You know Michael, you have inspired me to try harder to just say I am an Atheist and be proud of it. Let it shock people. I shouldn't care if they don't like it! It shows people that Atheists are just regular people (except smarter, LOL ;)).~ Melinda
I can't help but to respect that Michael. Me being a youngin' dealing with this sensitive subject, I can only imagine what's yet to come for me in the future. I'm open about my beliefs and I am far from ashamed. No one can change that but it's also not respected. There's nothing wrong with the Atheist title. Everyone is just so caught up in the fact that we don't value christian/muslim/catholic/jewish/etc. beliefs, they forget to respect us and at least TRY to understand our values. it's immoral to say the least.
Respect the individual, not the religion~ true! I love the part about you don't need 'god's' plans, you have your own! :)
I have been saying for decades that I respect a person's right to believe whatever they want, but I do NOT have to respect what they believe.
When Mormons come to the door, I snort and laugh at them. I'd like to laugh at the Jehovah's Witlesses, too, but I live with one...my Aspie sister. <shrugs> Can't win 'em all.
I think it's very right for us to always say that we're an atheist when saying so's appropriate. They have no trouble beating us over the head with their religion.
They can dish it out...
It annoys me, too, when atheists dislike using the word. Why do some feel a need to 'clean it up'? At an Atlanta Freethought Society meeting, we had an open discussion on what to call ourselves. I was new to the group, but immediately got kinda piss-y...I'm an atheist and feel no need to soften it up for a bunch of fools who believe in the make-believe! I've done nothing wrong and have nothing to be ashmaed of...as far as my atheism goes, that is.
You go Tonya! Good for you and you are right!!!~Melinda
Once, when I was working at JCPenney Advertising (in a large building that is the heart of the LA Garment District), Good Friday and Passover occured on the same day...and I wasn't aware of that. I went out on the afternoon beak to buy a pack of cigarettes, and every damn store and restaurant was closed. (Well the Chinese restaurant didn't have a cigarette machine... remember those?)
I finally figured it out, and came stomping back in the office and bellowed, "Where the eff can an atheist buy some smokes around here today?" Quite a few jaws hit desktops and drawing boards, and the secretary/receptionist blurted, "But you're too nice to be an atheist!" I asked her what that had to do with anything, went to my own desk. I looked at the three gay young guys in my department who were stuffing their fists in their mouths to keep from LOLing, and I started laughing.
Made my day. I think that was when I finally came out of the Non-Believer's Closet after 20 years of keeping things to myself. That was almost 30 years ago...an amazing relief.
But "atheist" in itself is NEITHER a bad word, nor a good word, it's just a word that means a LACK of belief in any deity. It's not necessarily a statement that there is no god, or gods. It just means that you/I personally don't worship any, or pray to any.
That's why people who claim to be agnostics get on my left nerve...they think it means that they don't know whether or not there is a god, sort of a middle-of-the-road position, but that's what atheism is. Agnostics (for the most part) don't go to religious services, or pray over their Big Macs, so IMO they're no different from those of us who come right out and say we're atheists...they're just too cowardly to do the same.
If they don't know there's a god, how can they worship one? THAT's the difference.