I never thought that being an atheist would be so enlightening, and so frustrating. As an Australian, the whole idea of identifying as an atheist, is well…meh. We Aussies don’t seem to have the over zealous affection toward an imaginary being as many other nationalities do (particularly America and the Middle east), but when I first joined Twitter as an ‘out and proud’ atheist I was completely blindsided by the intense vitriol leveled at myself and my fellow atheists.
In fact, just by identifying as an atheist I was all of a sudden discriminating against theists (particularly the Christian kind) and disavowing them of their rights to practice their religion in peace. How curious.
Practice their religion in peace? All of a sudden I was part of a group who was actively and intimidatingly persecuting vast numbers of people whose choice of imaginary being was for the most part given to them by the parents who made them, and the culture they grew up with! I didn’t know that I had that kind of power over my fellow men and women, what an amazing feeling!
So what is it that is so intimidating by a group of people who have not yet been privy to sufficient evidence to support a deity? This question is far more complex than I have imagined, and far harder to pin down.
The definition, at least in part, appears to cause some theists to come undone. ‘Are you a new atheist or and old atheist?’ is often a question tweeted at me (and sometimes with quite an aggressive tone and with a meme about Hitler being an evil atheist). I never thought that I was a new or old anything. But what do I know?
This is merely my introductory post on a largely ignored blog (Thanks Jessica!). I have to say that I’ve enjoyed writing it, and I intend to further unpack what atheism means, both to atheists and the people who seem to be so afraid of them.