1. Chris says

    Why does the lgbt community have to intrude on the non-belief arena? I don’t care where anybody sticks their d**k–as long as it’s not in me–but I think it’s a bad idea to start using the phrase “coming out” to describe folks who denounce religious belief. I don’t want to be associated with the lgbt movement and I don’t have to be. I think that some people who aren’t as confident as I am in their unbelief may be hesitant to mention it and publically involve themselves if they feel they would also be associated with the traditional “coming out” group. It’s superfluous.

  2. says

    I don’t follow anyone on Twitter. Don’t have an account. I spend enough time online as it is without another wormhole to get sucked into.

    Chris, your statements will not make you a popular person around here. Perhaps another blog will be more to your liking.

  3. Chris says

    GretaChristina has a book out called “coming out atheist.” I just made a comment that using lgbt language is unnecessary and the association may alienate some non-believers who want to be involved. I’m not hating on anyone, but feel free to call me homophobic or whatever.

  4. Merlin says

    It appears that Chris can cannot be bothered to read even one of the many posts on this website as to why someone might link LGBT advocacy with Atheist advocacy. I wonder if, perhaps, Greta Christina might have written a post or two regarding that. I wonder if, maybe, she was even kind enough to explain why she chose that language. I wonder if it is because she is drawing a parallel between what “Coming Out” has done for the LGBT community and what it can do for the Atheist community, or the emotions involved in such an event, or the social consequences to such an event, or maybe if she is trying to provide a framework for taking that step towards being openly atheist. I wonder.
    Hint: The answer is yes. Check her blog at about 4/16-4/17.

    Great intellectual rigor there, Chris.

  5. see_the_galaxy says

    Chris, I think they’ll manage to get over their alienation; I for one don’t give a Flying Rat’s Derriere about this sort of handwringing. (I know, don’t feed the troll and all that.)

  6. says

    On the off chance Chris is actually, honestly clueless: Many people, for quite some time, have made the comparison of ‘coming out’ as atheist as being somewhat similar to sexuality. Something that’s not necessarily obvious, but which is a very minority thing that society pressures to keep secret.

    Basically, it’s just too similar an analogy to pass up, too apt a phrase to try to come up with something else. Also, the ‘start to’ part of your comment doesn’t make much sense: I’ve been hearing it for years, almost since finding the atheist movement.

    Also, I think you’ll find there’s not a lot of sympathy for your desire not to be associated. It just sounds like bigotry. Besides the fact that the anti-LGBT bigotry is mostly religion based, and the moral integrity of needing to stand up for all rights for everyone.

  7. screechymonkey says

    Chris @1:

    I don’t want to be associated with the lgbt movement

    I’ll wait for our Official Spokesgay to weigh in before I’m certain, but I’m confident that the feeling is mutual.

  8. Greta Christina says

    feel free to call me homophobic or whatever.

    Chris @ #4: You’re homophobic.

  9. Chris says

    First of all, I apologize for my first post. I realize that set a bad tone and those WERE superfluous statements. I was hoping to start a dialogue but I see that won’t be the case. I do see the similarities between coming out as gay and revealing non-belief, and the two groups should be allies against the bigoted and the faithful. Obviously you all disagree with my statements and it seems I need to rethink my position. I will choose my words more carefully in the future, or simply refrain.

  10. jefrir says

    Chris, #4,

    I just made a comment that using lgbt language is unnecessary and the association may alienate some non-believers who want to be involved.

    Good. We’ve already got plenty of homophobic shitbag atheists, we don’t need any more.

  11. psanity says

    …but feel free to call me homophobic or whatever.

    Can I call you a cab? And then if you get in it to leave, is it the equivalent of the Chinese Duck Pop?

  12. says

    Chris @ 11

    You may be able to have a dialogue now. Or maybe in another thread later. (I’m not in a position to say, whatsoever.) I would do some of that rethinking a bit first, but your post at 11 there is a step in the right direction, and thanks for that.

    But to address your main concept, I don’t know that the term “coming out” is owned so much by the gay sector as you might imagine, although it may be frequently used in that context. Honestly, the first thing I think of when I process the phrase is, “debutantes”. Regardless, I can’t see it as such an issue either way. People who have a problem with it because of Teh Ghey are likely poor candidates for losing religion in this corner of the atheistoverse, since it is largely driven by social justice issues, and rather at odds with the sort of atheists who are against such things.

  13. says

    Chris @ 11: Gee whiz, seems we may have the 1 in a 1000 lucky draw, where someone says something bigoted and then doesn’t immediately double down on the douchebaggery when called on it. I don’t know if everyone else will agree with me, but good on you Chris. Read Greta’s blog, she’s more enlightening than every person of faith who has ever lived put together (FAR more enlightening). Hopefully you’ll get exactly why people didn’t ‘continue’ the dialogue of your first post.

