
ASH has gone out of it's way to pursue unfairness and
abuses when we find then, wether on Twitter or in the real world.
Our Current petition to fight Sharia Law from taking hold in the UK
is evidence of just the very beginnings of what a group like ASH
Is capable of.
As ASH Atheists we are treated differently.
We are held to a different standard, unfairly because of some fucking
letters before our names. Instead of who we are as individuals.
The letters ASH are our commitment of affiliation to the group
they mean nothing in regards to who we are as people.
The hatred by other Atheists toward the concept
of an Atheist group is beyond my current understanding.
Hard to explain any of this to a person full of hatred for any atheists working together.
We are global, a concept like ASH is the only way to unite us...In a global way.
Think about that a minute. Atheists Are Global.
An Internet group is the only real way to bring these Atheists together, the affiliation to the group, spanning nations and oceans world-wide, is an amazing thing. This is what the group really represents to me.
All of the countries involved with us deserve the attention to Atheism we can bring as a global group.
This is why ASH is important.
How to explain that to haters that don't/can't see the BIg picture?
ASH is just an attention getter.
It is a way of affiliation for diverse people separated by vast distances on this world. I focus on that.
Atheists united and organized, that is the end goal.
World wide. We need to come together.
This is what ASH is working towards, this is what you, as an active member within ASH are playing a part in.
You forward this goal every day by spreading awareness of what an Atheist is- a normal person.
We can only create real and lasting changes as a ...World-Wide global organization.
As our numbers become hundreds and then thousands, this will become apparent to many. The ability of affecting change can only come about through the participation of Atheists in all countries coming together.
We are the seedling, but we have the ability to grow into a mighty tree
able to withstand the fighting that will come against us. It is by the unity we share in
our goals that we will continue to meet whatever challenges we will face.
There are Atheists all over this world who are looking for a way to come out and be heard.
To be a part...Of something much bigger than themselves.
This is what ASH represents, a group of global Atheists, united for Atheism and fighting
for goals within their own countries but affiliated with all Atheists within the world-wide group.
At the rate we are currently growing...
we will number in the thousands within about a year from now if not sooner.
It's a big thing, Atheists united and working together.
Be proud of it.
Those Atheists that disparage us, they are the loners that fear teamwork.
They fear breaking down the false idea that as an Atheist you must be a loner,
ASH has proven that the concept of Atheists working as a team is Sound.
We have proven that we understand loyalty and dedication to something much
bigger and important than ourselves.
We Atheists that are ASH members have the focus to see what's important, WE are ALL Atheists.
We understand that we must organize to accomplish goals.
We ASH members represent the very idea that will improve
the lives of many Atheists the world over.
We can and do make a difference.
We will continue to do so, with the scope of our ability to do so
becoming larger as we continue to grow throughout the world.
ASH is something to be proud of.
And I am proud of you all.