I'm trying something gnu — come join in! Gnu Atheism Facebook group, hosted by Wonderist
Anyone who is RRS at heart (like me) would probably fit right in with the Gnu Atheism group I started at Facebook. This new group is just the beginning of a new path of atheist activism I have shifted my focus onto. I have big ideas for the future. But for right now, I'm focusing on this Gnu Atheism group, which serves one basic purpose:
It is a place for gnu atheists—and gnu-friendly folk—to gather on Facebook and share their links, news, comments, media, and strategies for standing up to religious dogma, violence, and intolerance in the world.
This group is for:
- Posting gnu-ish stuff.
- Posting stuff about gnu atheists.
- Posting stuff related to gnu atheism — or that dreadful accommodationism. <yecch! />
- Posting not-actually-gnu-ish stuff that may anyway be of interest to gnus.
- Gathering gnus around the watering hole, meeting like-minded gnus, and generally having a gnu-ish good time.
- Eventually (soon!) doing something about that pesky religion problem.
- Figuring out how to actually do that last one.
What's a 'gnu atheist'?!
The label is a pisstake on the whole meaningless label of 'New Atheists', who are only so-called 'new atheists' because that's what some people 'so'-called them, lacking any better descriptor at the time. Unfortunately/inevitably, the 'New Atheist' label quickly took on all the old baggage of the old 'atheist' stereotypes (e.g. rude, obnoxious, angry, militant, shrill, blah blah blah), and was picked up and applied in slimy pejorative ways by 'critics' of the recent upsurge in outspoken atheist activity.
After treading the same old ground over and over again, re-hashing the same lame straw men and false accusations, a bunch of us started making silly jokes and mocking the tired monotony of our erstwhile 'critics'. Around this time, someone hit upon the idea of calling ourselves 'gnu atheists'. For about a bazillion subtle and inter-connected reasons this sarcastic counter-label instantly became a hit among much of the atheosphere.
As it stands, the label 'gnu atheist' is an intentionally voluntary one. No one is a gnu atheist who doesn't choose to call themselves a gnu atheist. And though I'll give my own meaning to the term below, no one but you gets to decide what it means for you.
Why I call myself a gnu atheist
This is just my offering. It's not 'official', just something I think works really fucking nicely. In my view, a gnu atheist is an atheist (lacking theism), who is also:
(ain't that just the purttiest thing y'all ever seen?)
So. Have the dangers of religion and faith-based reasoning galvanized you into becoming an active atheist? Are you dedicated to keeping this fight clean — by legal, ethical, and especially non-violent free speech, protest, and activism? Are you tired of walking on eggshells, holding back what you really think? Are you ready to make an out-in-the-open, unapologetic defense of science, reason, and simple atheism?
Well, then, you just may be a gnu atheist.
Why would a gnu atheist want to join a group?!
Simple. Gnus are independent creatures, individualists at heart. But they herd together when they are threatened, or when they need to help each other make a long journey. I think it's clear that we gnu atheists are facing just such a journey. We can use all the help we can get.
Myself, I'm proud to be a gnu. I think it's funny, fun, and freeing. I also think it works as an approach to activism, having seen it work many times in my own and other gnus' efforts.
I'll never tell you, "You're a gnu." At the end of the day, that decision is entirely up to you. But, if you're willing to work together on a worthy vision of a future where faith-based intolerance is a thing of the past, I'd be proud to be a gnu alongside you.
- Obviously, you need a Facebook account. Fortunately, if you're cautious about it, you can make a pseudonymous account at FB and limit what information you represent there, in case you're protective of your offline identity. I'm doing fine so far: I leave out my location, exact birth date, etc., and haven't had any problems so far.
- This is a closed-membership group, so you have to request to join or be invited/added by a friend on FB. However, most people will be accepted, provided they are not obvious trolls or antagonists to gnu atheism (they can host their beefs on their own groups).
- It is not an atheist vs. theist group like RRS, so you won't be debating directly in the group (i.e. such debates will be sequestered and asked to be moved to some other group or site). However, because you'll be connected to so many other gnu atheists like yourself, you'll find plenty of links and other sites to try out your atheist arguments on. Obviously, you'll still want to be checking out RRS for the good stuff hosted here.