In our society, we tend to reduce words that we should not say aloud, or at least in public, to their first letter. The “N” word comes to mind. “The “L” word (Lesbian) even spawned the eponymous television show. Then there is the “F” word, or otherwise known as the “F-bomb” as well. We also have the “C” word… but I’ll let you figure that one out. I find this an interesting phenomenon. It sort of reminds me of how any scandal has the moniker “gate” at the of it as an homage to the Watergate scandal in the 70’s.
Now we have the “A” word. OK, let me get this straight. While in mixed company in a public social situation, saying the “N” word versus the alternative makes perfect sense. It is a polarizing and generally offensive word in most situations. I get that. But the “A” word? Really? Who are we offending with that one? Is that not a benign enough word to say fully?
What does the word Atheist (oh, I’m sorry, the “A” word) mean that is so offensive? Are we, as Atheists, afraid to say it for various reasons? Is “Non-believer” a less shocking term? How about the word “Secular?” Is that less threatening? How about “deity denier?” Could you even say that in Florida?
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