Since I moved to the Freethought Blogs network, I have a bunch of new readers who aren’t familiar with my greatest hits from my old, pre-FTB blog. So I’m linking to some of them, about one a day, to introduce them to the new folks.
Today’s archive treasure: An Open Letter to Concerned Believers. The tl;dr: It’s common for believers to express concern for the well-being of the atheist movement, to worry that our public image is so negative — and to offer advice on how we could get our message across more effectively by being sweeter, calmer, and less confrontational. In this letter, I express my, um, gratitude for their concern, but inform them that it is unnecessary, and thank them for sharing.
A nifty pull quote:
It is difficult to avoid the observation that, whenever believers give advice to atheists on how to run our movement, it is always in the direction of telling us to be more quiet, to tone it down, to be less confrontational and less visible. I have yet to see a believer advise the atheist movement to speak up more loudly and more passionately; to make our arguments more compelling and more unanswerable; to get in people’s faces more about delicate and thorny issues that they don’t want to think about; to not be afraid of offending people if we think we’re right. I have received a great deal of advice from believers on how atheists should run our movement… and it is always, always, always in the direction of politely suggesting that we shut up.
You’ll have to forgive me if I question the motivation behind this advice, and take it with a grain of salt.