What do you think the stereotypical atheist looks like?
If you’re not sure… well, that makes one of you. When I hear atheists, the first adjectives that come to mind aren’t pleasant ones — not because they’re accurate, but because I’m so used to hearing them.
I’m sure many of us can conjure up in our minds an image of a quintessential evangelical Christian just like many of them can come up with an atheist archetype with no problems.
All you have to do to mess with people’s stereotypes is be out and be yourself.
Do you think of yourself as an atheist? Agnostic? Freethinker? Humanist? Spiritual Nontheist? Take a look at the links. If you don’t fit the stereotypes, you’re in luck. Probably all you have to do to start messing with people’s categories is:
1. Find a kind, matter-of-fact way to let people know you lack a god concept.
2. Be yourself.
If you do fit the stereotypes, please — get some help. And try to take a little break from kicking puppies between now and that first therapy appointment.
As I’ve said many times before, I don’t know very many evil, angry, militant, immoral atheists.
I know plenty of kind, friendly, happy, patriotic ones, though.
So do you.
It’s hard to change the public image, but the way to start is by acting the right way yourself and letting others get used to it.
It’ll take some time, but eventually, I’d hope the mention of an “angry atheist” or anything like it will just lead to confusion.