Does It Bother You?

SassyDevil
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Does It Bother You?

Does it bother you when you see atheists, agnostics and other non-religious persons standing up for their beliefs, and few, if any, support them? I mean, don't you wish more freethinkers would stand up and help us all? I understand not wanting to deal with the discrimination and judgement, but it angers me that so many of us leave other freethinkers out in the cold, and it only hurts us as a whole. I do understand not wanting to fight, not wanting to "come out" to our families and loved ones, but how are we ever going to gain equality--if that's at all possible--if we don't stand up together?

I watched The Tyra Banks Show yesterday, and she had this "Teenville" thing where several teens formed a town and discussed their beliefs of different types of people, prejudices and attitudes. I thought so much more could have been done with this, but it's her show, and it's only an hour. Each kid got a label (not having anything to do with who they really were, but the kids labeled each other based on what they felt the others looked like they might be)--mayor, religious leader, garbageman, prostitute, and some others. The prostitute got labeled as such because she wore a lot of eye liner, the thief got labeled as such because she was black, etc. Anyway, all but one kid didn't like this one girl because she admitted to having had sex (she was the only one; the others claimed to be virgins, although I'm not sure if the gay guy claimed that or not) and not having a religion (while I was out of the room briefly a couple of times, not once did I hear "atheist" or anything like that). The kid who seemed okay with her was the gay guy. They had to create a flag that represented Teenville, and everyone but her wanted faith in the picture. Some claimed to want something that represented faith without being specific to any one religion, but no one wanted anything to represent atheism. In the end, they had to pick one member to kick out of Teenville...guess who got picked? Earlier, they had to choose a partner to marry...the mayor chose the prostitute (the homeless person, a fat girl, asked him, but he chose the pretty prostitute, saying he had didn't think it would be good to marry a homeless person, and admitted he chose the prostitute because of her looks, since the choice was difficult), but he seemed the most religious, so it seems hypocritical that he'd choose the prostitute. It was all fake, really, with good intentions, but you get my point.

I watched a video a few days ago of an episode of 20/20 months ago, where this teen atheist was discriminated against. In fact, I'll post the URL to it below:

http://www.atheistnation.net/video/?video/00420/atheist/20-20-atheist-discrimination/

Anyway, I know some of you here don't feel comfortable coming out, but I think we need to be uncomfortable to progress and succeed, sometimes. I am feeling angry (still angry how I was treated at that mental health forum) and highly emotional (I weaned off psych meds recently, over a period of about a year and a half, but I'm wondering if this is how I "really" am--even though I wasn't like this during the short periods over the past 29 years when I wasn't on drugs--or if I could be going through withdrawal, despite the slow tapering), and I guess I just want some equal treatment, not just for me, but for all of us.

Does it bother you when other atheists, agnostics and freethinkers don't join you in our cause, defend you when you challenge religious people, and seek like-minded people to join you in seeking equality?


Pathofreason
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Always be prepared

I personally don't care if people attack me and nobody helps me, I try to prepare myself for all situations. I myself would help an Atheist/Agnostic if they needed it but I am very good at debating point and I know the bible inside and out so I use it against them. it not only freaks them out to no end that an Atheist knows the bible better than they do but it usually shows how totally ignorant they are. I think thats why its important to network and teach each other as much as we can. That way we don't ever need help on our own.

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SassyDevil
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I agree, you should stand up

I agree, you should stand up and defend yourself, regardless of support.  My point is, we need to support each other to overcome (again, if possible) the discrimination and unequal treatment of all freethinkers.


BenfromCanada
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What gets me most is when

What gets me most is when other freethinkers oppose me in my challenging of the religious.


Pathofreason
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I agree

Quote:What gets me most is when other freethinkers oppose me in my challenging of the religious.

 

yeah man me too! Like my friends who are Atheist think that I shouldn't have a website up and that I should just keep my free thoughts to myself because by speaking out I am no better than the fundies I speak out against. I tell them if I keep my mouth shut and  do  nothing, things will never change.

