Attaching a Face to the Atheist March 27, 2011

Attaching a Face to the Atheist

A few days ago, I mentioned that Trevor Boeckmann (of the University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers — UNIFI) wasn’t thrilled with A Week because it was confusing to those outside our movement (and even many in the movement).

The point is to be open about your atheism, so why not show your face along with your message?

No one outside of our movement knows what the “A” means. Yes, some people will look up what’s going on. Most won’t.

Want to actually help help with the movement? Grab a sheet of paper, write that you’re an atheist, and make that your profile picture… A symbol is nice. A face is better.

Well, Trevor has been collecting the pictures in a Picasa album and there’s already 50 pictures (and counting)! Some of the recent additions are just fantastic:

This next one’s not in the gallery yet, but a special shout-out goes to Grant Sutherland who, with the help of his friend Michael Davis, wrote his own book on the subject (a la Stephen Colbert) 🙂

If you’d like to submit your own picture to the gallery, you can send the image (or link) to Trevor here.

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  • Grant Sutherland

    Easter egg if you zoom in and look to see who published the book.

  • Grant Sutherland

    When I showed my parents the book cover, my dad loved it but my mom gave me sort a look that said, “It’s…nice…can’t you use the word agnostic“. She worries, but I love her.

  • bilbo

    Never understood the phenomenon of women referring to themselves as bitches. If anyone wants to enlighten me as to why some people do that, I’d love an explanation!

  • Placing an A on your Fb page takes less than a minute, and that’s why it works.

    I’m going to reuse a joke (it’s my joke so I feel it’s OK).

    Trying to get atheists to agree to any mass movement can be diffucult. Here is a prayer for an atheist organizer “Dear my fictitious God, please save me from my friends. My enemies I can handle on my own.”

  • Sunil

    Just sent in mine!

  • Tad
  • Nanci

    Great, but I see everyone who has done that here is under 20 years old! How about some into their 4th or 5th decade, like me? I know I hated it when I was young, but I gotta say this: I know a lot of folks will think, “Well, they’re so young, they don’t yet know what they want – they’ll change their minds”! Also-yes,I AM afraid to “come out” – almost all my family and friends are Christian – god forbid (just an expression! LOL!) they all find out!

  • I just participated. Thanks for the heads up!

  • It is true that any group as individualistic as atheists can be difficult to motivate in the same direction. Perhaps the key is simply to continue to have the discussion of “coming out”…each in our own way.

    I like the photograph idea more than the “A” idea…I think it does a much better job of humanizing us.

    I think that even if only a fairly small number of Freethinkers adopt this sort of activity it can be useful to generate a continuing discussion among non-believers of all stripes as to how we can each be more visible to our communities.

    Once we become more visible it will be harder to ignore us, marginilize us and debase us.

  • Ha, cool! We made friendlyatheist.com.

  • Steve

    As a proud UK atheist, I find it absurd that in the “land of the free”, young atheists have to resort to this, does religion really have that strong a hold? Our deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg is an atheist, albeit with a Spanish Catholic wife, doesn’t seem to have stopped him reaching the top. My respect to all on here but as ever, here in the UK, it’s a complete non-issue and long may it stay that way. This not a criticism by the way, just bemused.

  • Sarah Hargreaves

    bilbo,

    I am the person in the “Atheist Bitch” picture. I refer to myself and my friends as bitches. I use it as a term of endearment. I think it is funny and am not offended by it at all. I am much more offended by a thoughtful, personal insult than a generic “bad word.” However, I understand this word holds weight to others that it does not to me and I do not make a habit of using the word loosely around people I am not familiar with or those I know are offended by it. My friends all know I use the word with humor, so when a friend of mine linked me to the Trevor Boeckmann article and challenged me to make a sign, I included the word bitch, just because, again, I think it is funny. No higher meaning or purpose than that. If I had known this image would be used in one of the most popular atheist blogs on the web, I probably wouldn’t have used the word bitch, because I know people have mixed feelings about the word and there is no way for people who don’t know me to understand my intention and meaning. I hope that clarifies some. 🙂 And, I am very honored to be included in this list of notable Atheist pics, even if I probably wouldn’t have used the word bitch if I had know. 🙂

  • Josh Evolved

    @ Steve

    Yeah, it is that bad in the United States. They did a survey and atheists were the ones that people “wouldn’t want their child to marry” (more so than ex-felons), and most don’t “trust” us to be open and politicians.

    There are still unconstitutional laws in many states that dictate you have to have a belief in a god to be in government. They aren’t enforced, but many wish they were.

  • “I am a husband, a father of four. I volunteer hundreds of hours at our local high school. I donate to charities. I work as a civil servant defending our country against those that would do us harm and, I am an atheist.

    http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2011/03/week-on-facebook.html

  • Steve

    Yes, Josh, I have read that, wasn’t it George H W Bush who said atheists can’t be patriots? Being a politician here means you can practice devil worship, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their duties, try that in the Bible Belt!!! America is certainly a land of contradictions!!!! All power to your atheist elbow, from a UK supporter. We may have a right wing government but it can’t tell us who or what to worship, or none at all, roll on 2015!!!

  • Jeff

    Trench coats are evil?

  • Hitch

    The pictures are great. Love the giant “Hello – I’m …”.

  • Liz

    I personally feel ‘bitch’ is sexist and that is the main reason I don’t like it. I have no problem being called an asshole, fucker, etc. But I don’t appreciate sexism.

  • Drew M.

    Why are atheists are so damned good looking?

  • Kristen

    I’m the I LOVE YOU atheist pictured above and I’m 31 😉

    Thanks for using my pic!!! It was from an Awareness Rally that the Purdue Calumet SSA organization held last year at a major intersection in NW IN. There were a lot of “I hate you!!!”‘s from Christians aimed at me, unfortunately. 🙁