I've tried not to be hostile towards theism, not that I think it is something to be tolerated or protected, but bc I once was a theist.  I know that if an anti-theist like Hitchens would get going I would have not been receptive to their arguments. My defenses would go up and I would only argue my views or storm off. Yet I can't help but be angry. The more I learn by opening my eyes the more I realize how it has impacted the people I love, myself, and everyone else the more infuriated I become. It's starting to leak out in my conversations and in my actions. Many years ago I learned to direct my anger in ways that are productive but this is one of those few things that I have difficulties with directing. About like when I deal with bigots.
I don't want to bite my tongue, but I don't want to be militant and scare/push away the people I want to help. I want to make the world better, not tear it down more than it already has been.  Anyone find a happy median or something close to it?

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Personally, I go with what I call unapologetic atheism. That basically means being as much yourself as you can be without crossing any ethical boundaries. As long as you don't do anything ethically wrong, you need not 'apologize' for your personal views and feelings. If you feel angry, there's nothing wrong with that. Express your anger clearly, without hurting yourself or anyone else, and let it off your chest. There are lots of ways of doing this without causing any harm.

Just remember, it doesn't matter how 'nice' you are, there's always going to be*somebody* who will be offended simply because you're an outspoken atheist and they find that offensive. Too bad for them. There's no such thing as a 'right' to not be offended. As long as you're comfortable with your own position and how you express it, don't worry so much about causing offense. Some people just find the truth offensive.
Well I'm not trying to be nice I'm trying to avoid becoming like the people I hold the greatest disdain for. I will not apologize for my atheism. I am by nature a very passionate person. Which in some ways can be very beneficial, but at the same token it can make me irrational and do things that may not be unethical but can be hurtful none the less. I know there are going to be those that will always be offended. I don't worry about them being offended.
Sounds like you probably just need someone/somewhere to rant then, perhaps. Let out your anger/frustration in a blog or here on A/N or elsewhere, where it's safe to go ballistic. Or perhaps find an understanding friend or a freethought group nearby. Probably if you let out your more angry feelings in a safe environment, you won't feel the need/desire to 'blow up' in face-to-face encounters with stupidity. Works for me.
Yeah that's probably it. I haven't been able to get out very much lately. And when I do lets just say the stupidity abounds.
I have a couple of rules that I follow when dealing with theists, esspecially one in particular at work who feels it is his god ordained mission to save me from hell. I never initiate the conversation, I only use logical reasoning and facts as basis for my views, and I maintain a positive attitude about the situation. Ussually these things keep me from becoming angry and spitful even though inside I completely despise theism in every way. My biggest challenge has been not becoming and evangelistic atheist as I wish I could convince everyone that theism is wrong but I realize how dangerous attampting to convert everyone can become.

I like what Wonderist says here. Try to be yourself if possible. Coming here to rant will help you vent that pent up anger you have. That's why this site is so important.

No, I find no happy median.  I'm in a situation due to my hobbies (sewing and embroidery).  I belong to several Facebook groups and, for the most part, the people there are very nice and I've learned to ignore much of the religious embroidery crap that's there and their requests that we "pray" that their design fits, etc. But there are times when I just want to explode.  I was kicked off of one site run by a woman who lets everyone know how religious she is, for pointing out to her that she called someone "needy" and it hurt that person's feelings.  I've not been here for a while, mostly because all I would do is rant but maybe, from time to time, that's what I need to do.  Fortunately for me, my grandchildren are not being raised to believe in the invisible guy in the sky but I was guilty of providing evidence for Santa for too long.  I do have a bit of fun by sending Christmas cards with Santa to the true believers.  And don't get me started on tRump!  I think I've shaved off years of my life in this past year.

I replied to someone earlier today on a similar topic. I told him that we Atheists have a responsibility to dismantle the stigma that the label Atheist holds that has been given to us by religious nuts. We must show ourselves as good humans, not perfect humans. We need to be respectful at all times even if we're upset. We are not perfect, but if we try to be as close as we can to being perfect, we will find that we will get closer all the time but NEVER reaching perfection. We are human so we make mistakes, but making many mistakes sometimes leads to success especially if you learn from your mistakes. I also said that you often may NOT get through to the one your aiming your efforts of sharing reason with, but more likely a bystander may pick up on your reason and change their mind. This is very true when the exchange is online where everything we do is recorded for anyone who wants to read it. I am NOT saying don't get upset. I AM saying be respectful at all times. That's not as hard as it sounds.

I doubt that there is a happy medium. You never know when a believer will flip out over an innocuous comment. I taught college English for 27 years, 20 years of that at an historically black college in the deep South, where the vast majority of faculty, staff, and students were one sort of fundamentalist Christian or another. I was assigned to teach ancient world lit, though my field was American studies, so every term I led discussions on at least one book of the Bible. Class sessions were often contentious. Some students, as well as some faculty, became quite upset when I pointed out that Genesis 1 and 2 contained contradictory descriptions of God and the Creation and contradictory information about the Flood, a story that closely parallels the flood story in Gilgamesh, which is about a thousand years older than Genesis. These are just facts, easily verifiable. I mean, people got really upset. In discussing Luke one year, I pointed out that Luke says he is writing a true account of the life of Jesus as the events "have come down to us" from "those who were eyewitnesses, which of course shows that he did not walk with Jesus. Students complained; I showed the relevant passages to my department head, who said "I will not discuss religion with you!" I said patiently that we were discussing the Bible as literature, which was part of my professional assignment. Things kind of went downhill from there. What I try to do now is point out how the steady incursion of religion into government leads to dangerous policies, waste, and discrimination. The anti-abortion crowd insists that "life begins at conception" is an "incontrovertible scientific fact," though of course it isn't. Now we have "fetal heartbeat" laws, even though science has shown that cardiac cells begin to pulsate long before a heart has been formed. We have Senators who think trying to slow climate change is an affront to God. We have elected officials refusing to follow the law when they think it conflicts with their religious beliefs, refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples despite the laws in their states, pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions, "Christian pastors" calling for the murder of LGBTQ Americans, gag orders on federally funded health clinicians who are not allowed to inform their patients about abortion, a president who has tried to ban Muslim immigrants, etc. True Believers cannot understand that freedom of religion means freedom of conscience, not freedom of religious action. Jefferson said that it didn't matter to him whether his neighbor believed in one god, many gods, or no god. "It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Times have changed. Religions have been picking our pockets for a couple of centuries now, building empires on tax breaks. Believers, even lukewarm believers, have instituted laws prohibiting homosexuality, and countless LGBTQ Americans have suffered imprisonment, injury, or death at the hands of the law. Ditto for atheists. (Many state constitutions prohibit atheists from serving in government employment, despite the Constitution's clear prohibitions of such discrimination: "all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States"(Article Six, Clause 3).) W's administration instituted the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, which funnels tax money to churches. As Karl Rove put it to David Kuo, "Get me a fucking faith based thing." Regulations governing the fucking faith based thing were changed to allow churches to discriminate in hiring, even for jobs in secular programs, which had previously been prohibited. This change allowed the Salvation Army, which had long provided social services through its federally mandated "secular arm" to fire thousands of employees, some with decades on the job, because they were not SA members or because they might be gay.  It was a government sanctioned religious purge. Sorry for the rant; I don't think many people realize how deeply religion has gotten its claws into our government at every level or how badly it serves us.




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