Our problems as atheists isn't the superstitious. It's the atheist in the closet. Our true colors, our true numbers are not known as many atheist are in the closet. There are atheist who even attend Church to blend in for family, friends, co-workers and society at large. We'll never gain respect and dignity as long as so many atheist cower, conform & comply with the reigning superstition. 

The Black community gained political power when they stopped cowering, conforming and complying with superstitious hatred & bigotry. Women didn't gain the vote by cowering, conforming and complying with superstitious hatred & bigotry. The Gay community didn't gain the vote by cowering, conforming and complying with superstitious hatred & bigotry. Do you see a pattern here? Power never gives weakness anything. You have to stand strong for your human rights. It's always been this way & it will always be this way. 

The atheist in the closet is our worst nightmare. We don't expect children to come out. We don't expect atheist to come out of the closet instantly. The smart atheist begins to build another life with new inclusive friends, perhaps finding a new job, a new city. Definitely there are things that may need to be done. Gays began to form their own communities, find tolerate friends and yes accept that most family members will shun you.

Let me share something with you. I worried about family, friends, neighbors, co-workers until I realized these people in my life really didn't love me. How could they love me? They didn't know the real me. So at age seven I came out of the closet. My parents weren't big on religion but my other relatives were. I was protected by my parents yet I knew family members didn't like my being openly atheist.

Oh, it was alright they wore crosses but my wearing the atheist symbol was rude and disrespectful even evil. My Christian relatives could attend Church every Sunday yet the idea I might attend an atheist meeting once in a blue moon was evil and should be against the law. As a matter of fact as we all know in many states there are blasphemy laws that prevent a non-believers free speech!!

It is true this will go on as long as we atheist cower, conform & comply to the idea that superstition has the right to deny us rights and dominate over us insisting we follow their religion. What a Fascist notion! I'm not nor ever was a Boy Scout. I do not nor never was under the rules of the Boy Scouts. I am not a Christians and I am not nor never was under the authority of Christianity. They have no jurisdiction over me!!

As all out & open atheist know. As long as fellow atheist stand by as atheist and the atheist cause are demonised & restricted atheist will needlessly suffer at the hands of superstition. The Age of Reason is dawning. It is time all atheist identify themselves. Together we shall overcome.

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Comment by Ceil on June 12, 2014 at 3:41pm

Well, this describes my life pretty well!  I realized I was an atheist at an early age while in Catholic school and being told that "pagan" babies would go to Hell.  It didn't make any sense to me. We were constantly being told to give to the poor but my grandmother worked for the parish priests for a time, cooking and cleaning for them and she told us stories of the wonderful steaks they often had for dinner while my parents were trying to feed 3 kids and were asked to give 10% of their salary to the church. I married into a religious family but happily, my husband is now an atheist too.  But we have keep up a front for his family, I always thought this was out of respect for them but perhaps it is more out of fear that they will reject us or not understand. 

I also taught at a Catholic school for 4 years and helped prepare kids for Confirmation.  This made MY family think that I was religious (hey, there was never any discussion about religion in those lessons; the kids just had to memorize the answers).  But at some point in my life I had to quit going to Sunday mass even though my daughter was in middle school and my husband was upset by it.  I just could no longer sit in those pews and listen to some of the absolute nonsense that spewed forth.  Don’t get me wrong, there were some insightful priests who did have things of value to say for everyone (including me) but there were a few times, such as during a discussion of the woman’s role in the church, when I just wanted to stand up and scream.  So I opted out.  My daughter never asked me why I didn’t go to church.

My daughter went through 12 years of Catholic schools (the first 5 in an all girls’ school run by the Sacred Heart that shouldn’t “count” for Catholic education as they didn’t indoctrinate her-surprisingly enough.  I didn’t think it fair to handicap her with my (lack of) beliefs as the world I lived in, and probably it’s still true, limits you if you are not a believer, and limits you if you don’t believe the right stuff.   In one of the public schools I taught at the principal gave special treatment to a couple of the members of the staff who attended his church.  Everyone knew it but nothing could be done about it.

There’s more but I’ll let this be it for now.  My husband’s brothers and sisters are now elderly (as are we) and I have no intention of getting into a discussion or argument with them at this stage of life.  I quilt and keep meeting women who ask me what church I belong to- I’d love to find an atheist quilter’s group!  Neighbors here belong to this church or that, I’m supposed to be living in a state (VT) not strong on religion but where are those people? 

Yes, I’ve been a coward.  That’s what you mean and I agree with you.  If I had it to do over again I think I would have “come out” earlier.  Joining this group was a big step for me.  And I have to agree with you 100% that we should make ourselves known.  I’ve opened up to one online friend who hasn’t rejected me, and plan to be more honest when the subject comes up in the future!

 

Comment by godless antitheist on June 9, 2014 at 7:46pm

Michael Penn thanks for the comment. 

Christians are so used to people cowering, conforming and complying to their domination they can't handle someone who thinks different and is willing to say so. It's that simple.

Your insurance lady simply can't handle you've a different opinion. Don't you know you're suppose to say your Christian to be able to "go along to get along"? She's sure one day you'll see the error of your ways & submit to Christian rule.

Don't tell her you know Satan isn't real. She might have a nervous breakdown or worse, you could get a visit from the burning cross. 

Comment by Michael Penn on June 9, 2014 at 7:36pm

Your points here are well taken and most likely they are correct. You have made logical reasons why an atheist should not just set back and keep his mouth shut, leaving his opinions to himself.

I'm working on my insurance lady recently. She wants to know if I still believe there is no god. (Why would I be changing my mind?) She listens to me a lot but says in the end, "well, we shall see." Maybe she does expect the sky to split open some day and there Jesus stands. How would we know him? What would he look like? What would he be standing on?

Even on You Tube I'm seeing a video of the dying father talking from his hospital bed. This man is so far gone from cancer that they have to put his words on the screen. It's too hard to understand him. They think they have a good testimony video from this lifelong theist. Rather than a testimony of faith it came across to me as cruelty done to a dying man.

Wake up people! It's not a matter of which god is the right god. It's a matter of god(s) being imaginary!

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