As an atheist, I'm very wary of what happens to be, for me, a pretty simple lifestyle decision paraded out as an alternative belief system. I'd rather not have simple common sense be shouted about as a badge, point of marginalization, or a dogma.
That said, I live in the God closet in Mississippi with everyone except close friends and family.
That said, I hope this gets a message out to those still hiding it.
You know a 2006 University of Minesota study said atheists are the least trusted group in the U.S. That means we're even less trusted than Muslims. WTF? No wonder so many including myself are in the God Closet.
Grow a fucking pair. If someone doesn't trust you because you don't believe in god that is their problem, not yours. I'm not going to shout that I don't believe in anything at all from the roof tops but I'm certainly not going to hide it if someone asks.
|Adham Nu'man |
Oh Jesus Piss Fuck, I'm in the agnostic closet.
Not because I actually believe that there might be a sentient God out there or because I believe in an after life, but because of this kind of embarassing shit. Because of this and petulant militant Atheists who pick fights with moderate religious people who are minding their own fucking business, acting in a way that is similar to the worst evangelical Christians out there.
One of the good things about not believing in God is not having to wear a badge to describe and define who you are.
And by the way, Austin, having left your religion means you can now pay for a decent haircut and unbotton an extra button on your shirt when not wearing a tie.
I tend to agree with Adham. I'm an atheist, but people like Sam Harris simultaneously make me want to thank him for being as open as he is and punch him for turning atheism into a dogma.
I may be offended the content of the message of some religious fundamentalists, but I'm NOT offended by people vigorously defending their beliefs and trying to persuade others, as long as its not forcibly imposed, or a public nuisance. Maybe I'm ignorant, but I can't think of any major atheists who do that. Show me Dawkins shouting on a streetcorner, or Harris demanding that city council meetings begin with an affirmation that there is no god, and then I'll agree with you.
I definitely don't consider explaining a viewpoint in debates, books, and podcasts to be over the line, as no-one is forced to listen or agree. If you think they are rude or wrong I'd understand, but I don't at all believe that they have any more duty to keep quiet or defer than any religion does.
Don't get me wrong, I understand we live in an age where ignorance has learned to organize itself and lobby for ridiculous rights, like teaching creationism in schools, and more, so I can see why it's been felt that an atheist "agenda" (so to speak) has become necessary to protect our rights as lay people.
At the same time, I feel there is a very fine line between creating awareness and polarizing the issue into two clashing mobs screaming nonsense at each other.
This ad is aimed at people on the fence. Those who come from a religious background, have no faith, yet continue to go to mass and stay within the fixed boundaries of their community due to peer pressure. This is also the kind of thing that feeds the religious beast's myth that there indeed is a group of immoral, promiscuous satanic babykillers that have united under the banner of atheism who are now spreading their filthy propaganda into their midst.
Maybe we are indeed at a point in time where this advertisement has actually become necessary, but do I like the whole thing? Not really. Let's say I have mixed feelings about this.
As Cena Mark said above (Fuck, I'm agreeing with Cena Mark!), Atheists are among the least trusted people in America. As an Atheist, it's distressing to me that I'm now in a hated minority when I know that I'm a decent, moral, law abiding person who will jump to help anyone in need. Rage Against the Machine said, "Hungry people don't stay hungry for long." Well, the Atheists in America won't stay marginalized for long. We're getting our names and faces out there, proving we're good people, because we deserve to be heard as much as anyone else.
If, in the process, superstition and ignorance that informs and shapes our laws and morals can be dispelled, all the better.
Rodents of Unusual Size
What is with the "militant atheist" stereotype? I think it tends to get blown up in scope because anyone who dares get angry over the societal pressure to be religious is somehow labeled as "just as bad" as religious maniacs.
You don't see atheists saying we should teach atheism in schools.
Maybe I've been living in the South too long, but was I the only one surprised these two people's very religious families were OK with their interracial relationship?
Where I am from, religion and racism go hand in hand. As long as those two hands are the same color, and different genders.
"I went to every kind of church: Baptist, Methodist... Unity (?), every kind of church there was."
Yes, truly, in 2011, those are the only options available.
He went to all three kinds of churches. He's a church expert now.
What kind of music do you usually have here?
Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western.
For those of you who think it's simply a matter of "growing a pair," try being a teacher in the South. Your colleagues will ask you to participate in religious activities and decry how not teaching Christianity in the classroom has destroyed America. To a lot of people, a non-Christian teacher is not only not automatically a bad teacher, but a dangerous one who will push 'propaganda' onto your children. Word spreads fast, and its especially dangerous when teachers are being cut more and more(this area doesn't have much of a teacher's union at all). They may have to grudgingly follow the policies of the public schools, but that doesn't mean they want some commie pinko athiest making things worse.
I worked in mental health and social work in the South and the problem is just as bad, if not worse.
You know how, when you drain your sink after doing the dishes, all the sludge and filth that was in the water concentrates at the bottom of the sink? That's how I view the religious/political/social morays of the South.
I lie to people about my atheism constantly, I say I'm a catholic who just doesn't go to church anymore. I used to be open about my atheism but it's like going out with a target on your back. Christians are fucking assholes.
Most evangelicals are okay with the "Catholic who doesn't go to church anymore", because at least you're out of the hands of the ALIEN EPISOCOPAL SUPREMACY.
It's a difficult subject. Nothing is ever cut and dry. I had this long thing typed out about how I've got a big family and still care about them and don't want them to worry about my soul but then I realized nobody here is going to care since I'm just a walking bag of fertilizer to you guys and nothing I ever do is going to matter in the long view of the Universe.
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