Normalize atheism. That’s what atheists are trying to do with the hashtag #NormalizeAtheism; that’s what atheists have been trying to do since the dawn of religion. Even so, atheists still face bigotry, like many other minority groups. This must, indeed, stop: Freedom and equality are not God-given rights that should only be available to those who worship blindly; normalize atheism, because freedom and equality are human rights.
I can imagine that a theist might perceive it as a threat that we’re trying to normalize atheism. What exactly is it we’re trying to do? Are we looking to eradicate all religion? Well, both yes and no. Mostly no. Right now, atheists just want to stop being persecuted, shunned by family and friends, denied jobs, and dehumanized privately, publically, and politically; atheists just want equality, which really isn’t much to ask for. Normalize atheism, because atheists come in all sizes, shapes, and colors and are normal people, for better and worse.
Of course atheists want religion to shrink in size and vanish. Church-state separation is mandatory for any democracy, for one religion cannot be favored over another or over the non-beliefs of atheists and the strict rules of religion will take the demo out of the democracy, and rather insert theo to make it a theocracy. Normalize atheism, because democracy is not spelled as theocracy. A theocracy is not a democracy.
Furthermore, atheists want theists to wake up and leave behind the comfort of delusion; atheists want theists to perceive and appreciate reality, in all her beauty and ugliness. Dear theist, I want to normalize atheism, because I find your lack of lack of faith disturbing. Star Wars pun aside, atheists are only asking for a dialogue to convince believers of the ugly truth: that no religion has anything that substantiates them. If any theist is offended by this, it surely means their faith is weak and perhaps they should consider turning to atheism. Otherwise, they should accept the challenge. With the true god’s support, victory is assured, right?
Normalize atheism, because atheists don’t want to force anyone to believe one way or another. If anything, those who value freedom of religion the most are atheists. This isn’t because we’re better people for our nonbelief, but atheists know what it is like to be under the boot of a bigger and more powerful entity. The only reason theists complain about atheists is because when they tread on us, we happen to be a nail. It’s not as fun to bully people if they fight back, huh? Normalize atheism, because the people who most believe in freedom of religion are atheists.
Indeed, we must normalize atheism, because no bigotry should be allowed to exist. Normalize atheism, because tolerance should be normal. And no one should be forced to pray to any imaginary higher power, for that removes the free from freedom, and leaves something left that is terrifyingly close to doom—the doom of democracy. Normalize atheism, because freedom of and from religion should be normal. Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion, as otherwise one isn’t free to believe or not believe what one wants. Normalize atheism, because religious freedom doesn’t mean one must belong to a religion.
Church-state separation is important, to assure that LGBT get equal rights, to assure that women get equal rights, to assure all races get equal rights, to assure believers of different faiths get equal rights, and to assure atheists get equal rights. Furthermore, atheism is nothing dangerous. We have no doctrine or dogma. We have nothing telling us to look down on certain people, or even hurt others. Normalize atheism, because the only ones who are killed in the name of atheism are imaginary gods.
I’d also like to note that I read about a Muslim uproar recently (as if that’s still a big deal). It was about a man who had arranged for a get-together for dog lovers, where people could pet dogs and such; it was called “I Want to Touch a Dog”, which sounds kinda… er… well, you know. Pictures of Muslim women petting dogs came up on the Internet. This caused an absolute uproar, with threats of violence sent to the man, who is a Muslim himself. Islam says dogs are filthy creatures, and one must be cleansed after touching them. The man had arranged for instructions on how to do that, to the people who wanted, but it wasn’t enough and petting dogs became a controversy with protests and death threats.
If not for religion, why would anyone send threats just because other people pet dogs? Is this really a socioeconomic issue? Would that really cause people to see controversy in other people petting a domesticated animal, which is even believed to have originated from the Middle East? Or is it because ‘Murica has bombed them with canines or something? It makes no sense, unless one wholeheartedly believes that dogs truly are filthy, which requires some kind of doctrine—like that of Islam, for example. It’s the same doctrine that causes and promotes homophobia, misogyny, and hatred of believers of the wrong faith and atheists. Normalize atheism, because atheists don’t follow doctrine that talks shit about man’s best friend. Normalize atheism, because atheists think it’s okay to pet dogs. There are, of course, countless Muslims who are not against petting dogs, but to the conservative nuts out there: just look at my brother’s pretty dog, Chaplin! Does he look dirty to you?
Okay, that was a dirty picture of him, all exposed like that. But who doesn’t like dogs? I can understand how one could be afraid of dogs, but to think they are just filthy and anyone who has come into contact with them needs to be cleaned? That’s either crazy or religious. Normalize atheism, because I often can’t tell the difference between what’s religious and what’s crazy.
At the end of the day, only a secular nation can ensure the freedom a civilized nation must have. A Christian nation will always favor Christianity; an Islamic nation will always favor Islam; a secular nation will favor humanity. Let’s get secular and normalize atheism, because that’s what a democracy craves. What I really want to say is, normalize atheism, because I shouldn't have to give a reason.
In response to this blog post, I received both support and opposition. Below are follow-up blog posts that deal with the opposition I found from conservative Christians who read this blog post.