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Desc:What it says on tin.
Category:News & Politics, Religious
Tags:religion, atheism, faith, see where reading gets you
Submitted:phalsebob
Date:05/25/11
Views:1063
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Comment count is 30
kingarthur
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.
Cena_mark
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.

cognitivedissonance
It's largely because you're uncreative. Just make up a god, nobody actually cares. Say you worship Mookie the Left-Handed Squirrel and you're off the atheist hook.

oddeye
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.

jaunch
I wouldn't say I'm in the God Closet, per se, but I do have coworkers who believe in 6-day creationism, and I think if they found out I was atheist, they would freak out and it would make working and interacting much more difficult-- so, I just say nothing. I don't claim to be Christian, but I don't say anything about being atheist either.

Rodents of Unusual Size
It's not always that easy to come out as an atheist.

It took me quite a while to come out as agnostic. It took me well into my 20s before I could admit to anyone I didn't believe in Jesus and could no longer consider myself Christian. It's a personal thing so everyone should go at their own pace.

Still, I'm glad you have this place to be as atheist as you want. The Internet rules for just this reason, it makes things easier in terms of knowing that you can relate to others with similar non beliefs.

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.
CharlesSmith
Yeah yeah yeah, even mentioning you're an atheist is equivalent to all the most rabid forms of evangelism. Blurb blurb blurb.

Also saying you're agnostic because "atheists are dicks" is the most intellectually cowardly thing I've heard all week.

kingarthur
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.

Xenocide
There's a world of difference between just proclaiming yourself an atheist and being the kind of prick who goes around aggressively preaching at people. And yes, when you reach that point, you've basically pissed away everything good about the concept and become just another dogmatic asshole.

I'm not saying those people are anywhere near the majority of atheists, but it amazes me how unwilling some atheists are to admit that they exist at all.

IrishWhiskey
You think when atheists offer a message of support to young adults who might feel isolated or are bullied, that they are acting like "the worst evangelical Christians out there"? Despite nearly identical videos exists for all major faiths that even radical atheists don't find at all offensive?

If you don't believe in God but attack people who express that in even the most banal and non-confrontational ways, you aren't agnostic, just smug.


pastorofmuppets
I stopped subscribing to western medicine because this one time I saw House, M.D. act like a prick.

IrishWhiskey
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.


Adham Nu'man
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.

CharlesSmith
Intellectual coward.

charmlessman
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.

Riskbreaker
Saying that you are an atheist to anyone will always cause controversy, bad looks and so on. It doesn't matter how polite and calm you are about the whole thing, and how much you try to avoid discussions, many people will not accept your position. Telling them that you think there's no god is never going to be an easy subject. On the other hand, if we never make any effort whatsoever to make us non-believers have the freedom to speak our minds now and then, what kind of "free" world are we living in?

Sputum
The proselytizing is not the part of evangelical religion that is bad. It's the mythology, the pride, and the demonizing of critical thinking.

Of course people who think they are right are going to try to convince other people to see things the way they do. That's how science and technology works. Atheists generally believe that the world would be a better, smarter, intellectually uninhibited place without religion and that is worth discussing, even if you find it annoying.

Also, you guys should move to the North East. I've been a smug atheist for years and it hasn't even come up in conversation (as much as I wish it would).

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.

Syd Midnight
See CharlesSmith, above. -

jaunch
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.
rural
"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.

Go Unitarians!






Xenocide
He went to all three kinds of churches. He's a church expert now.

pastorofmuppets
What kind of music do you usually have here?
Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western.

frau_eva
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.
kingarthur
I worked in mental health and social work in the South and the problem is just as bad, if not worse.

charmlessman
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.

themilkshark
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.
cognitivedissonance
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.

kingofthenothing
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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