Yes, This is the Time! January 1, 2012

Yes, This is the Time!

Do it. Start with someone you trust. If that person isn’t around, do it online. There are a lot of us here to support you!

PostSecret has a couple of other atheist-related postcards today that aren’t quite as positive…


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  • Benjamin

    Why would I bother about getting a card with that Stamp more than one with Santa on it.

  • EJC

    Stop hiding. Stop being a secret-sycophant to people like Hemant, PZ, Dawkins, et al… GROW A PAIR AND STAND UP TO BE COUNTED!!!

    Being an atheist is fan-fucking-tastic. Why would you hide it?

    You get ONE SHOT at life. Life honestly, and move forward with PRIDE.

  • Paul Little

    Smug theists annoy the shit outta me. There, we’re even.

  • I personally love being smug, knowing it pisses people off when all the research I do every day into topics they barely ever consider pays off.

    Of course, they’ve got me with regards to politics, I don’t think I’ll ever understand that shenanigans, but religion and science are in the bag.

  • Gordon Duffy

    I find it bizarre that people who believe the universe was created for them by a magic man who grants their wishes think we are smug and arrogant.

    And it is funny when christians try to claim Christmas – a holiday that is not christian in either origin or practice!

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s funny because that card with Penn on it has a slogan that sounds like something Penn himself would say. You could substitute “atheist” for any other thing, or keep it the same, and it’s precisely the sort of sentiment that Penn would espouse himself.

    I can hear him now in my head “Smug ________ annoy the shit out of me!”

  • Anonymous

    Grown men with chin pubes and ponytails annoy the shit out of me.

  • Anonymous

    Atheism: the arrogant belief that the entire billions-galaxy universe wasn’t created just for you

  • m6wg4bxw

    Atheists can be annoyed by smug atheists too. Why has anyone assumed that comment came from a theist?

  • Anonymous

    The Madonna is just the latest in a long line of similar mythical Goddesses after all. Of all the Christian deities, she’s the only one that’s halfway decent.

  • Smug *people* annoy the shit out of me.

  • My only recommendation is that – if at all possible – people come out as atheists to their closest friends or family first, before doing so online.

  • Anonymous

    After the harassment that Atheists normally receive from Theists, getting Christmas cards with religious imagery on them seems almost a relief. I’m sure the Atheists didn’t even notice since they probably get the same type of stamps from their religious relatives all the time without the religious relative even thinking about the beliefs of the person they are sending it to.

  • Kelley

    I think if someone sent me a card with that stamp, I wouldn’t even notice it enough to be annoyed. 

  • Keith

    Hemant, are you out to your high school students? I seem to recall a video of one of your talks where you mentioned that your students know nothing of your blog or atheist activities. If they do know, I’m curious about how this info goes over and what sort of issues come up with the parents you meet as well as the other faculty, etc.

  • Why do we have to be specific on the atheists? Smug PEOPLE are annoying – or is the poster only annoyed when the smug individual disagrees with them? Isn’t that what *gasp* smug people feel?

    As for the Christmas cards, I do the same. I also enjoy buying grotesquely religious cards, and I’ll even write notes like “Merry CHRISTmas!” to my atheist friends. Because it’s funny. As for the poster, if you are acting like a jerk to your friends simply because you disagree with them, perhaps it’s worthwhile reconsidering what you think makes a friend in the first place… 

  • Anonymous

    Stamp fans notice stamps.  Anybody else?  I don’t know.  Heck, I used to be a little into philately and I don’t notice stamps anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Chances are, if you take a stance like that, the feeling is mutual.  Why judge?

  • Anonymous

    Is Penn Jillette considered smug here, or is it something they’re projecting Penn as saying?

  • Anonymous

    Hemant is free to answer himself, but I’m pretty sure its next to impossible for his students to be unaware of his position. They know his name and they know how to google. Maybe they aren’t all aware of his activism, but some must know. What seems to be the case is that Hemant keeps his activism very strictly outside the classroom.

    As for other faculty, considering that the Illinois Family Institute has tried to get him fired a few times (epic failures, as most things associated with the IFI are), I’m certain they know about his atheism. Doesn’t appear to be a problem.

  • Anonymous

    If I got a card with a religiously themed stamp from an acquaintance I wouldn’t blink. If I got it from a close friend, someone who knows how I feel about religion, I would probably laugh. I’d think it cute, and probably go about trying to find a Darwin stamp or something similar to send back a similarly snarky card. All in good fun, as far as I’m concerned.

    As for smug people, it’s a universal feeling. When someone on your side is smug about people on the other side, you’re either neutral or amused. When someone on the opposite side is smug towards you, you are annoyed. It doesn’t much matter whether it’s religion, economics or football.