  14. stever says

    I follow Greta here, but I don’t have a Twitter account. I find it amazing that so many people are willing to throw so much personal information into the hopper to be processed, packaged and sold to spammers, scammers and snoops. Even if you never tweet, Twitter records who you follow and when you log in.

  15. Silentbob says

    @ 17 stever

    Unlike Freethoughtblogs LLC, which has no login system or server logs and therefore no record of your IP, email address, what browser you use, every comment you’ve made and when, every page you’ve visited and how you got there, etc.


  16. Al Dente says

    Don’t tweet, don’t have a twitter account, don’t want a twitter account. Sorry, Greta, but I’ll just follow you on FTB.

  17. David Marjanović says

    I’m not on Twitter. There are only 30 hours in a day (the way I behave), so I can’t afford yet another timesink. :-(

    the association may alienate some non-believers who want to be involved

    What, the homophobic ones? I honestly can’t find another possible reason.

  18. blf says

    Ditto-ish. I cannot think of any reason to use, or even pay attention to, Twatswank or Farcebork, much less Generalissimo Google+NSA. She has useful and interesting things to say and present, but those forums are NOT the place for, well, anything…

  19. Al Dente says

    blf @22


    I would recommend jettisoning this word from your vocabulary.

  20. Jacob Schmidt says

    I just made a comment that using lgbt language is unnecessary and the association may alienate some non-believers who want to be involved.

    Probably. The real question is, “Do I care?”

    Do I care that some similarity to LGTB language is going to scare people away? No. Those people are turning what should be a non issue into a problem. That’s on them. I do care that these people are probably enabling marginalization of LGTB people, but again, that’s on them, and I seriously doubt providing a “straight space” for them is going to help that.

  21. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Not to pile on Chris [but I guess I actually will], BUT it was amusing that he associates “coming out” as being owned by the LGBT community. To assume that the phrase is exactly like how the LGBT’s own the word GAY now. (and “fabulous!”). Chris, I’m not attacking you personally, since you did acknowledge you spoke hastily and poorly chose your words. Just consider WHY the FIRST thing you thought of after that phrase was the LGBT community? As others have already said, the situation of atheism in today’s theistic environs is such that one must announce, loudly, that they are “coming out” (of the shadows) and declaring their atheism. It is also curious to be ashamed that to say you’re “coming out” because everyone will assume you are gay. Maybe they will initially assume that; but is it shameful to be momentarily thought Gay? Or does it diminish the announcement of atheism because others use the same phrase to announce their “perversion” (variance from the majority)?
    Maybe that might be a temporary good. To hear someone accept one’s atheism by, “oh, okay, I thought you were gay, thank goodness you’re only atheist.” But that is not what I want; at all; I do NOT want atheism to be bouyed by being “better than gay”. A ‘Left-handed compliment’ is never “all-right”.
    I’m running off the rails, ending rant now. Cheers, Chris. keep reading, expand your mind…

  22. says

    I don’t want to be associated with the lgbt movement

    Oh, really? How about racial equality? Class issues? Environmentalism? Are there many other topics that make you uncomfortable?

    Because I’m afraid that once you discard tradition and gods, you find yourself all alone in a universe that doesn’t give a damn about you…unless you find common cause with your fellow human beings. The only thing that will save you is recognizing that you aren’t alone, and that all of us are struggling to find a place where our rare, fleeting self-awareness can express itself freely. I will stand with the poor, the persecuted, the abandoned, the different — because the one thing we all have in common is that desire to be ourselves.

  23. blf says


    I would recommend jettisoning this word from your vocabulary.

    Noted and rejected.

  24. Chris says

    Thanks to PZ, stevem, jacob, drewzilla and f, for the comments. My mistake was starting my post with what was seen as inflammatory: “I don’t care…as long as it’s not in me.” I don’t think any question should be off limits, but I used poor wording and actually didn’t ask a question. I don’t know anyone who is openly gay and I live in a community where the function of the year is the NRA banquet. So, yes, I’m a bit naive on some things, but I wanted to hear responses to my question…that I didn’t ask. As I mentioned above, in the future I will be more careful in any posts, here or elsewhere, and will just ask the damn question.

  25. Chris says

    And thanks to merlin and john-henry for being reasonable before I apologized. That is all.

  26. Chris says

    One last thing. I just tried to follow her twitter feed but I’m blocked. A couple weeks ago I discovered her blog from this site and read a few posts. I sent a twitter message that said pretty much the same thing as my first posts and didn’t get a response (rightfully so). I’m not promoting myself here and am a nobody in the twitter world but i would like to follow her. If anybody would ask her to unblock me I would appreciate it and I will continue to remain respectful and openminded and learn from her. Thanks. (@voiceofsaison) I suppose I’m breaking a rule here. So sorry…again.