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We are like a pebble in the shoe of the lumbering giant of society. Everytime it steps on us, we irritate it more.

I've been slowly coming out to acquaintances and everyone of them - most have PhDs, at minimum Masters degrees - reacts with the usual cliches: how can atheists be moral, we can't prove there is no god, etc. And then silence.

But I'm at the point in life where I don't care if I lose friends. Like you, Greta, I think this movement is important, even essential, to the progress of civilization, and coming out is one of those small steps some of us can take to raise consciousness.

Excellent post. As usual.

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life

Actually what I find with some of my Christian friends is that I'm allowed to be the outside influence that they can let their guard down with and drop the pretense that everything in their lives is wonderful and good.

Then after they unload whatever crap is going down in their lives and we try and find a solution, they suggest that I really should come back to church because "God has a wonderful plan for your life!"

I'm always thinking... but you just told me your life was horrible, so....


I am one of those rare (at least as far as I can tell) North American atheists who was raised without religion or belief as core a part of their life.

Despite being raise non-religious, I have always felt a current of pressure from others that I was the minority and was wrong to be so. That my non-belief wasn't accepted and should be kept quiet.

I know that I fly in the face of the idea that you need religion or belief to be a good member of society. Even more so now that I am out and unabashedly so about it. Yes I am an atheist, so what? I will continue to shake the fences of belief and of what an atheist is, and isn't.

I do know that it flummoxes and even irritates my friends and family sometimes, but it is important that there are people out their doing just that. Silence never solves anything, problems do not just vanish because we wish them to go away.

The Good Atheist

I mentioned this on my onw blog a while ago, but i'll say it again: isn't it hilarious how everyone on was shitting on you for this post? I mean, it's more than a little ironic that you were damned for doing, but it's telling that few religionists can really handle criticism, let alone someone refusing to acknowledge the importance of faith. I think you were right when you mentioned that they object merely to our existence, which is why it pisses me off when other atheists argue that we should be nicer if we want to be heard. Traditionally this approach has failed, and will continue to fail.

The truth is rarely going to be popular, but someone has to fucking fight for it!


Jaybarti: No, you're not rare, we just don't have a club to welcome you to!

People with religious backgrounds have the dual advantages of experience and motivation when challenging religion. So they tend to be more visible.

People who managed to miss the whole thing growing up tend to have milder views, like Heather Mallick.

I don't even have your motivation of dispute from friends and family; every living member of my family was raised without religion. And mocking religion is a popular water-cooler conversation topic at work.


Beautiful post Greta. Waiting for my crazy uncle to post something about how atheists are bitter and immoral and then BOOM this is getting linked (won't be a long wait!).

Seriously though, this is just magnificent. Basically says everything I've been attempting to explain to just about everyone for the last five years of my life, haha.

The more I read your blog, the more I admire your eloquence and tenacity. Keep up the amazing work!

Timmer D.


Great article, as usual. It made be think that people almost want to believe in God because religion removes the need to make choices. Without a God, we all have to think about what makes our lives meaningful.

Religion gives people canned sound-byte answers. The Gods keep us from having to gaze into the void.



Both Daniel Dennet and PZ Myers have talked about religion requiring people to make a large investment in order to prove that they are part of the tribe, on the basis that this sort of action creates loyalty. This is observed in organizations that practice hazing.

The existence of happy atheists would indicate to people who have made this investment that the investment they made was not necessary, and therefore wasted.

"Atheists tend to see the state of their personal world as being limited to the best they can achieve. Life's injustices will never ultimately be surmounted and they are limited to a 'what you see is what you get' assessment of life's trials."

And this is a problem, because...? Much better to have "what you see is what you get" and be able to deal with it, than "what you see is only part of what you get, according to a disorganized book of dubious origin that hints about what we can't see but offers no proof whatsoever. Meanwhile, you get to keep guessing, based on the self-serving opinions of self-appointed sages and moral arbiters, as well as the half-baked notions of your neurotic and delusional peers."

Religion is delusion, just like Dr. Dawkins said.

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