Where do our rights come from? Not a god
Many Christians believe in absolute truth, and usually they believe their religion is the truth. I doubt Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintos or a host of other religions believe that Christanity nor any other religion that is not theirs is “the truth” but believe that they have “the truth.” As an atheist I believe that is an absolute reality to the universe and that in all likelihood it is purely natural in nature. I believe based on various scientific evidence. Some ask how is it possible for someone to know the difference between right and wrong without a reference point beyond themselves.
Well, atheists and even many humanist theists (including Christians) base moral principles on harm. That something is moral or not depends on limiting harm and actions further human happiness. For example the bombing of Hiroshima by an atomic bomb was moral because it saved many more lives then would have happened with an invasion of Japan. But what of the idea that whatever a God says is moral, makes that action or concept, moral? Ok, where did that deity get his moral sense? Is it based on ultimate reasoning ability because he is all wise and intelligent? If so, then such a deity comes to those moral rules/principles/sense that exist outside of himself. These rules are discovered then.
So, even if a God exists or doesn’t exist then moral rules/principles are a matter of using reasoning to acquire them. Our rights aren’t based on a creator. Rights are a product of a desire/yearning for happiness and liberty and not to be harmed. Another question is, is Christianity a motivating factor behind most reform in US history?
I do not discount that many Christians have done wonderful work in terms of making the nation a better place but humanists or the term more in vogue in the 19th century, freethinkers, accomplished and helped accomplish much reform. Susan. B Anthony, Cady Stanton were not Christians and at best were vague agnostics on the question of religion but they helped start the Women’s suffrage movement. Many of those who supported the Revolutionary War were non-Christians such as Thomas Paine or Ethan Allen. Indeed, it is amazing what non-theists (atheists, agnostics, humanists, deists, freethinkers, etc) have helped accomplish in terms of reform in America while being a relative small minority.
Atheists don’t want to impose themselves on Christians. No atheist favors the government making a statement in the Pledge of Allegiance or on coins that a God doesn’t exist. Atheists don’t urge for organized readings of the works of Robert Ingersoll at public schools football games. That atheists are perceived as a threat to the freedoms and rights of Christians is a simply not true anymore then rank and file Christians are a threat to the rights of atheists or other non-religious Americans.