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Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2008, 05:59 PM
Number of posts: 5,018

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Why Coming Out as an Atheist May Be the Most Powerful Way to Combat Religion


"Coming out atheist is not evangelizing. I’m going to say that right off the bat. If it is, than it’s evangelizing to simply say, “I’m a Christian,” or “I’m a Hindu.” If it is, then it’s evangelizing to say anything at all about what we think about the world, ever. And I don’t think that’s a particularly useful definition of the word. Simply disclosing that you’re an atheist doesn’t make you an irritating proselytizer knocking on people’s doors asking if they’ve heard the good news about Charles Darwin.

But it is true that coming out doesn’t just make you happier, and it doesn’t just make other atheists happier. Coming out actually helps create other atheists. Even if you never argue with anyone about their religion, even if you never once try to persuade anyone that their religious beliefs are mistaken, the simple act of telling people “I’m an atheist” puts cracks in people’s faith, or widens cracks that are already there. If you ask atheists what made them become an atheist, many will tell you that simply seeing other atheists, or hearing about them, is part of what made them question their beliefs.

You may not care whether there are more atheists in the world. And that’s fine. If you’re unconcerned about other people’s beliefs, if you’d be totally okay with religion if it weren’t for faith healing and homophobia and stoning adulterers and so on — that’s fine. You can skip this chapter.

But if you think religion is a harmful idea, or simply an incorrect one, and you’d like to see fewer people think it (as you would with any other harmful and/or false idea), then coming out is a powerful way to help make that happen. Maybe even the most powerful way.

Here’s why..."

Good, thought provoking article. I'm not sure it's the most effective way, but it's up there IMHO.

Another day, a more divided America...

A white man hits a black boy with his car (at no fault of the man that has been reported so far) and got out of his car to help, only to be beaten down by 10 - 12 other (presumably black) men. There are a lot of racial overtones to the story, to say the least, and many think it may have been a hate crime.

It may have been. An investigation is needed. But the response to the article in the comments section of this link were what you'd typically expect, bigoted in all sorts of ways. An us vs them attitude prevails. An "I told you so" of every race warrior out there. In fact, the website shut down the comments section completely, maybe embarrassed by much of their own readership.


Hidden in the article, and not raising any discussion at all, is the fact that the driver, now in critical condition, has a family that has started a charity to raise money for what? Why for the victim's medical bills. He had no health insurance, you see.

That's probably the saddest part of the article of all, the most damning to us as a society, that a person has to start a fucking charity to cover health costs if they are a victim of violence. That not everyone even after Obamacare and it's good intentions (even if it is not a full fix) has health insurance. But sadder still is the focus on bigotry and hate that glosses over this societal failure. It's a perfect example of divide and conquer in action. The public outrage isn't directed at the fact that our society treats healthcare as a commodity, but at reinforcing racial bigotry. The oligarchs have done their job depressingly well.

And what's ironic to me is that many of the conservative white commenters haranguing blacks and spewing bigotry are of the opinion that people with no health insurance should be left to die. But interestingly, none were shouting about how the irresponsible victim wasted their tax dollars and should have been left to die.

It gets awfully depressing in this country.
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