…but the stereotype of the angry atheist persists, and I’m sure my postings on skeptical topics could be considered shrill. When a thread on the Rational Skepticism forum led to this other blog’s lengthy (and yet, not even comprehensive) analysis of reasons ‘why are we so angry.’ I was proud to find my own favorite sound bite first on the list. Atheist president. It’s real easy to sum up right there. Apparently, from looking at the polls, a fair number of people will say they would personally, but America on the whole? Nah. Never happen.
If any of them read this (ha!) I guess I’d have to ask how that works. Because it makes it look like some of them are lying about what they would do personally.
But out of all of the reasons, I liked this one toward the end.
And I get angry when believers act as if these offenses aren’t important, because “Not all believers act like that. I don’t act like that.” As if that fucking matters. This stuff is a major way that religion plays out in our world, and it makes me furious to hear religious believers try to minimize it because it’s not how it happens to play out for them. It’s like a white person responding to an African-American describing their experience of racism by saying, “But I’m not a racist.” If you’re not a racist, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and listen to the black people talk? And if you’re not bigoted against atheists and are sympathetic to us, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and let us tell you about what the world is like for us, without getting all defensive about how it’s not your fault? When did this international conversation about atheism and religious oppression become all about you and your hurt feelings?
I see this one a lot. Constantly. The believers who stop by the RS forum are, by and large, trolls, or liberal, everybody’s-cool sorts of believers. It’s the latter who consistently pooh-pooh the problems and contradictions and outrages of organized religion because they, personally, don’t buy into that. It’s as if, simply because they don’t buy into, say, creationism, that the millions of brainwashed fools and the malicious twits who lead them just…don’t exist.
The blogger also goes into the reasons why this anger is justified, even useful. How a lot of social change has taken place in this country, and how much of it was associated with…angry people. She demolishes the notion that the moderate, compromise position is always the better one with stupid-easy examples like, say, slavery, or civil rights, or the American revolution for that matter. Yes, Mr. President, sometimes compromise is bad. zing.
Anyway, I found the whole article worth the read-through. It may provide some measure of perspective, some hint of why I harp on organized religion and speak out about a lack of belief. If you don’t believe anything, what are you so mad about? Yeah, I get that a lot. That usually leads into the typical ‘atheism is a religion too’ tu quoque. Yep, quality apologetics…get that a lot. It makes me go all…