Claudia, an atheist, has been having a discussion with a theist, and she wants to pose a question to all of you.
But first, some background:
We are atheists… most of us who are vocal about it also have very specific (and negative) views about religion. The budding atheist “movement” centers around defending secularism and denouncing the myriad ill-effects of religion. The term used to describe such a person is “anti-theist.”
It’s this label I have a big problem with.
It’s a label practically begging to be misunderstood as someone who hates religious people. At least visually, it belongs in the same sort of category as “anti-Semite.” Anti-Semites don’t merely oppose, say, circumcision or Kosher meals; they are understood to hate Jews. Someone unfamiliar with us, if they hear we are “anti-theists” can be forgiven for assuming we hate religious people, not merely oppose religion as a concept.
I think we are in need of a term that reflects the opposition to religion without carrying with it the implication of bigotry.
Is her premise fair? If so, do you have any suggestions for a term?