(writing this from my SF Bay Area California perspective) I agree, but with the billionaire Christians out there controlling the order and processing the image and messages, the non-theist, Secular Humanism is relegated to the fringe LINK TV types..
Just look at PBS which has been forced to go corporate.
I am sensing an underlying anxiety in this thread that atheists should try not to come across as angry or combative otherwise we will be despised more than we already are by many ill-informed people.
I have no sense that I must go the extra mile to 'make nice' with people just in case they might have a prejudice against atheists. I am nice enough. I have a moral code. I hate injustice and in the words of a philosopher whose name I forget "As long as there is one unhappy person in the world, I cannot be completely happy".
I can't control the thoughts of everyone I meet, nor spend time with every person who may be mistaken about what my views represent, to uproot their ideas. Except sometimes. I just 'do me'.
We all can only contribute our best selves and that MUST include anger, frustration, and many other not so angelic traits, to be healthy. We could not survive as a species without anger and self/group interest.
I have never in my life met a self -defined atheist who believed in God then thought..."Hmmm, this is very inconvenient for my narcissistic selfish immoral interests. I think I'll switch and decide I don't believe in God, even though I do". I find this a weird proposition. A bit like people who think homosexuality is a choice. I can't help being an atheist. It came with my thinking. I didn't 'opt' for it.
Whereas how many religious people can we come up with who, retrospectively, if not presently, seem to have chosen a 'religious vocation' as a cloak for 'other activities', most damaging to people and children. Whose narcissism truly got the better of them? The 'faith healers' of the world who take massive donations from very sick people (sometimes saved up in pocket money from dying children) and spend it on themselves (in one secret case, spending it on rent boys after the show), whilst getting a huge kick from standing up on stage to have lame, sobbing, star-struck people being brought into their 'godly' presence, with a reverential humming choir behind?
And there are atheists who 'choose' atheism just to live more selfishly? Really?!! No need!
Years ago I had a Catholic ask me why, as an atheist, I don't go around killing grannies and robbing banks. I said, "for the same reason you don't". It's wrong. It hurts the world, which includes me. I empathise with my fellow humans.
I will not go around paying lip service to this crap line of thought anymore.
It's not us that need to prove ourselves, or acknowledge some nasty types who sully our point of view, they exist no more than the good and bad exist in any demographic you care to analyse. It's religion that needs to answer for itself. And I'm not accusing all religious people of shameful acts. Of course I'm not.
I recognise that in the States there is an image problem. This is not due to those nasty rogue atheists out there using the tag to live selfishly. It's ignorance. The USA is a big country. The virus spreads. And if you're living with mainly religious people there may be a temptation to worry that the ones you love think you're bad. Don't live apologetically. Simply be yourself.
Here are the well known correlates between peace, criminality and religious versus non-religious countries. Let the religious proponents apologise.
The whole of my post wasn't directed to you John.
As I said, I've picked up a sense on this thread of a concern that we should, for want of a better phrase, show our kindly, humble face as much as possible, for fear the religious think us more degenerate (or whatever) than they might already do. By the way, you can't aspire to be humble. The lie begins the minute you start. I would rather meet an entertaining egoist who knew it, than someone who is taking deep pride in 'showing humility'. Can't be done.
My point is, we aren't what they think we are anyway, and I believe we should make no extra effort in that direction. We are good enough as we are and should be free to be angry and frustrated when we are. I'm sure you agree with me.
Uncomfortable with what? Atheism doesn't and shouldn't carry any dogma. Take care to disassociate from narcissism and egotism? Why? Are atheists more prone to those things? Is this something you've noticed? It reminds me of how women have to do more work (in some professions they call it "the vagina tax"), to prove they can do what men do. I personally think this is unjust and unfair.
What puzzled me was the idea that some, presumably previously religious people choose to label themselves atheist to be more self indulgent.
The evidence among the past and current history of the clergy, the Vatican, the millions spent on temples and 'God's representatives on earth' in so many poor countries, plus the many people who set up their own sects, cults and ministries etc, to indulge their out of control narcissism, suggests overwhelmingly the money and glory is easier to aquire in religion. No?
I am a member of a group in London, many of which have cut their ties with the Humanist Association. This on the grounds that, although it's played it's part in helping people 'come out' and have an image as a Humanist which easily carries the semantic association of humanitarianism, so helping them convey the 'good without god' message to counter any hostility, the feeling here is that it's now a very pipe and slippers Association, with not much clout and a manifesto that lends itself to the dangers of cultural relativism. Which, in the UK right now, with Sharia Law being seriously considered by our government, MUST be countered. You can call it secular humanism. Or you can call it secularism.
I'm suggesting it's a little patronising to all of us to need the PR of 'good without god' Humanism. As is suggested by the tables in the YouTube vid, it's religion that needs to prove to us it's prescriptions give us 'goodness'.
Most of your post I agreed with.