Friday is Atheist Pride Day! March 17, 2009

Friday is Atheist Pride Day!

It’s a simple and powerful way to show your atheist pride.

This Friday, all you have to do is change your Facebook profile picture to the following:

scarletletter_out

And change your status to something like “I am an atheist” (or whatever).

That’s it!

For most of us, it’s a chance to show some atheist pride. For others, maybe it’s a way to come out to your friends.

It’s certainly not about antagonism. Here’s what Neil Moakley — an organizer of the event — writes about the event in an email:

… we hold the hope that some of the Facebook users out there with ill-informed impressions of the atheist community will see their friends list colored scarlet for one day, and maybe begin to realize that atheists are more diverse than our stereotype, and that we are often in fact productive, caring, ethical people that believers already interact with every day.

More information is on the Facebook Event page. Already, there are over 3,000 people signed up to “attend”!

(Thanks to Danny Piccirillo and Neil for starting and spreading this idea!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Josha

    Will there be a parade and baby-bbq afterwards?

  • Polly

    we are often in fact productive, caring, ethical people that believers already interact with every day.

    On the flip side, if all the asshole-atheists, would please stay quiet for the day, the rest of us would appreciate that. 😉

  • Polly,

    Or at least keep the asshole-atheism to other venues for the day. 🙂

    Josha,

    No parades yet, sadly. Maybe next year!

    Thanks for your support!

  • I thought it was two weeks from tomorrow.

  • Pastor Mike,

    What is foolish about being proud of your belief–or non-belief? You don’t have to agree with us to respect us!

  • schism

    Meh. I already have “atheist” as my religion. How much more out can I get?

    Besides, I like my Cthulhu plush avatar.

    Well, I suppose I can put something in my status line. I’ll have to think of something more clever than “Whee, Imma atheist!!11!1!, though.”

  • Schism,

    Well, for one day, we see it as not just “outing” yourself, but also standing in solidarity with your fellow atheists, many of whom face considerable challenges in publicly showing their lack of belief.

    As an awareness event, we hope that this slight increase in visibility will lead to our believing friends being just that much more conscious of the idea that their world is full of *many* kinds of people, and that nonbelievers are a major part of that.

    And you can always go back to Cthulhu on Saturday. 🙂 Hope you’ll join us!

  • David D.G.

    I have always opposed the “scarlet letter” symbol to denote atheists, so I most certainly will not be using it as my avatar. Besides, having people’s normal images replaced with the same nonpersonal symbol will make it less easy to recognize at a glance who the atheists are, so I think this part of the “event” is a pretty daft idea.

    However, my religious orientation already is given as “agnostic atheist,” and I’ve given favorable reviews on my page to such books as The God Delusion, god is not Great, and several of Carl Sagan’s books, so I’m fairly “out” already.

    Even so, like schism, I might find some moderately interesting way to express my atheisticity (?) without stooping to simply saying “I am an atheist.” How dull can you get? There’s got to be a more entertaining way to express it than that.

    ~David D.G.

  • Liz

    Oh pastor mike, you’re such a joker!

  • David,

    We always intended the “I am an atheist” status line to be a jumping off point for everyone to indicate their own personal flavor of (dis)belief in whatever way they felt appropriate. From the event page:

    * Set your status to a message of nonbelief, such as “I am an Atheist”

    Nonbelievers are a diverse group of people who identify with many different views. Use whatever term(s) you are more comfortable with:
    Atheist, Antireligious*, Nonreligious, Freethinker, Eupraxsopher, Humanist, Secularist, Naturalist, Rationalist, Antitheist, Agnostic, Pantheist

    …which is also part of the reason why we like the idea of the scarlet A: since we’re going to have a diversity of status messages, the common symbol unites us at a glance as celebrating the same cause.

    I understand, of course, that some people have some objections to the use of the A, and you’re certainly free to use a picture of your own devising, but I wanted to make sure you understood the context behind the decision. Thanks for being a part of this!

  • David D.G.

    Thanks, Neil, for the feedback.

    Hmmmm…. I wonder if there’s a good way of riffing on that stupid “I Am Second” meme that’s going around these days.

    ~David D.G.

  • Neil…I respect you. I do.

    I just couldnt resist. 🙂

  • You should also change your MySpace & Twitter Photos too. All social networking sites. I’ll blog about it on Thursday to remind people.
    -Staks
    DangerousTalk.net

  • Uh, I’m sure I’ll forget if I wait, so I’ll change my pic tonight when I get home.

    I’ll try to make my quote link to this page. We’ll see, I’m not very Facebook friendly.

  • This kinda thing makes me mad. Not at the campaign, but at the society we find ourselves in here in the 21st freakin’ century.
    I would love to come out and stand proud as an Atheist in solidarity with my fellow freethinkers… but I live in the good ol’ Southern US of A and my wife runs a small business. If I came out as an Atheist, there would be actual, real financial penalties in terms of lost clients. We could lose our only source of income.
    It’s ludicrous that her lack of belief–or mine!–should influence people’s decisions on where to take their money and have such an impact on our and our children’s future, but it would.

    Ah well, have fun without me. =T I’ll go read some Carl Sagan by candlelight in my closet…

  • I’m about to blog about this too. I am a known atheist to a great many of my friends, but there may be some who don’t know yet.

    Nothing wrong with expressing pride in something we’re proud of, right?

  • Hi again, everyone

    Thanks so much for your support! Seeing the crowd turn Scarlet as the A’s and status messages go up has been great!

    I’ve written a little piece about this event and its significance to me over on my blog; I hope that some of you can spare some time to read through it!

    http://sn.im/atheistpride

    Thanks once again!

  • JohnPost – Don’t feel bad about not being able to do this. We’re doing this so that someday you can not have to worry about it.

  • I’m not on Facebook, so I blogged about Atheist Pride Day instead. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  • Darrin

    Would it be possible to get a properly anti-aliased scarlet A that doesn’t look like crap? Just sayin’. To the designers out there, this logo looks horrible – as if someone threw it together using MS Paint.

  • Mriana

    I’m with David D.G. My Facebook page says I’m a Humanist. Not sure if I really need to change it or not. I’m an atheist or agnostic states what I don’t believe, while saying I’m a Humanist states what I do believe. I feel a little uneasy using a big Scarlett A because it reminds me of the story “The Scarlett Letter”. In that story, it stood for “Adulteress”. Think about it.

  • Any sincere skeptic/atheist meets with my prejudicial approval. BTW, why consider atheism a negative term? Hemant, you teach math, and we all know that the negative of a negative is a positive. And let’s face it: theism is negative, since it equals superstition or BS. Ergo, a-theism is a positive term meaning non-BSers.

    I enjoyed giving and the audience enjoyed receiving my one-hour powerpoint lecture on Atheist Ethics–given last Sat. to the American Humanist Assn. National Convention, Phoenix/Tempe, AZ. (They laughed at all my jokes!.) The basis for the material is in my new book, Out of God’s Closet: This Priest Psychologist Chooses Friendly Atheism.
    Have a great week,

    Steve