  • I’m sure some know, but it’s not like I go out of my way to tell them. If they bring it up, I shut the conversation down pretty fast. Because of that, it’s never an issue. Once, an outside group brought information about my website to my administration, but they did the right thing, saying that since I don’t talk about it in class, it’s none of their concern.

  • I don’t get the deal about the Xmas stamp. Are our eyes supposed to explode or something when we see religious stamps at Xmas time?

    Smug people PERIOD annoy me. Hell, *I* even annoy me sometimes.

  • I thought about using those religious stamps when I was sending out my Helladay Cards to my fellow atheist friends. I thought it would have been really funny in an ironic sense. But I didn’t do it.

  • I’m smug. I’m pretty certain that if I type this you will read it. So there! lol.

  • When I was a student teacher, a student asked me if I believed in God and I said no, but that was the end of it. The next week, she brought in a Bible for silent reading time (which the kids are always trying to get out of) and she was trying to use the Separation of Church and State as to why she shouldn’t be allowed to do silent reading. I told her she could read the Bible if she wanted to, but that I couldn’t make her read that particular book. But since she is allowed to pick any book she wanted, the Bible would be okay. She didn’t like that answer and decided to pick Goosebumps instead.

  • Anonymous

    The real 21st Century so far hasn’t much resembled science fiction’s 21st Century – except for the part about the growing numbers of atheists.

  • Michael

    Christmas, $8.80

    I really can’t do more than just read that image back. It says everything.

  • Anonymous

    1. If everyone else is allowed to feel comfortable expressing their religious beliefs, there’s no reason you shouldn’t as well, unless you fear for your safety or well being.

    2. Like praying for me, if throwing a religious stamp on my card makes you feel better, knock yourself out.

    3. Good to know. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alleyprowler

    $8.80 for a Christmas card stamp. The joke is on who, now?

  • Anonymous

    Smug atheists might annoy me, but they aren’t trying to get laws passed that violate the constitution and restrict my liberties. Smug religionists make my blood boil.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I just thought we were talking about stuff that annoys the shit out of us. 

  • M G

    Friends? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…
    Going out of your way to annoy people that you consider your friends shows that there is more to what you don’t know than the truth about religion.

    Also, a general FYI to the commenters–those aren’t $8.80 stamps–that’s the label off a book of 20. Says it right there on the bottom.

  • Meee

    The grammar on the christmas card one (the hopefully unnecessary apostrophe after the word “friends”) makes it seem like this person is stealing cards their atheist friends have written, replacing the stamps, and mailing them on.

    And that’s terrible.

  • I agree to all the messages, but, as regards picture no. 1, shouldn’t it be possible at least to spell “atheist” correctly?

  • Panofsky

    What’s the point of being smug if you can annoy people.

  • Panofsky

    Sorry can’t annoy people

  • jalyth

    Smug is annoying, sure. I’d place it on the opposite of “friendly”. I prefer nice people, atheist or no. But I sure see more smug theists. 

  • Anonymous

    I was a student at Hemant’s school. I knew nothing about Hemant’s atheism or his activism until I went to start a SSA group at my university and saw his face is the group starting guide.

  • m6wg4bxw

    20 stamps × $0.44 = $8.80

  • Brian Macker

    Smug people don’t really bother me that much. Nor do Xmas cards. Other things certainly do.

  • It’s okay to be smug if you are right and have evidence to back it up.

  • Michael

    Obviously, but the positioning of the price tag gives cause to chuckle slightly.

  • Marfknox

    As a lover of beautiful and skillful paintings, this atheist always enjoys looking at whatever Madonna with Christ the post office chooses to make the Christmas stamp of the year. Just as I imagine a Christian can aesthetically appreciate a Tibetan Buddhist Mandala. 

  • Stayin’ In

    You don’t go out of your way to tell them?!? Why heavens not??? Maybe this is the time! (Insert platitudes about how important putting yourself at risk is for no benefit just because some atheist leader told you to.)

    Maybe it’s just me – but I don’t get why its better to quickly change the subject at a job you might need for years to come but to be forthcoming to people you might be around for the rest of your life! If the first is too risky, the second is even riskier than that!

    But then I’ve never been one to just do what I’m told…

  • Demonhype

    Smug chihuahuas, on the other hand, are adorable.

  • m6wg4bxw

    Thirty-three and one-third cent stamps would make this excellent. Pardon the cliche.

  • Brian Macker

    Oh, you mean those little dogs that get their pictures taken in women’s bras? I never noticed if they actually were smug. I just assumed they were while I was distracted. Their smugness does really bother me either. I could empathize with their attitude in such a situation.