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Actually i have had

Actually i have had atheists join me in defending my position in a way that i rather not have. Trying to suppliment my well thought out arguments with ridiculous and rude comments. Which hurt rather than helped my position.

She was one of those "Life Sucks So There is No God" or "god screwed me over so i dont believe" atheists... basically she jumped into a philosophical debate on my side with horrible arguments. I eventially told her to be quite.  


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A few years ago when that

A few years ago when that Kansas school voted to allow ID in science class I was really pissed.  I brought up the topic at work and all 5 of my coworkers present said that ID should be taught as science.

I was floored.  It's not that I wish non-active atheists to speak out, its that I wish there were more atheists around altogether.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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I have an atheist friend

I have an atheist friend and a Christian fundamentalist friend. Both have been friends of mine since high school. We graduated in 1970.

My atheist buddy refuses to discuss atheism or debate theism because he's afraid of pissing anybody off. He's very closeted. My fundamentalist friend talks openly about his beliefs. I actually have more respect for my fundamentalist buddy because he at least isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

 

 

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Well, I sort of understand

Well, I sort of understand why some people wouldn't want to advocate atheism. I mean, it's been drilled into us that it's improper. When all of society is telling you that you can't, it's hard to look the majority in the face and tell them to kiss your ass.

 

That's why I'm glad to see more attention being paid to atheism lately. (The atheism "movement" as some wil try to call it, though it isn't really). Atheists have never had any reason to pull together before. It's not like we have a common belief, ya know?

 

But now that we've got people like Richard Dawkins and sites like the RRS raising awareness about the dangers of religion and the unfair treatment religion (namely Christians) give to people who aren't one of them, it's giving atheists a cause to unite.

Moreover, it's making us stronger because we all have our own repertoire of arguments against religion, and ganging up makes the collective repertoire very hard to contend with.

 

I won't hold it against atheists for backing off for now. It just proves that the saturation of Christianity has made them believe that it's honestly improper. They'll come around eventually, as long as we keep speaking out.

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


SassyDevil
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Ben and Path, that's

Ben and Path, that's actually another thing I'm talking about. When you stand up, and other atheists and freethinkers criticize you. Because then, the Christians or other religious persons see it as proving you're wrong, hostile, bad, etc.

 I also think Christians think atheists and freethinkers are fewer in number than they are, because so few of us speak out.  This gives some of them a sense of superiority, because if you're in the minority, to some people, you're wrong (or, more accurately, the more people who believe, the more likely they're right, some believe, or seem to).


BenfromCanada
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SassyDevil wrote: Ben and

SassyDevil wrote:

Ben and Path, that's actually another thing I'm talking about. When you stand up, and other atheists and freethinkers criticize you. Because then, the Christians or other religious persons see it as proving you're wrong, hostile, bad, etc.

I also think Christians think atheists and freethinkers are fewer in number than they are, because so few of us speak out. This gives some of them a sense of superiority, because if you're in the minority, to some people, you're wrong (or, more accurately, the more people who believe, the more likely they're right, some believe, or seem to).

Interestingly, this blog posting from Dr. Reginald Bibby proves you right here. Even though Stats Canada puts atheists at 16% and growing, and most of the 84% that claim a religion don't attend any religious services, the "intellectual" I linked said we're at 7%, not much growth at all. Oh, and we're all OK with religion, and in fact, 20% would get involved with a religious group. Yeah. 


latincanuck
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I can only say i am

    I can only say i am glad that i live in Canada, i have had no issues being an atheist and bringing up my point of view and my opposition to religion, all my friends know my stance (some are religious, many are atheists or non religious) my family doesn't really care about religious views ( my mom believes in a god of sorts, my sister is catholic and my father atheist). As a kid i have some opposition, but kids are kids, cruel and ignorant. However here a politian (John Tory of the Conservatives) wants to take 500 million out of the ontario school board money and give it to faith based schools, well....there is some major (at least from what i hear with all the people that i know and what's in the news) opposition to it, and with that i would LOVE to take away the catholic board getting MY taxpayer money as well. Since the catholic board can't even budget the money (2 years ago they were crying they needed 15 million, the province got fed up and sent in thier own accountant, fired the catholic boards one, the first year they were down from 15 million to 3 million and now they are in the budget range)

