Things Atheists Hate: An Introduction
Major media organizations continue to expand their presence in the blogosphere; with that in mind, I recently approached a peer of mine who happens to work at one such organization and made a suggestion that they consider the notion of launching a blog about atheism. He, in turn, approached the powers that be and made the suggestion on my behalf.
The PTB thought it a great idea; however, they had one concern: they didn’t want the blog to be one of those “angry atheist blogs” and were concerned that any attempt to have a blog looking at the world of secular free thought and atheism would, by default, devolve into an angry missive.
This got me thinking; while it’s true that the modern atheism movement is typified by the so called Four Horsemen of Atheism – Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christoher Hitchens, and Sam Harris, all of whom are know for their biting words, scathing attacks on religion, and acerbic wit — there are certainly other public atheists that are not quite so vitriolic: Hemant Mehta and PossumMomma come to mind as two possible examples, though even their posts sometimes reveal an underlying frustration and anger with current affairs.
Certainly, it seems that the recent movements in atheism have a heavy undercurrent of anger; perhaps there is good reason for this.
As this country prepares to elect a new president, religion has already played a major role in the election cycle — both in regards to the candidates themselves and their attempts to court the religious majority in this nation. The same was true four years ago, and yet again four years before that. As hot topic social issues intertwine themselves with religious and moral positions, it’s natural that the candidates speak to the matter of faith in an attempt to address their constituents’ concerns.
But what about those that don’t base their moral decisions on faith and religion? Where is our candidate, where is our voice? Perhaps that’s a reason atheists are angry. We hate the fact that without these outspoken spokespeople, we’d be a silent minority in this country.
Meanwhile, nearly half of the American populace has a negative view of Atheists – only Scientologists were viewed as more “Negative” than Atheists, according to a recent Gallup poll. Politicians and pundits have publicly stated that Atheists should not have the right to vote or should not be granted political power. Atheism is a social stigma in many communities; atheist families have, literally, been run out of town. Perhaps for those reason, atheists have reason to be angry.
Perhaps, in light of these things, it’s not even possible to be an atheist without some level of anger. And perhaps, just perhaps, atheists hate this fact most of all.
In coming days I hope to feature a semi-regular series of posts called Things Atheists Hate, things atheists face each and every day that frustrate them, that anger them, and that cause them all sorts of annoyance.