  • Brian Macker

    That was “doesn’t”..

  • Brian Macker

    Also if you earned your shit. Of course if you didn’t it isn’t your smugness that bothers me.

  • Brian Macker

    Heck I’m not a sycophant to anyone. They would hide it because of all the religious bigots out there.

  • Brian Macker

    He mailed his friends’ cards. That’s plural possessive. It works actually.

  • Unfortunately for you, I have math to teach. That’s the only priority when I’m at work.

  • “As for the Christmas cards, I do the same. I also enjoy buying
    grotesquely religious cards, and I’ll even write notes like “Merry
    CHRISTmas!” to my atheist friends. Because it’s funny.”

    Except it really isn’t funny at all. Unless, you know, you’re a bully, and you think it’s “funny” to continually harass people.

  • monyNH

    I ended up buying a book of the Madonna and Child stamps, because our post office was out of the funky ornament ones and I wanted a holiday stamp. And like you, I appreciate a beautiful painting regardless of any religious theme it may have–it’d be a pretty small pool to choose from if atheists decided they would only like purely secular art.

    Anyway, I doubt my Christian friends and family thought for a moment that I’d converted (nor would they particularly give a crap). 

  • monyNH

    I recently had a student ask me what my religion was; after a second’s hesitation, I opted to be honest and tell him I was an atheist. His response: “What’s that?”  

    When I said it means I don’t believe in god, he went on to say that he must be one also, and his parents are always dragging him to church. That, honestly, was slightly more terrifying than if he’d tried to proselytize to me…

  • Who bothers Googling teachers’ names? Maybe some people do. It would never have occurred to me.


  • Here in Ireland, the Christmas stamps are cheaper than the standard ones. My JW dad always buys them and uses them. If he, who has a religious objection to Christmas, doesn’t care about the imagery, why should I or anyone else?


  • No no, if they’re having their photos taken in bras, they’re *snug*.  Easy mistake.

  • Pseudonym

    Stroking your own over-inflated ego is its own reward.

  • Pseudonym

    Kinder the enemy who must malign usThan the smug friend who will define us.  — Anna Wickham

  • Pseudonym

    It’s funny if you have the kind of atheist friend who gets the joke.

  • Pseudonym

    Maybe both? Whatever, it works either way.

  • Pseudonym

    Separation of church and state means not derailing your class into irrelevant religious discussions when you teach in a public school. Kudos to Hemant for keeping it professional.

  • Well, you DO get 20 of them for that price.

  • Well, sure, if they’re in on the joke, it could be funny. But just, you know, out of the blue?

  • Anonymous

    I suppose, but to lead to my line of questioning, is Penn smug?

  • P. J. Reed

    Why would you hide it?

    Because there are many places where not hiding it will, at best, cause you to lose your job and be ostracized.  At worst, you’ll be stoned to death.

  • So???

  • gsw

    An extremely clever life-insurance scam that has failed to produce proof of a single payout in 2000 years.

    Long Live Smug!

  • Out of the blue from a known atheist who volunteers 20+ hours a week with an atheist organization? Yeah, I don’t bother with people who can’t process sarcasm.

  • T-Rex

    Grammer knotsees anoy da schit owt uf mee.

  • Anonymous

    Good question. My guess is the latter.

    He has his opinions that are vastly different from the majority of people in the world (he’s both an atheist and a libertarian). He’s outspoken about them; that doesn’t make him smug.

    When he was interviewed by Piers Morgan, he was repeatedly asked about creation (of the universe). Jillette’s answer was “I don’t know” which Morgan found as an unacceptable answer.

    That doesn’t sound like smugness to me.

  • Pseudonym

    This doesn’t answer your question completely, but if it were me writing that particular Post Secret, I wouldn’t have used Penn as my example.

    Penn’s problem is that everyone knows who he is from his picture. How many people know who Jerry Coyne is or what he looks like?

  • Guest

    I had the opportunity to hear Penn speak at an event, and heard him discuss his “I don’t know” responses to such questions.  He seems to almost pat himself on the back for being clever enough to answer “I don’t know,” so I’d have to label that smug.  Though I’m sure he has his non-smug moments. 

    Disclaimer: I’m an atheist and find Penn a little entertaining and a little more annoying. 

  • Gus Snarp

    Penn Jillette annoys the shit out of me.

  • Alex

    Re. Smiling Penn Jillette postcard: I remember a few years ago there was a Dodge commercial on TV where a bunch of cute animal characters were criticizing its appearance as “not exactly warm and fuzzy”, and the last one saying “it scares the [bleep] out of me”. Likewise, I think this postcard could make a good “ad” for atheists and Mr. Jillette personally 🙂

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