Are you proud of your atheist culture?


Living in a heavily Christian area makes me feel like I need to be rebellious. I want to have as much pride in what I believe in as they do for their beliefs. They can openly flaunt their Christianity, and while I don’t exactly want to do that, it would be nice to know that freedom is there and that option is available. I’m different from them and I have a lot of pride for what I stand for. Maybe that makes me look like a bit of a rebel around here, but it is so important to be true to who you are. 

Right now I only flaunt my atheism online, but it’s starting to spill over into my real life. I want Toledo to be a safe place for everyone, and that means speaking up. 

Atheism is a part of my family’s culture. It affects how I live, the choices I make, and how I raise my daughter. It really isn’t any different than any other cultural demographic, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating your culture. In fact, it’s usually encouraged. 

Thank you to everyone at Freethought Blogs for taking me beyond Toledo’s city limits and letting me become part of a global community. It has given me a lot of courage in opening up about my life as an atheist mom. This helps me really embrace my (lack of) beliefs.

Do you celebrate being an atheist? Do you see it as part of your culture? Are you proud of it?

Comments

  1. says

    I am careful to deny any involvement in atheist culture or an atheist movement. There are too many scuzzballs getting into being atheists, because they see it as a license to sexually harass and raid shit down on their intellectual inferiors. They’re the same kind of heirophants who run religions, they’ve just switched sides.

    I am openly atheist and when someone says anything goddy around me I usually say “I’m an atheist and I’d be happy to make you miserable by debating the topic with you, but let’s just let it slide.” It’s not an empty threat so I never get taken up on it, and I feel like I have managed to suck some of the oxygen out of their goddy-posturing.

  2. billseymour says

    It never occurs to me to be proud of myself for much of anything, and certainly not for rational thought…that’s hardly original with me. 😎

    I agree with basically everything Marcus Ranum said @1. My atheism hasn’t come up in any conversation yet…I mostly just keep quiet about it since it’s generally not the topic under discussion anyway, but I have remarks ready similar to Marcus’. I wouldn’t say “I’m an atheist.” because, like Marcus, I don’t wish to be associated with certain people who shall remain nameless. I would probably say ”I don’t believe in the supernatural.” and then follow up with “I’ll be happy to discuss it with you, but you might not want to go there. You don’t know what’s around that corner.” And I’m ready to rattle off précis of the usual arguments (argument from design, Pascal’s wager, etc.) and explain what’s wrong with each of them.

  3. boakley59 says

    I’m a metropolitan Yankee now in small-town Arkansas and have been openly atheist for 40 years, but only recently have I found (or helped build) any close community of atheists. I neither duck nor start “what do you believe or why did you leave the church” conversations, since any such often stir resentment upon affirming reality as opposed to biblical narrative.
    I blow up occasionally and write something about being the atheist who cleans your building bathroom and so I am the atheist you know — as opposed to the amoral heartless smug destroyer living without hope of cultural trope.
    One such Facebook rant brought a few of us further out into the open and we now have a local group of more than 100 (not all yet open), many of us in positions of service to humanity: nurses, food bank organizers, shelter staff, LGBTQ advocates, and on down the line. But we live by humane example, not as adherents of a movement. I am proud of us and happy to have found sharers in sanity.
    I see our atheism as more a conclusion than a cause, but it’s nice to see fellow travelers on the same path when so many are running in the opposite direction.

  4. says

    I’m sure some or most have heard the tale “The Good White Knight” by Canadian humourist Eric Nicol (1919-2011). That pretty much sums me up: Starting out a self-appointed white knight, tilting at windmills, adamantly anti-theist, cocksure about what was right and wrong. Then gradually ending as the Black Knight, though at least I was far from the worst. Now I’m just trying to be the good white knight – be level headed and think before speaking, and admit when I screw up from time to time, walk away from heated arguments.

    I no longer try and convince people to give up religion. It’s more productive to get the religious to understand the benefits of secularism. When the religious see rational as not just scientific and atheist but also reasonable and not confrontational, it goes over better.

    Living where religion is a non-issue is a luxury, so I never worry about being overtly atheist when fanatics don’t have the numbers. I’m friends with many intensely religious people and they know I’ll treat respect as a two way street, so they don’t act like Sunday drivers (a doubly apt idiom in this case).

  5. Bruce says

    I think it’s helpful to remember that there likely are several other atheists that live just down the street from you, wherever you are, even though you’ll likely never learn who they are.

    • ashes says

      That’s a good point and I often wonder about that. How many people around here call themselves “Christian” because they think they have to or are expected to? But it’s just a label; they don’t really believe in it. I bet there are a lot.

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