Freethought Dayton – Position Paper on Religion

Freethought Dayton is an organization for the non-religious and non-superstitious. We do not necessarily deny membership to all religious beliefs—we have had participants who identified with Taoistm or Humanistic Judaism, for example. We do not include members of theistic religions such as Christianity, Islam or Ortthodox/Reform Judaism.

As Freethinkers, we hold two general propositions relevant to religion.

  • We support individuals’ rights to believe whatever they choose, and to express those beliefs in appropriate forums.
  • We reject dogma, and we insist that to criticize any belief on a rational basis is not only essential for human progress, but is a sign of respect.

We do not seek to eliminate all religion. Instead, we hope to initiate dialogues through which misconceptions about atheism—such as the often-repeated notion that atheists are inherently immoral—may be corrected. Our goal is to promote greater tolerance and acceptance of those who do not believe in god(s).

We recognize that organized religion does confer certain benefits upon believers. Organized religion gives its participants a network of like-minded people who may be called upon for companionship, support, and public advocacy. We hope to provide those benefits for the non-religious through our organization.

It should be acknowledged that religion is not inevitably good or desirable. A clear view of history shows that religion has often been used as a pretext, if not as an inspiration, for some of the greatest evils experienced by humankind. Accepting diversity in faith—including acceptance of those who reject faith—is the best antidote to the excesses and abuses to which the religious have been often been prone.

Our position papers are meant to express the official opinion of Freethought Dayton for purposes of public relations and education. Individual members may hold different viewpoints.

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