I attended a baptism earlier tonight and it was very difficult for me to listen to what was being said, but since I was raised with manners, I bit my tongue and let others be others. When it came time to rise and go the front for the baptism of one of the congregation, I stayed in my seat. I was asked (very loudly) by a woman why I didn't go up front. Surprised by her rudeness, I replied why hadn't she? She came right back with "Because I'm an Atheist!" (Again, very loudly)
No matter where I am, I would never just shout something like that out, especially in someone else's church. I feel that others are free to worship whomever or whatever they want, they don't need me interrupting. I was wondering how you guys would respond to such a thing? I don't think any one of us here would do that as it seems that we are a bunch of decent people. (yes Zaph, you are included in that! )
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Did not know there might be any question as to my decency, but when when it comes to being human?
I think I would have responded the way you did to what was being said by the church. To her, I would have responded by telling her it was none of her business and/or probably asked why she was trying to start trouble or being oh so rude regardless of her beliefs considering where she was and what was going on at the time.
If someone seems to consistently answer me at an inappropriate volume, regardless of how rude the response might be (which is usually dictated the the context as this was, there is nothing rude about being an atheist generally), my first impulse is to assume that they must be going deaf. A human's hearing naturally deteriorates over time, and given the habits most people have, they've usually lost a tangible percentage of their hearing by the time they are physical adults. This is especially true in modern times, as we're constantly dealing with forces that produce much more noise than we are naturally equipped to deal with.
Of course, if I loudly reply "Are you deaf?" these people seem to be offended by that. Many people are much more deaf than they realize, actually.
I don't think atheists need to shout it loudly. They can simply show it with their actions and on their reasons when they are questioned or triggered for a debate.
I announce my atheism, and my presence in general, with fireworks, shriner's cars, and a blaring clip from ACDC's "Back in Black"!
J/k :) I pretty much leave it unstated unless someone specifically asks. In most life situations, it's completely irrelevant, so why would I bring it up?
I have been in the position to refuse communion at the church, my family (minus my father, who will not go near a church) went to some kind of event, and when everyone lined up to get some bread my mother held us back because she thought it was disrespectful to take the sacrament when we did not believe. I was very young, and a little irked because I was hungry.
Somehow I can envision the Shriners and maybe one of those large music machines, a calliope? LOL :)
OMG, how could I forget a calliope? I'll make sure to secure one next time I'm meeting some religious folk for the first time.
Some atheist that I met will not mention it if there is no reason to or if it is not asked. I agree that what matters most is how we are as a human or as a person.
I'm agnostic and humanist but I don't feel having the obligation to announce it to anyone. I understand if atheists feel the same way too. There are lot's of things to spend our time with than to explain our belief to others who can't or don't want to understand it.
Exactly. With the tremendous amount of time it takes to get anyone to understand anything, I don't really have time to waste trying to get anyone to understand *most* things about me, especially not my non-belief in something which, due mainly to the fact that it doesn't exist, has little relevance to anything that actually does :)
Agree that it is not necessary to announce it to everyone. No need to label ourselves all the time as we are free to be ourselves. All can be respectful to each other no matter the religion or belief.
With me it has always just been assumed and my friends are usually the first to blurt it out, usually when it's not appropriate.
Gotta love friends like that, right?
Me, I am always open about it. It is not like I came out of some nonreligious closet or something, my family has always encouraged forging one's own path when it comes to religion.
My parents did as well, not just with religion, but with all things.
And so I learned very young that most people will just believe that *I* believe whatever they want me to, there's no point in arguing with them most of the time.
Some people thrive on thinking that they're normal and they belong to some sort of group, and for those people the minute they find out I'm different, they have this compulsion to act like my difference is a bad thing, and that I must somehow be a minority or a freak, when really, it's *quite* the other way around.
For lack of a better reference, the tables section of this site shows just how many atheists there are in most countries.