Given the First Amendment struggles of student religious groups on campus, it could be argued that atheists have their argument backwards.

However, a group of non-believers is proceeding with a special anti-bullying plan just for them:

Saying atheists are bullied and ridiculed, the Secular Student Alliance this fall launched a “Secular Safe Zones” program at campuses across the nation.

“Every time the Pledge of Allegiance is said or a sports team says a prayer before a game, secular students are pushed to the margins of society,” the alliance’s website claims.

Organizers say these so-called safe zones, or classrooms designated on campuses, will protect students who don’t believe in God from alleged persecution by peers, give atheist or agnostic students a chance to develop camaraderie, and allow students to discuss ideas to promote secular issues.

The alliance openly and proudly cites the gay-rights movement as a source for developing its own public relations strategies.

“We’re taking a page right out of (the LGBT) playbook,” alliance spokesman Jesse Galef recently told The Washington Times.

Secular safe zones are needed to “create safe spaces in which secular students can question, criticize, and discuss topics and issues important to them,” according to its website.

“Unfortunately, many Americans fallaciously think that being secular is the same thing as being immoral or un-American,” Phil Zuckerman, a Pitzer College professor of sociology and secular studies, told Religion News Service. “So there is a lot of negative stereotyping that often emerges, and this can sometimes create an uncomfortable environment for secular students.”

….Although most mainstream public colleges are largely considered bastions of secular thoughts and beliefs – from the sciences to the social sciences – the safe zones are needed, the alliance claims, because atheists don’t have religious symbols they can don, noting: “Sadly, the secular community lacks any truly well-defined symbols that are worn by the masses to identify themselves.”

But there may be an agenda behind these secular safe zones, one scholar suggests.

“The liberal democratic state has already privatized language about God and excluded the very discipline that birthed the university from its own practice of rationality,” John Wright, theology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University and pastor at Mid City Heights Church, said in an email to The College Fix. “This shows the underlying reductionism and political agenda to remove all socially mediating groups such as the church between the individual and the state.”