Sometimes atheists can be a bunch of arrogant, sanctimonious dickheads.

Case in point. In the US, a group of Marines have put up a memorial to their fallen comrades. The memorial is on a USMC base, so it’s public land and – oh, the horror – it’s in the shape of a cross. A bunch of idiotic atheists are now going to law to have the memorial removed, citing the seperation of church and state.

I’m an atheist, and I have no problem whatsoever with marines putting up a cross, if that’s the format they choose for their memorial. I have no problem with it being on public ground (okay, I am viewing that from the UK perspective)

I’m an atheist and two weeks ago I put up a cross as a memorial to the fallen. I put a small wooden cross in the field of remembrance beside Westminster Abbey and another at the Tower Hill Memorial, in remembrance of my Grandfather. I didn’t do it as a religious act, I did it as an act of remembrance. I did not and do not care that the cross is a religious symbol. In that moment the cross was a memorial to the dead.

I still hate the insidious creep of religion. I still hate that a priest is first rent-a-mouth after any disaster. I still hate that people try to curtail my freedom in the name of their superstitious beliefs. But I know where to draw the line. I will not deny anyone the right to whatever memorial they want. The marines in question may very well have put up this cross as an overtly religious act of memorial. Or they may not. They may see it as a christian symbol. I do not care. I see it as a memorial to the fallen, in a typical and generic format.

There’s an internet poll on MSNBC and in typical fashion, PZ Myers at Pharyngula has highlighted it so that his loyal hoarde of box-tickers can swarm over it and swing the sample bias in the “wrong” direction. The comments there are quite remarkable. Much ad hominem and insult flinging, but little of substance.

No doubt if any of those Gnu Atheists stumbled across my blog I would be accused atheist of not being a true atheist, of being a fatheist or fellow traveller or whatever word they are currently using as a supposed insult to those who do not fit their picture of what an atheist should be. Perfectly happy to throw around charges of “No True Scotsman” falacy around, but blind to it when they themselves are guilty of it)