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C. L. Hanson

I don't know -- I'm still leaning towards your original line of reasoning. Sidebar real-estate is valuable, and I'd hate to have that big red "A" distract people from clicking on my cool sidebar links. And I think it's pretty clear I'm an atheist -- otherwise how'd I get elected third runner up for sexiest atheist blogger? ;^)

vjack

Like you, I held out for a long time before adding it. In fact, I even wrote a post or two about how I didn't like it, etc. In the end, I suppose I started to see it in a different way - much like what you describe here.

Joreth

I put it in my latest post, but I use LJ and don't have as much control over my sidebars. I'll have to figure out a way to include it in the more permanent elements of my blog. But your posts often inspire me to write my own thoughts about these topics, so I thank you with a link back!

~Joreth
http://www.polytees.com
http://www.theinnbetween.net
http://joreth.livejournal.com

Felicia Gilljam

Greta, In regards to your blog looking crowded, I think it would help a LOT if you made the middle column at least 100px wider. I love that you illustrate your posts but I swear your blog requires more scrolling than any I've ever seen :D

You can definitely increase the total width of the blog to 800-900 px without complaint; most people have big enough screens these days.

the chaplain

I've wrestled with the Red A question since the day I opened my blog for business (about three months ago). I've come close to adding it a couple of times, then pulled back. One issue for me is aesthetic; I don't want to clutter up my sidebar.

Another issue is that I don't want to just jump on a bandwagon and get an A because everyone else is doing it - maybe that's my atheocat attitude. I'm still dealing with having spent an entire lifetime conforming to the expectations of religious others. I don't want to walk away from all that simply to conform to the norms of some atheist others now. So, for the time being, it's no crosses, crucifixes, crescents or As for me. It's just plain, ordinary, no-frills li'l old me.

Mike Haubrich, FCD

I can identify with not wanting a blog to look like a MySpace page; but the symbol is very important to me as it is where most of my activism comes from. I would get rid of everything else I have on the sidebar, but not the Scarlet "A."

It is a way to let viewers know exactly where I stand when it comes to religion.

Thanks for adding it, Greta. There is strength in visible numbers.

Marie

Congrats! I also recently added it. I love reading your blog, too, so I feel like we're sisters now! ;-)

Eclectic

Marie—thanks for the pointer (in your blog) to the Dan Barker interview. I really don't know much about christianity, but even I can enjoy bits like

Dan: What do you mean, "sin"? What is sin?

Jason: Well, sin [you see] can mean different things to different people, but sin is basically violating God's laws. Or, for argument's sake, we could call sin, you know, murder, rape, bestiality, and we can name a few sins just to say, ok these are things that are wrong.

Dan: Is it a sin to do work on a Sabbath? God's law clearly says that anybody who does work on the Sabbath should be put to death. Is that a sin?

Jason: Well that scripture was a specific law for . . You see when you read the Bible you obviously need to take it into context. Who is it talking to? Why is it saying what it's saying? I think you're quoting Old Testament law that was given to the Jews, is that right?

Dan: It's in . . . it's the Ten Commandments! "Honor [Remember] the sabbath day to keep it holy." The Sabbath day [rule] is part of the Ten Commandments that almost every Christian church views as core to Christian theology.

Jason: Ok, I believe it is important to take off a day during the week to rest, but interestingly that is the one commandment that was not repeated in the New Testament. Did you know that?

Dan: Well ok, so then you're throwing out part of the Old Testament. Christians feel free to pick and choose what they like and don't, right?

————

Jason: Don't you think that it makes things kind of subjective if we don't have a non-subjective authority, a supernatural authority from outside our time-space dimension?

Dan: That's the only way to be moral. In fact, making it non-subjective or absolute is very very dangerous. If there is, supposedly, this absolute morality--these principles that have to be absolutely followed that were decreed by this god--then why is it that there are no two Bible-believing . . Why is it that there are no two issues on which Bible-believing Christians agree? Take any crucial social issue of the day: abortion rights, the death penalty, or doctor-assisted suicide, or gay rights, you name it. You go down through a dozen very important things, you'll find good Christians who pray, who go to church, who read the Bible, who seek God's guidance [and] you will find them falling on different sides of those issues. There is no clear absolute moral statement within the body of Christ, which is one of the evidences that the Christian morality really is nonexistent. It still boils down to your subjective feeling of what you think about abortion, or what you think about gay rights. There's no verse in the Bible that says "Thou shall not commit abortion." It's Christians themselves making a subjective decision [about] what they think the Bible ought to be saying.

