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← The Out Campaign

JackR's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by JackR

Good to see Richard weigh in on this, and to see him do so with his customary clarity.

By nature I am not a "joiner". I am not a very clubbable chap. But I feel so strongly that atheists need to become more visible, more open, more exposed. Remember that chilling recent statistic which showed that atheists are amongst the most mistrusted people in America? That, right there, is why this is a worthwhile campaign. It's not about getting in people's faces in order to be provocative or aggressive; it's about being open, about showing all those people who so mistrust atheists that we're actually decent, moral, non-scary people. And it's about making it okay to be openly atheist in those many areas of the world where it is anything but that right now.

I've always been an extremely vocal and unapologetic atheist, but I've also always recognised that to be so isn't easy for everyone. The anti-atheist prejudice is real, and in some areas quite vicious. So I'll wear the shirt as an expression of solidarity with those people more than as a personal expression of belief (or lack of) And also because I agree with Richard when he says, "We need to stand up and be counted, so that the demographically savvy culture will come to reflect our tastes and our views. That in turn makes it easier for the next generation of atheists."

Those of us who grew up in the relatively enlightened post-war era, in which religion was very much in retreat in the west, have been complacent. That has allowed the madness to take root and thrive again. No more complacency. This is worth shouting about.

Mon, 30 Jul 2007 15:42:00 UTC | #56570