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.
Thus begins my new piece on AlterNet, Why Religious People Are Scared of Atheists. To read more about how atheists get attacked simply for existing — and how these attacks are an attempt to enforce theocracy — read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!