A Letter from the Editor

Recently a response from a dear friend of mine made its way through one of the many channels of social media and rightly states a case for introspection within our community –  a self analysis, an understanding of opposition perspective, and – most importantly – a change if deemed necessary; to refuse change would be to act with an ideology akin to what we regularly rally to ridicule and weaken.

 

The entirety of the response can be found immediately below and is being reproduced with complete consent of its author- once again, someone I respect highly and genuinely value in perspective and friendship.

 

“I found this to be an interesting article regarding Atheists. What illuminated for me was this quote, “I, for one, would just like to be able to express my views in an intelligent and heart-felt way without fear of reprisals, shunned, or otherwise being looked at as an abomination just because I do not believe in God” My assumption is the author is referring to his/her frustrations with theists when presenting his/her convictions regarding God, gods, or the lack thereof. The author emphasizes a desire for acceptance, but does not find it with theists, particularly Christians.“

 

“What strikes me about this is that the exact same sentiment is shared by Christians regarding Atheists by changing the phrase to “….because I do believe in God.” Often, the narrative of Atheists contains a tone of hubris and the assumption of undisputable intellectual high ground, while offensively attacking religion. Consider these titles from Atheist Analysis: “Ignorance Loves Ignorance, the Religious Wall Around You” , “Christianity Isn’t Irrational… It’s Worse Than That.” In my opinion, the berating tones of these titles alone quickly discredits the individual and the view they’re presenting. I make no excuse for the Christian who can’t speak truth in love, however, I believe some in the Atheist community need to apply some introspection and identify their own hypocrisy to build credibility amongst other communities in order to open a more diverse dialogue regarding the quest for truth.”

 

I agree with the majority of the message here, that we are only going to create a secular state, one of equality and hegemony, if we truly respect the thoughts and positions of those we do not agree with, on philosophical terms or otherwise, and are willing to protect their basic human rights as they would ours.  Applying the golden rule, we have to act as we would wish the rest of world to treat us.
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The “A” Word

© The Unassuming Atheist

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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Godless Offering 12: The War On Christmas

Part 1 – Billboards and Their Meaning

 

Danielle Muscato the PR Director for American Atheists talks about what the billboard says and what it means to American Atheists. This is an important video to share with you friends as it is straight from the mouth of the organization that put up the billboard.

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“I’m Offended” An Overused and Useless Statement

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No topic, when handled correctly, is above mockery and ridicule. For some reason there are a lot of people in society today that believe “I’m offended by that” is a valid point, as if the other person should immediately stop what they are doing or saying based on disagreement alone. Being offended does not mean that one is right nor does it mean that others should stop what they are doing.  It is the last line of defense that people tend to use when they are unable to come up with valid reasons for their argument. It’s similar to people using faith as an argument for mythology. As comedian Louis C.K. said, “Offending people is a necessary and healthy act. Every time you say something that’s offensive to another person, you just caused a discussion. You just forced them to have to think.” Discussions are good for humanity; it’s how progress takes place. Sometimes people are going to be offended, but life goes on.

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