Posts Tagged ‘coming out

14
Sep
11

I Am Atheism

I am Atheism

by Randy Grant

EDIT: My story has been accepted for publication on We Are Atheism: http://www.weareatheism.com/randy-grant/

The title may sound a little grandiose unless you know about We Are Atheism, a project meant to gather atheists’ stories and encourage atheists the world over to come out and announce the truth. Just like any other minority (using the sociological definition, for atheists are a majority in many communities without even realizing it), atheists sometimes feel the need to hide who they are. In some cases this feeling is justified: People have been threatened with ostracism, loss of their jobs, vandalism, and occasionally outright violence when coming out as atheists, and in such cases, I encourage you to come out only if you are prepared to face those consequences. One atheist’s story that I find particularly compelling is that of Grappling Ignorance, an English teacher who suffered greatly when his community discovered that he criticised religion and promoted atheism on YouTube.

That sort of intolerance is a measure, at least in part, of the destructiveness of ignorance. Religious people think that atheists cannot be good people. Isolated atheists believe that they are the only atheists in their communities except the people whose lives they see fall apart when they come out. Sometimes those isolated atheists may even be the cruellest, hoping to hide their true feelings in vitriol, lest the same thing happen to them. I am here to teach you, to tell you that both are wrong. Atheists can be good people, and you, the closeted atheist in fear of becoming an island, as no man is meant to be, are not alone.

Everything after the cut, with the exception of the copyright info and some formatting, is what I submitted to We Are Atheism. First, a bit of bookkeeping, as suggested by the We Are Atheism website:

καὶ τὰ λειπόμενα