My Fellow Atheists

As with any other group, there are a wide variation of people in the atheist movement. People become atheists for a variety of reasons and each brings a different background and set of experiences to what it means to be an atheist. There is a wide variety of ways people express their atheism.

Down in the South there is a significant amount of religious privilege. Commonly the first three questions you hear when meeting someone new is 1) “What is your name?”, 2) “What do you do?”, and 3) “Where do you go to church?”. There is also the common underlying assumption that everyone you encounter is also Christian. I regularly have people talk to me who either don’t know me very well or have made assumptions about me. They assume that because I am white, male, and successful, that I am also conservative and Christian. This state of religious privilege has caused anger in a subsection of the atheist movement. The problem is that the expression of this anger can be toxic and turn off people you may want to otherwise reach.

There is a perception of the atheist movement that it is significantly white and male. Additionally, there are elements in the atheist movement that seem to want to keep it that way. There are posts and videos that are derogatory of those who do not fit the white male condition. Those who wish to take the moral high ground against religions that they wish to deride should not share the prejudices held by those same religions.

Prejudice should not have a place in the humanist movement. We should accept everyone without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identification,  religious background, or any other reason. All are welcome in the humanist movement as long as you have empathy and understanding that we’re all human.

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