Feel the Love
A new study confirms what most atheists already know—that our fellow citizens rate us “below Muslims, recent immigrants, homosexuals and other groups as ‘sharing their vision of American society.’ Americans are also least willing to let their children marry atheists.”
[. . .]
Don’t worry, though: In our defense, the newspaper cites. . .a college freshman!
“First-year biology student Joe Reutiman calls the results a ‘sad state of affairs.’
“‘(Atheists) have the right to believe whatever they want, even if that belief is nothing,’ Reutiman said. ‘They shouldn’t have to fit in with the clean-cut American life like a Norman Rockwell painting.’”
While I realize Joe’s statement is well-intentioned, it only serves to reinforce harmful stereotypes, which in turn lead to study results like those cited above.
First of all, just because atheists don’t believe in a supernatural father figure who resides in a place called heaven and concerns himself with all things terrestrial doesn’t mean we don’t believe in anything. Personally, I believe in lots of things—I believe that honest scientific inquiry is a means to a more enlightened, productive, and peaceful world, for instance. I also believe that I have the power to create beauty, meaning, and purpose in my own life—I don’t need to rely on a mystical leader or on frankly barbaric, misogynistic, and often-contradictory myth to make sense of things.
And I’m pretty clean-cut, too: I’ve been happily married since 1980, my husband and I have raised a good-natured, open-minded, and very witty son (who, by the way, is engaged to—GASP!—a Christian!), I work hard, I pay taxes, and I floss every night before bed.
So—all you atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and agnostics out there, closeted or otherwise—what do you believe in?
(hat tip to bitch lab)