Religious believers commonly attack atheists simply for
existing. Do out-of-the-closet atheists -- even polite ones -- challenge
attempts at theocracy?

What, exactly, do religious believers want from atheists?


If you follow the atheism debates in op-ed pieces and whatnot, you'll see
that critiques of the so-called New Atheist movement are often aimed at
our tone. Among the pundits and opinion-makers, atheist writers and
activists are typically called out for being offensive, intolerant,
disrespectful, extremist, hostile, confrontational, and just generally
asshats. The question of whether atheists are, you know, right,
typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more
compelling question of whether atheists are jerks. And if these op-ed
pieces and whatnot were all you knew about the atheist movement and the
critiques of it, you might think that atheists were simply being asked
to be reasonable, civil, and polite.


But if you follow atheism in the news, you begin to see a very different story.


You begin to see that atheists are regularly criticized -- vilified, even -- simply for existing.


Or, to be more accurate, for existing in the open. For declining to hide our atheism. For coming out.

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Replies to This Discussion

It's not just the religious, either. Dare to question a certain kind of person without groveling, and suddenly you've got an attitude. The overlap isn't complete, but it's probably quite a large one.

reading that article made me very angry and slightly less sad than i was angry, how can they say all those things about atheists, defiling their own message of peace and acceptance, bla bla bla. and still try to deny the freedom both religious and that of speech that other people hold, not just people of the christian delusion faith.


it's disgusting that they advertise equality and peace while trying to deny some playing "jingle bells" in a christmas parade >.>


Apparantly they feel threatened when someone doesn't agree to their views, maybe they realize there's too many faults in their arguments(not very likely though) o.O

The only people who call a question threatening are those who know that answering it can only end badly for them.

This is an issue I commented on sometime ago elsewhere on A|N. 


To summarize, They don't like us because we are out of their control.  We don't subscribe to their holy book(s) or dogma.  We prefer to think for ourselves and find our own answers.  Most of all, we look at them and say without blinking: "The Emperor Has NO CLOTHES," which by itself has to upset them  badly ... because at some level or other, at least some of them will acknowledge that we MAY be right.


In that regard, we're dangerous as hell to believers, and they know it.

Nah, hell's  one of their tools. We're a lot worse.

Saw the comments on the original story. Looks like to me that it boils down to one thing:


I've got all the answers - but you'd better not ask me any questions.


More of a control-type thing, sounds like. What happens if people start actually asking questions - supposed you really start thinking? You aren't supposed to think for yourself!

And if these op-ed pieces and whatnot were all you knew about the atheist movement and the critiques of it, you might think that atheists were simply being asked
to be reasonable, civil, and polite.
Similar to how what the church was saying about Gnostics and other heretics is abundant, but very few fragments of manuscripts survived.
The Brazos Valley Vuvuzela Atheist Marching Band?

This alone makes them awesome.
they will always be scared of us because we make them defend and question their faith, and its detrimental to the indoctrination of their kids with "others" flaunting themselves. right now they feel they have some sort of right to exclude atheists because they have a larger number. sometimes shear numbers do have power but in todays society we have secular law that at its best will protect the out crowds. Even if locally you don't get the rights you deserve, you can spread the word about the strong arming across the country in minutes flat. waiting is brutal when your waiting for evolution of reason.
You're near the heart of it. It's one thing to say, "I was a jerk to take that nonsense seriously." It's another to say, "My wife and parents are also jerks, I've indoctrinated my children with nonsense, and all my friends, family, etc. will be strangers to me. It's far less traumatic at this stage to blame the messenger.


What concerns me most about the paranoia the theist have about Atheism is that paranoia can morph into hate and with the right trigger can turn to violence. With the mind set of some theist the trigger could be just about anything.





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