“Im NOT a fanatical atheist”
This is a guest post from our former site before we decided to close it down. The writer wants to remain anonymous, heres goes:
I’ve been hearing a lot about these fanatical or militant atheists in the news lately and I feel I have to address this. I feel very strongly about certain subjects and will speak up whenever the topic is broached. I think most people can agree with that sentence, right? It’s perfectly normal that people disagree. It’s called communication, after all. There are so many different arguments about so many subjects out there that it is impossible for everyone to agree on everything.
I am also atheist. For some reason, whenever religion or politics are brought up and I argue my position I’m immediately labeled ‘fanatical’ or ‘dogmatic’. I don’t scream and yell when I debate and I’m always very polite and considerate, especially if the person who I am conversing with is not a close friend. You see, I understand that people don’t like us non-believers. I get it. I also think it’s ridiculous. One day I hope the negative perception of atheists dissipates and I will do my best to help that. Trust me, if some of the politicians lately swapped out the label ‘atheist’ with ‘Jew’ or ‘African American’ people would be hopping mad and calling for their blood. And that would be expected. However, when a politician makes a disparaging remark against non-believers or attempts to enact some law that marginalizes non-believers, and we react we’re ‘militant’.
Well, here’s another label that gets slapped on atheists – we’re ‘angry’. Well, that one I’ll accept because I am angry. And I’m sick and tired of being labeled ‘fanatical’ because I speak out to defend my rights. The funny thing is, in order to defend my rights I have to defend yours as well. I think everyone in this country deserves equal rights. There aren’t a lot of theists out there who feel the same toward atheists. I’m sick and tired of being called immoral because I don’t follow a holy book. I am just as moral as the next person, perhaps even more so.
I am not a fanatical atheist and this is why. There is nothing to be fanatical about, plain and simple. I am just a little more atheist than all the religious people. You don’t believe in Zeus or Demeter, do you? Well, neither do I. I just also happen not to believe in your god.
I am not dogmatic and there are no ‘rules’ in atheism. It is not a religion. Trust me, non-believers disagree with each other more often than you could fathom. There are no rules and regulations that we must follow as a group and quite honestly, there is no group. I do not consider books written by Dawkins or Harris or whoever to be my bible nor do I agree with everything any of those authors say. I am glad, however, that they wrote those books and that the books gained recognition.
Fanaticism should not be equated with voicing your opinion. I voice my opinion because I feel it’s important. I voice my opinion because I have the right to in this country and we should all be thankful that we have that ability. There is something terribly wrong happening to this country and if I don’t defend myself than I cannot complain when my rights are gone. And our rights are disappearing. That has nothing to do with being an atheist or a Christian; everyone should be concerned about that.
I’m not interested in changing anyone’s religious beliefs. I honestly don’t care about religion – if you believe, that’s fine. What I do care very much about is the fact that those beliefs are affecting other people that don’t share them. Religion belongs in your home, church or community. It does not belong on a political platform.
I see no evidence of a god and therefore it seems reasonable to me that there isn’t a god. Should evidence surface that a god exists then I will believe in god. I don’t know if we will ever know if there is a god. Some agnostics argue that we can never know for sure if there is a god or not but I can’t say that I agree with that. Perhaps one day we will. I’m ok with saying ‘I don’t know’.
I think that everyone has a right to believe in whatever god or deity they want to. However, that belief cannot infringe upon the rights of others. I don’t think governments should have the right to tell their people what they can and cannot believe in as long as that belief (or lack of) is not hurting anyone.
I care very much about the separation of church and state. The line between them has faded in this country and we need to put a stop to it. As a country we’re suffering because of it. I don’t give one whit about God being on our dollar bills or in our pledge though I do wish people would realize that they weren’t always there to begin with. I care a great deal that we have political leaders who are willing to ignore our Constitution because of their religious beliefs. There are also religious secularists so I fail to see how being atheist would somehow make me more fanatical than a religious person who shares my views on this subject.
I suppose you could say that I’m fanatical about protecting my civil rights and the rights of others. When I see the religious right carrying on about gay marriage I want to spit. I don’t think anyone has the right to enforce their religious beliefs on another person who does not share them. This is what is happening with gay marriage and it needs to be stopped. We are all citizens of this country regardless of who you love and as citizens we all deserve to have the same rights. If you find gay marriage morally reprehensible then don’t participate in it. But you do not have the right to deny other people from participating in it.
I don’t care about religion. If it wasn’t for the religious right trying to push their beliefs into the government than there wouldn’t be so many non-believers suddenly standing up and saying ‘wait a minute, this isn’t right’. It’s not right and it must be stopped. So, call me fanatical if you must but all the bad names in the world will not stop me from standing up for my rights.