To those who don’t know, I am an atheist, and an activist one. Yes, I don’t post stuff about atheism every day because that is not my strategy. Atheists are diverse in how they live their lives and represent their beliefs. I can speak for myself, but not for all atheists, when I say that every facet of my thinking and inner peacefulness is shaped by my life as an atheist. Atheism saved me after years of being hunted, haunted, and crippled by Christianity’s illogism, proselytization, and violences.
While I don’t post with the word “atheism” every day, I still consider it my duty to resist, using my writing, the inscriptions of diverse forms of religion, especially religious subtleties. What I will however never do is confront anyone with my views. And I don’t debate close friends or colleagues about religion. I don’t even engage other atheists anymore. Because, who wants war? And why should I do to religious supporters what their genealogies did to people like me as a kindness for not assassinating us with their machines and legislations?
I however share my views in my writing. I have been doing this for years, and large numbers of persons who follow my work and voice and my blog understand that to be the case. In the same way that religion preaches that the church needs to be a space to celebrate God’s ministry, and that in church, testimonies should freely resist a sinful culture, I occasionally use my writing as a space of ministry–a testimony of the empowering professions of atheism.
My facebook page is a representation of who I am, that includes my need to resist religion. I do what Evangelicals do by knocking doors and issuing pamphlets. My knocking is done with my writing, however. I share by resisting what seems to be normal professions of living–living as religious converts–things like Christian singing, I therefore resist sometimes.
Often many Christian persons use language, while expecting that others will automatically accept the validity of their religious logic. “God Bless You,” is how they often show their love. And even when an atheist is grieving for a dead one, Christians don’t hesitate to say, “I am praying for you and your family.”
How insulting they speak that way! (People need to understand that Christianity (not christians) to some atheists is what the Ku Klux Klan doctrine is to many black people. And anyone who thinks this analogy is ridiculous, you might benefit from wondering about the extent of your knowledge on the Medievalist religious histories, as a starting point) Because that itself is Christian proselytization at a time when their atheist friend or atheist family member is most vulnerable, and at a time when a response as “Don’t fucking pray for me!” would sound impolite, though it would be a meaningful activist response.
To be blunt, I respect people’s right to their varied views about religion, but I don’t respect their religious views: the issue being, respect for rights to views versus respect for content of views. You can’t ask me to respect the very doctrine that has hunted, haunted, and crippled me. (I’m now healed however. Atheism healed me.) I will however be cordial when persons share their religious views as long as they don’t preach to me.
However, my writing is a space of activism. I will never call out a friend about their religious views in my writing. Neither do I discuss religion with my friends unless they violate my space with their religious ministry. But I will address public media issues and figures with language of resistance.
There is nothing called gods, I will now say. If anyone thinks there is a God, they might benefit from proving it to themselves first, not with moods or emotions, but with evidence that can be tested and replicated. Atheists need not prove anything about gods. Because atheists never made claims that Gods, Aphrodite, or cows have supernatural power. Have your religious beliefs make you feel connected to life and peacefulness? Of course it has. But it doesn’t mean its knowledge is true. What is true are your feelings: religion makes you happy!
Atheists were born human. They learn everything they know. They even learned to vet knowledge. But with one exception, religious doctrinaires and institutions told them, Vet us (religion) differently! Thus, for many atheists, until knowledge holders prove that gods exist, atheist cannot accept that logic. In the absence of this logic, atheists hold that god/s do not exist.
This fundamental principle–that of rejecting what parades as wisdom, which remains unproven–cannot always occupy a space of silence. Why the need to speak then with the word “atheist” occasionally? Not a need, I say, but activism to speak occasionally in that way! The answer is that more people need to know that atheists are here and we have a voice, and we are many. Such people, often, can only identify atheists, not by the diversities of atheists lives, but by the names we use to codify our life, a name like “atheist.”
We are a persecuted group. We are one of the most discriminated marginal groups in the world. That is fact! To survive therefore, we have our gatherings and non-gatherings that resist knowledges that seem illogical in the same way Christians and Muslims resist knowledges and actions of sinfulness. Many atheists survive too by surrender to the daily ministry, the consistent abusiveness by their religious friends, who lack the conscious to discern their own proselytizing fashions.
Civil rights, anarchists, and revolutionary movements have cultivated liberated spaces by resisting what had been traditionally and contemporarily oppressive. Hence the strategy of passiveness while Christian proselytization parades as subtlety yet devours sober minds aggressively, cannot hold all the time as a framework of atheist living, representation, and validation. In other words, I’m saying atheists have to go on offense sometimes.