Normalize atheism

I take for granted the sweet pleasure of acceptance, as a white, straight man, but also as an atheist. The former is probably not surprising (although there's a fair amount of demonizing going on). But how can an atheist take acceptance for granted? Well, he's born in a secular country, like Sweden. It's not like that for many people; just like other minorities, atheists are demonized in many parts of the world, not seldom persecuted and even murdered. Atheists are people, just like anyone else; we deserve the same rights as everyone else.

I'm not a big fan of religion: brainwashing, persecution, misogyny, homophobia, and the list goes on and on. But I do respect people's right to believe, and I do acknowledge the fact that, even though religion often seems to include the abovementioned atrocities, not all believers uphold them. In fact, many theists are very good people.

Of course not ALL theists persecute atheists, but similarly, not all whites are racists and not all men are sexists (despite what white, male guilt will have you believe). In countries like America, being an atheist loses you elections; it gets you abandoned by your parents; it means you're treated like a second-class citizen. Unless you live in the closet, which no human being should have to do. And remember that this is a civilized country, if you can call it that. In other parts of the world, atheists have it much worse.

Religious freedom is a basic human right; no one should have to live in fear because of their beliefs, and that certainly includes the lack of one. Freedom of religion is impossible without freedom from religion. Normalize atheism, because otherwise you cannot call your country a true democracy. Normalize atheism, because free speech and religious freedom are not the same as acts of terror. Normalize atheism, because if you treat atheists differently, then clearly your religion is not as loving as you'd like to believe.

NORMALIZE ATHEISMThis is a meme, created by Patrick Hall on October 3, 2014. Copyright © 2014 by Patrick Hall. All rights reserved. Feel free to spread it around.