Atheists – Stop Shaming Atheism!

Its been awhile since I have written about what is arguably one of my favorite topics. The fact that I can say such a thing is somewhat strange. First, considering my attitude of many in the community (they are almost as dogmatic as the theists they entangle with. A hangover of being cut from the very same mold?). Then there is my opinion of the whole forum/debate scene of late (enough with the debating the unknowable, when are we going to start REALLY standing up for secular causes?!).
And then there are the many atheists that raise awareness about various forms of atheist discrimination, though that sort of thing seems to be overlooked within the secular community itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not fail to grasp seriousness of being singled out for a having a lack of belief. No one should suffer second class (or otherwise) treatment for something as uncontrollable as skin tone, or as  irrelevant to everyday life as beliefs (or lack therein). But on the same token, a person of one stance in the secular community  should not have to waste time arguing with others of another stance WITHIN THE SAME COMMUNITY, just because they do not fundamentally agree on the unknown details.
“Nones” are the 2ed largest “religious” group within the United States (behind only evangelicals). Enough of the endless “debates” with theists, and the infighting with other secularists!
Madalyn Murray O’Hair didn’t have half of the nation on her side when she pushed for (and achieved!) the removal of mandated prayer from public schools.
We fear and write about the icebergs not far off in the distance, whilst playing musical chairs on the decks of the ship. GRAB THE WHEEL!

Now, with that obligatory rant out of the way, I can move on to the real reason for writing this entry. A video put out by none other then Dusty Smith. Yeah, this makes 3 (One and Two).

Dammit Dusty . . .

First, a minor clarification.

This does not make Dusty racist. Now, OTHER fairly recent to past actions and/or words may tell a different story, but they are not the focus here. For all intents and purposes, one is not racist for calling Muslims “retarded”.

Though there are many other ways to illustrate the illegitimacy of the belief then to resort to ad hom.

I also understand that this video was likely recorded and published as a giant “FUCK YOU!” to those out there whom say that it is NEVER okay to criticize Islam or the prophet Mohammad.  I also understand the sentiment, and have also blasted that kind of hogwash upon coming across it in the media sphere.

But again, there are far better (more more creative!) ways to accomplish the task of tearing down the ideology then effectively generalizing a few billion people as being mentally inferior.

That is not even considering the reflection that this has on the atheist community as a whole.

I understand that everyone within or otherwise around the atheist community knows that there are many faces, people and ideas that permeate the whole of its many component groups (and individuals). But that is the inside view.

As we are reminded of nearly on a daily basis, the word “Atheist” often has an entirely different context outside its ranks. All sorts of hilarious yet harmful variations of the words context are abound. Not to mention the amusing (but again, harmful) cultural understanding of what an  atheist looks and behaves like (as per such films as “God is Dead”).

This video does not help to repair that flawed and highly incorrect image of what the atheist community looks like from the outside, nor how people perceive the word. It only makes it worse.

I acknowledge that your video library has a GREAT many videos that serve the purpose of education, and otherwise fulfill what complaints I lodge here.  I have seen a great many of them (along with many others from other fellow Youtubers).
But those videos are not going to be the ones that people are going to link to, take notice of, or remember. Angry people with an Axe to grind with you (or atheism in general!) are not going to link to any of your more educational videos (this one is one of my favorites). They are going to link to the one with those all important words coming from your mouth, “Muslims are retarded!”.

I am not a man of censorship. People can, if they so desire,  say almost anything they want short of anything harmful (such as yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater) so long as they are ready to answer for their words. And I also know that the Atheist community is unaffiliated, and as such no one person or opinion is (or should be) taken as the word of the entire group.

That said however, considering the sad state of the image of Atheism in the minds of the mainstream US (and global?) public, it would be wise that the biggest and most influential ambassadors of the concept be a bit more careful in how they conduct themselves and spread their message.

I to, am in agreement that Islam should not get a free pass from the harmless mockery, criticism and satirist treatment given to most every religious, political and other ideological phenomenon known to the free world. But there are plenty of ways of making this happen without regressing the image of the atheist community even further.


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