These Short Profiles of Atheists Around the World Are All Kinds of Uplifting January 25, 2021

These Short Profiles of Atheists Around the World Are All Kinds of Uplifting

It’s not often you read something like this. Apropos of nothing, the Guardian ran brief profiles of a handful of non-religious people talking about how they find meaning in their lives without God.

Just check out some of these excerpts:

It took me nearly three decades to leave the church. When I became non-religious, the first thing I did was look for other black people who had had that experience. People see you as a traitor. They say, “Atheism is not African: it’s a European ideology.” A lot of people feel they can’t tell their friends. They can’t tell anybody. That’s why we formed our organisation.

The meaning of life, I think, is to make it the best experience you can, to spread love to those around you. It’s important to see the beauty in everything, especially in human beings. A lot of people think they’re not beautiful enough, and that breaks my heart. Your values and personality are the best sides of you.

Donald Trump brought a white Christian nationalism back into the frame. The angry voices we heard in the 50s and 60s against civil rights were back, and legitimised by the president.

I’d hoped we’d be a much better society by the time I reached the age I am. That hasn’t happened; I blame the religious right, which uses the Old Testament, mostly, to perpetuate the patriarchy.

There’s no snark. No attempt to knock the individuals down. So suggestion that they’re wrong. And so much diversity despite there only being eight profiles. There are men and women, from different cultural backgrounds, covering a wide range of ages.

The piece by Harriet Sherwood, with photographs and interviews from Aubrey Wade, just seeks to shine a light on a group of people who are quickly becoming a larger segment of the population — roughly 26% in the U.S. and 52% in Britain. Without doing any heavy lifting to make them look good, the piece lets the subjects speak for themselves. And guess what? They look good.

There’s been a running joke online about how reporters love covering Trump supporters in rural diners while broadly ignoring people of color who wanted him out of office. Coverage is often about how Democrats (in the majority) will reach out across the aisle to Republicans to find compromise even though they never did that when Republicans were in power. Well, here, for once, we have a spotlight on a group of people being good without God without any religious people chiming in with unnecessary sound bites. We need more of it.

You can see the full collection of Wade’s photographs and captions here.

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