My friend Staks Rosch writes a daily blog called Dangerous Talk. He’s a sincere, ethical, GOOD young guy, with a lovely wife and an adorable new son, Orion (love that name!). And, he’s an atheist. I enjoy his blog and occasionally repost one that holds particular appeal to me. This is one of them, it really goes very well with my earlier post “Sick and Tired of God Stuff” which is here at http://www.caraleisa.com/blog1/?p=46.
MOST atheists I know, (and I know a lot of atheists having been active in assorted free-thought communities since 1992), do NOT bring up their lack of faith in general social conversations. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, though, when it’s brought up to us, which happens regularly. We can answer honestly that THAT is not what we believe and be considered rude, or we can keep our mouths shut and imply that we do agree, and give ourselves a knot in our stomach.
What if, instead of a sweet old lady saying “Oh, your baby is such a wonderful gift from God!”, someone said to a religious couple “How wonderful that your son was born free of superstitious nonsense like religion!” Well, folks, you and I know that they would NOT like it one bit. They’d be offended and likely get nasty. Why do you think it’s any different when the statement is about a ‘gift from god’? It’s not.
Here are Stak’s thoughts on the matter.
The Double Standard of Religious Conversation
Posted: 27 Oct 2009 09:02 AM PDT
Why is it that religious people feel the need to insert their religious views into seemingly every conversation? If an atheist inserting his or her lack of belief into seemingly every conversation we are criticized by the religious for “pushing our atheism.”
Yesterday, I was out with my 8 mouth old son and a woman came up to me and started a conversation. She told me about how she works in a hospital and deals with babies all the time. She of course thought that my son was cute (because he is cute!) and that was fine. No problems so far. But then she started going off on how he is a miracle from God and stuff. She actually laid the God-talk on pretty thick and it got pretty awkward. I did my best not to say anything and to just be polite since we were in a store full of people. But she made it really difficult.
The thing is that I shouldn’t have had to bite my tongue, she didn’t bite her tongue. In fact, she had no problem whatsoever pushing her religious beliefs on me and making the conversation very uncomfortable. Plus, had I told her that I didn’t believe in God, no doubt I would be considered the rude one.
Contrast this with an incident from over the weekend in which a facebook friend (relative really) had a status update in which she started to express doubt in God. I posted a comment joking about how I don’t believe in God and haven’t gotten hit with a lightning bolt yet. This of course led to a small debate with one of her Christian friends. I was very polite and even told her friend that if she wanted to continue the conversation, we should do so privately. But instead, her friend just kept insulting me. In the end, I was considered the rude one for, “pushing my atheism” and “inserting my atheism into every conversation” despite the fact that the conversation started with someone else’s doubt of deities.
This is why I think it is so important for atheists to come out of the closet. In fact, I am probably going to start wearing my American Atheist necklace more often now. If more people realize that atheists are out there in the general public in larger numbers, they will stop assuming that everyone they meet believes in God. This might cause them to think a little bit before they start babbling about gods and miracles at seemingly every turn.