“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” -Harvey Firestone
From Salon.com comes this article about a woman, Ada Calhoun, who is a self-described “closeted Christian.” In the subheading, she says that she’s closeted because in her circle “nothing is more embarrassing than being religious.”
Lady, what you need is a new circle of friends. This is like believing homosexuality is a choice and a sin, then proceeding to keep that belief a secret and only being friends with the cast of Avenue Q. Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should have friends whose beliefs aren’t like their own. I have friends who are Christians. And Muslims. And Hindus. But I don’t have to hide my atheism from them. And they don’t belittle my beliefs anymore than I belittle theirs, though we, of course, mock each other on a regular basis.
The problem here isn’t atheists, but herself. Either grow some balls, come out of the “closet,” and stand up for your “beliefs” or make some new friends at Bible study.
She notes that
“Barry Kosmin at the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College says it’s ridiculous that, in a city like New York, where there is a church on every corner, anyone would hide their religion.”
And then she goes on to say BUT
“…if you’re in a place like New York City — or Austin, Texas, or Portland, Ore., or Los Angeles — the “new atheists” surround you. In October 2009, the atheist organization Big Apple Coalition of Reason (COR) started a poster campaign to celebrate non-belief. “A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?” reads one such poster. A similar campaign in London led by the bestselling author Richard Dawkins reads, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
Yes. Poster campaigns in the two of the world’s largest cities are terribly oppressive. Especially since attempts at similar ads were removed in Southern California, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and I’m sure other places not in the top Google searches for “atheist billboard removed.” Do you know how many times a day I see billboards for churches or ads on buses for mosques? Or even how many fucking Jesus fish I see on cars every single day? Is she suggesting that I’m being oppressed when Christians put up a sign saying “Jesus Is The Reason For The Season?”
How do I know Christians aren’t “oppressed” in this country? According to her article, The Panel Study of American Religion and Ethnicity studied how people felt about their religion and a mere 2% of respondents stated that they didn’t want people to know that they were religious. 2 freaking percent. I bet 2% of white males would report that they are oppressed in our society too.
I found this article through PZ Myers’ post on the subject. He makes an excellent point about the author’s assertion that
“And yet, atheists are at least as fundamentalist and zealous as any religious people I know, and they have nothing good to show for it: no stained glass, no great literature, no great art, no comfort in the face of death.”
To which Myers’ responds
“No great literature? One name: Mark Twain. No great art? Berlioz, Paganini, Schubert, Saint-Saëns.”
Or, and she may consider this a minor detail, science?