Why Do We Always Talk about Atheism? June 27, 2009

Why Do We Always Talk about Atheism?

Here’s a terrific article about why atheists so often talk about atheism by Greta Christina (whom I will *finally* get to meet in person next week!).

One reason she mentions is that many atheists feel religion is not just wrong, but also harmful. And we need to point that out.

Another is the ongoing anti-atheist bigotry we have to deal with:

Parents are denied custody of their children for being atheists; people are harassed and and their homes vandalized by their neighbors for being atheists; teachers are suspended for being atheists; teenagers are harassed and suspended from school for being atheists; politicians whip up anti-atheist fear to try to get elected. (And that’s just in the U.S. I’m not even talking about parts of the world where atheism is a crime punishable by imprisonment or death.)

You owe it to yourself to read the piece. Don’t let anyone put you down by asking why you talk about or think about atheism all the time. We have plenty of reasons to keep it at the forefronts of our minds.

(Thanks to Shaun for the link!)

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  • SarahH

    It’s a good article, but don’t read the comment thread unless you want your brain to slowly wither and die painfully.

    It’s full of people using the exact arguments GC explains, in the article, are unfair and/or moot. So much of it seems to boil down to: “I don’t want to hear about it!” to which the correct answer is, “Then stop reading and posting on articles about it!”


  • one point you leave out: In some states you are disqualified to run for public office if you are an atheist. (Texas being one example.)

  • Luther

    I don’t always talk about Atheism. Most atheists I know don’t either. Its one of many things I talk about.

    But when we don’t talk about atheism, people don’t recognize us as atheists…how could they.

    So, if I talk about computers, people might say “Why do programmers always talk about computers?”. Or why are telemarketers always trying to sell people something. Or why are preachers always preaching?

  • CybrgnX

    I get the ‘I’m a Xtian and I don’t want to hear about atheism.’ a lot but then only once from any person. because I smile and with calm politeness and subtlety state that I wont talk about atheism if they stop mentioning the ‘bastard Jew’ all the time. For some reason my polite comments make them red in the face and they go away. Or we start one hell of a debate.
    Actually that is for the obnoxious ones, I usually talk about it very politely with any who talk politely, many when they find out about ‘my abomination’ are curious about it because they do not know much about it.

  • Richard Wade


    one point you leave out: In some states you are disqualified to run for public office if you are an atheist. (Texas being one example.)

    Just to be clear, the Supreme Court declared all such provisions in any state constitutions to be null and void in 1961. It’s disgusting that those state legislatures have not had the guts to officially amend their constitutions, not wanting to appear to be pro-atheist to their bigoted religious constituencies, but they have no actual legal power to disqualify anyone for lack of religious belief.

  • Taavet

    I’m a heavy smoker. Every once in a while someone comes up to me and tells me it’s bad for me.

    “How so?” I ask, suppressing a cough, “I tend to feel rather better afterwards.”

    “It’ll kill you in the long run” they say.

    Well duh. I’m a heavy smoker in 21st century, excusing myself from dinner tables, nipping outdoors from social gatherings, keeping downwind of small children in public.

    They think I don’t know it’s bad for me?

    I don’t need them to go on about it ALL THE BLOODY TIME.

  • duhsciple

    When you talk about anything “all the time” it is annoying!

    We have 2 ears and 1 mouth (provided by God? evolution? God working through evolution?)

    IMO, it is a sin when Christians talk about something “all the time” and don’t listen. And it is a sin when atheists do it.

    I am hoping that both friendly atheists and friendly believers could find common ground in friendly listening.

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