The Original Motto Project is taking a break.
You read that correctly. We have decided that we need to step back and look at our place in the secular movement a bit closer.
After some tough discussions with the team, we felt that the movement may not be ready for the project. Our latest attempt to create a compromise regarding the Arkansas In God We Trust law gave us the impression that initiatives that require compromise are not what the secular community wants right now. From day one, we have always promoted compromise as the most effective tactic for advancing our cause. From day one we have always made it clear that we are not an atheist movement. It is clear to us now that what the secular community wants is a no-quarter-given-fight with religious people. We have no interest in that because it is ineffective and pointless.
But, there is more than that.
There seems to be a lack of interest in the secular movement to even talk about changing the motto. We would get the occasional, “I like what you are doing” or “This is a great idea,” but most of the time we got apathy. In some cases, we got derision for wanting to take on a “lost cause”. We got told that it was too small an issue and no one was really hurt by the motto and we were left in the cold to fend for ourselves.
To be honest, being ignored by the larger secular community was a bigger blow than the negative comments we got about our posters. It showed me that some folks just don’t understand how small issues that are left alone set a precedent for the bigger ones. It showed that we are in a movement that craves big and instant results. It showed me that you have to be flashy to get any attention.
Well, sorry, we aren’t flashy. We aren’t after instant results. We aren’t in this to make a headline. We started this with one goal and we knew that it would take time, patience, and community support. Sadly, one of those was missing and our hearts simply aren’t in it anymore.
What about the opposition?
For the past couple of years we have been opposing groups like In God We Trust America, Inc. and I think that was part of the problem. We relied heavily on being the opposition and not enough on being a protagonist in our own story.
When they slowed down, so did we. It turns out that wasn’t the best course of action.
So what now?
We aren’t gone completely. Someone will still get the emails. Someone will still manage the Facebook page. But as far as being active in the movement, that will just not be there.
There will come a day when we are needed again, and we will be there when that day comes.
We want to thank all the dedicated people who did participate in the Original Motto Project. Many members donated their time and talents to us and for that we are eternally grateful.
If you want to hear a more in depth discussion I had about this with Sam Mulvey of Ask an Atheist click the link below. The relevant parts starts around the 38 minute mark, but listen to the rest of the show as well.