    So does it bother me that other athiests don't stand up, or want me to stand down, nope, it's their right to express their opinion, however if that is their opinion, i say you LOSE ANY right to oppose any form of religion once it rises up, because if you are not willing to fight for your views, or at least speak up, then keep your damn mouth shut when others speak up.


Iruka Naminori
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I am probably going to have

I am probably going to have to move due to what I think is discrimination.  I came out as an atheist in 2001 and since then I have been pretty much ostracized.  This is a very small town, so if one person knows, everyone will know.\

I'm in 3rd semester music theory.  During the first semester, I made some unpopular comments about religion when the subject was brought up and was instantly on the outs.  One lady has been absolutely insufferable.  Only about five people have made it to semester three and unfortunately, she is one of them.  She never misses an opportunity to drag me down.

The prof often puts up a few problems on the board, then goes to catch up on his e-mail. Last time, she and another guy were the only two in the class besides me.  They sat side by side away from me and completely ignored anything I had to say. I could give you a laundry list of obnoxious comments directed my way, but I'm not in that kind of mood.

Last night some other shit happened that made me realize I probably need to do something to get out of this town. 

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Brian37
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Pathofreason

Pathofreason wrote:

Quote:What gets me most is when other freethinkers oppose me in my challenging of the religious.

 

yeah man me too! Like my friends who are Atheist think that I shouldn't have a website up and that I should just keep my free thoughts to myself because by speaking out I am no better than the fundies I speak out against. I tell them if I keep my mouth shut and do nothing, things will never change.

There are too many shads of grey to tell an individual what to do. To put it graphically(sorry) but to put it graphically staying in the closet or coming out is much like being a rape victim. Some fight back and it works, some submit and it works, but both end up surviving.

There is no "right way" to do this and since we for the most part collectively call ourselves individuals, certainly we dont want to be that "herd of cats" like far to many theists who end up lemmings.

It is fair to say that some, not all atheists, do complain too much about criticism and blasphemy of religion. But, you cant place a "one size fits all" on every given situation. Especially when it comes to teens who still live withing the rules of a household. They may be right in their claims, but needless confrontation may get them booted out the door.

It is not always a matter of every situation being a Die Hard movie. Niether is it a situtation of being a Gandi moment. "Time place and context" There is a time for the soft aproach and there is a time for hardball.

Since I do not live the life of every atheist I cannot know what is best for them. As much as I get down on the pollitically correct croud, theist or atheist, I also cannot tell someone in a vunerable position, especially if I dont know the details, that they are pussys for not comming out. I am not them.

My personal view is that it is important that more people be vocal. But both the Martin Luther King and Malcom X aproaches are not blanket statements to all invoronments. It is always case by case, even if I myself encorage people to be more open.

It is not a matter of silence, confrontation or politeness always being a default over the other two , out of those three choices. It is a matter of WHEN to use one of the three, and there is no expert I know of that can give us atheists a magic bullit.

But let me make one thing absolutly clear. When I speak of "confrontation" I do not avocate physical violence. I am merely talking about uncensored debate and venting. In any case, I do not think neither atheist or theist needs to resort to violence over mere words.  

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SassyDevil
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It bothers me that

It bothers me that Christians and other religious persons act like we're not part of "the club."  If we don't want to participate in prayers, we can walk out the door for a while, then come back later.  Of course, some people think atheists should leave America altogether.

I am bothered when Christians speak of "God" as if we all believe in God, and the same god, at that.  Many people say, "All gods are one."  No, they're not, and the Christian religion, as well as Islam, say so in their books:  "Thou shalt have no other god before me."  And the descriptions of gods varies.