I’m talking about people who proclaim their atheism, yet completely lack the will to express it openly. As oppose to taking a stand they are willing to acquiesce to theists, willing to appease theists in order to not incur their wrath or rejection; willing to attribute to religion a beneficence, beauty and goodness (that they can neither name or describe) in spite of their rejecting it themselves and in direct contradiction to modern and historical evidence to the contrary.
These are the atheists who give belief, any belief, their “respect.” They see no threat from fundamentalists targeting for extinction the 1st amendment’s separation clause. They turn a blind eye to Creationist / Intel Design attempts to dumb down curriculum and proselytize to our children in public schools. They have no problem, or if they do they dare not speak it, when Christian religious symbols and icons are placed on public property to the exclusion of all other religious and secular symbols. And finally, among the worst of these, are those who would attend an “atheist church” (whatever the hell that would be) in order to make Christians “more comfortable” with them.
Maybe in my atheist activist vigilance, in my fight against fundamentalist extremism and intolerance, in my focus on preserving rights, my railing against the innumerable atrocities, injustices, and lies of the religious, I never gave much thought to the fact that there exists the ugly atheist relative in our midst.
These are the Uncle Tom atheists -- the atheists who, comfortable in their anonymity and meek in fortitude, happily cower in their non-confrontational apathy and shuck and jive in the presence of their theist “massa’s.” They will openly condemn their activist atheist brethren for rocking the boat by calling religionists what they are, and “giving atheism a bad name,” as if theists have always thought of us in only the kindest possible terms before. As if demurring to the theist majority's demands and delusion is to be praised and admired.
They will leave it to atheist activists past and present to fight blasphemy laws; activists who battled to ensure an atheist has the right to hold public office when laws prevented it; who were scorned and shunned by their Christian neighbors for standing up for their rights; who stood before the Supreme Court and demanded that prayer not be imposed on children in public schools while Christians raged against them and threatened their lives. While these Neville-Chamberlain-appeasing-Toms condemn activist atheists as loud mouths and label us “assholes," and our aggressive in your face activism "counter-productive," they nonetheless are happy to reap the benefits activists have secured for them.
No. I won’t play the Christian game and declare these Uncle Tom atheists “not True atheists.” By rejection of belief in God/gods they are as true an atheist as I am.
What I will say is this: I have more respect for Fred Phelps who spews his hateful homophobic brand of intolerance AKA “Christian love,” than I do for an Uncle Tom atheist. At least Fred has the passion of his convictions. Uncle Tom atheists are complacent parasitic gutless worms whose freedoms are nourished by the blood, sweat and tears of the atheist activists they deem assholes. A pox on them.