Response to “You guys are bad representatives of atheism!!!” people

Posted on November 26, 2007. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , |

I found this article on the USAToday website. It’s written by Nica Lalli and is a thoughtful piece that makes the very valid counter-point to all of the people who carelessly lob the accusation at us (or others, such as Christopher Hitchens here) that “You guys are bad representatives of atheism!” Since this is so frequently used as an argument against us, I thought I would re-post it here.

Atheists don’t speak with just one voice
All religions have richly diverse histories and equally diverse believers. Yet why are non-believers treated as a monolith? Equal treatment might lead to greater understanding.By Nica Lalli

I have a question for the Christians out there: If you could pick one living person to be the face of the entire Christian faith, who would that person be? Even if you could pick three, or even five people, it would still be a challenge. I imagine it would be hard to figure out whether you wanted to pick those Christians who think most like you, or if you would pick people who could better represent the many colors of Christianity, the subtle differences and big-picture similarities.

I am an atheist, a humanist, a secularist, a person of no religion. I am nothing. And I ask the question above because in recent months, the word “atheist” has become synonymous with one kind of non-believer: the kind that writes books about atheism and is not very nice about religion.

Many of these books have been written by atheists who are tired of being silent, who are sick of being reviled and who are no longer willing to play the religion games according to the rules of the devout. That means that they no longer consider religion off limits to criticism.

The authors of these books have chosen titles that re-set the stage, with new scenery, new production and new lyrics. God is Not Great, The God Delusion, The End of Faith. These titles tell the reader right away that religion is being looked at from a different, far less reverential, view…more here


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