————

It's especially fun that he has chapter and verse immediately to hand on everything.

Eclectic

Ooh! I have GOT to check this book out:

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,3100309,00.html

Pharyngula's already on it, so making a big deal here is a bit superfluous, but it still looks really cool. It's a children's picture book. "Wo bitte geht's zu Gott? fragte das kleine Ferkel" "Which way to God, please? little piglet asked". (Subtitled "A book for all who won't let themselves be fooled.")

Ah! the publisher's made an English translation available at
http://www.ferkelbuch.de/

It's a hoot.

trailrider

Put the big red A at the top right. It will draw attention to your books.

J. J. Ramsey

The trouble with that big "A" is that it has been associated with Richard Dawkins, and I tend to think of him as the guy who, despite his lip service to rationality, tends to put his atheism ahead of his skepticism. For example, he credulously repeated a quote mine of John Adams, resorted to a straw man attack on Aquinas' fourth way when attacking it on its real demerits wouldn't have been difficult to explain, and decided his 'Ultimate 747' argument appeared 'unanswerable' when he didn't even take notice that the vagueness of the word 'complexity' threatens to make his argument incoherent. The best thing I can say about him is that his rhetorical skills and audacity have been good for helping make atheism more mainstream. I don't, however, want to be associated with a guy whose should have been able to put together a bullet-resistant case for atheism instead of the half-assed one that he gave, or someone whose brain has been chomped on by the Hitler Zombie:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/12/hitler_zombie_massacre_over_evolution_pa.php

I realize that few activist leaders are perfect, but that big red "A" is too associated with someone whose flaws I have a hard time overlooking or forgiving.

The Ridger

It's been on mine for quite a while. Ditto with having something in the header that's a big hint, but that scarlet A is immediate.

Jono

I agree with your aesthetic concerns about the scarlet A, perhaps The OUT Campaign could benefit from a wider range of representations?

Dawkins' idea of atheist solidarity isn't new or proprietary, but I do think there is value in something so readily recognizable. Personally though, I find simply writing about my views to be more appropriate on my blog.

I wrote a pretty lengthy post today about displaying one's atheism on a personal blog as opposed to a site like Facebook, and how a lot of your writing has really influenced the way I make these decisions.

http://meatmachine.info/blog/2008/02/24/acknowledged-atheist/

Ebonmuse

This is a tough one for me. Given that my blog is titled "Daylight Atheism", I trust I don't need any additional iconography to make my views clear to readers. If someone reads my blog and comes away not knowing how I stand on that question, I've failed miserably. :)

That said, I see the point of declaring yourself to be part of a movement. That red A says more than just that I'm an atheist; it says that I'm one of many atheists, and that is undoubtedly important. I never saw the need to put it on my blog before, but after reading this post, I may have to reconsider.

J. J. Ramsey

Well, I managed to find my own way of integrating the scarlet "A" into my blog:

http://merkdorp.blogspot.com/2008/02/not-that-kind-of-atheist.html

Stephen Thomas

Understood. I often look for the A, as well, which is one of the reasons I added it to our deconversion page. It makes spotting atheists much easier -- kind of like a uniform. ;-)

OzAtheist

As I said when I first put the A on my site:
Atheists may never agree on one specific logo, symbol, name, or catchphrase; but at least we’ll be recognized.

Like Mojoeys 'Atheist Blogroll' I think it demonstrates that you are part of the atheist blogging community.

some dumb guy

I typically don’t disclose my potential faith (or lack thereof). The minute you call yourself a “Christian” or an “Atheist” or whatever, you automatically get painted by other people’s interpretations of those words, which are almost always different and almost always distorted. By omitting to disclose my potential faith (or lack thereof), I invite the reader to assess the argument on the argument’s own merit - not the perceived intellectual merit of the person delivering the argument - which would be misuse of logic.

i think the atheist blogroll is kind of silly. it's like saying, "look at all these other people that think like me!" like a little club's badge of honor or something.

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