Fellow Atheists/Agnostic Atheists - Let's Chat: Do you feel it is risky being "out" these days?

NSMike wrote:

I've encountered people offering to "pray for me," when it was clearly meant as, "You are wrong, I know you are, and I am going to tell you that by appealing to my imaginary skyfriend to change you."

As long as they show no awareness of the methods of operant conditioning, just smile and thank them for the kind thoughts.

I would say that you should consider how likely your parents are to send that same card to everyone else on their list before you snark at them. If it's *at all* likely that they *could* have done that, then it's likely they didn't single you out. Instead, they are treating you like all their other friends, which is a compliment. Keep that in mind.

McIrishJihad wrote:

I usually go with the Southern usage of "bless their heart", which is code for "I like you, but don't agree with what you're saying to me".

Thanks for the thoughts, let's move on. Especially when it comes to holiday cards.

My wife and I (she's pagan) spent 30 minutes trying to find the most non-denominational pack of holiday cards that we could this season. Either the front looked awesome, but had a bible quote inside, or there was the Capital G word right on the front.

Saw a pack at the pharmacist's with a golden retriever that had three balls in its mouth and a Santa hat, and no religious text. A bit pricey, or my Secret Stan victim would've gotten one with the Sasha Grey "Challenge Accepted" pic inside.

One year I got a set from Papyrus or somewhere that had a cartoon Santa with a yarmulke next to a rabbi with a santa hat, and "Happy Xmas! Merry Hanukkah!" on the front. Otherwise I've been getting generic winter ones, because even the so-called seasonal greetings ones are too xmas-y for my taste.

This year, dunno yet. I think next year I'm just going to make my own.

This year, dunno yet. I think next year I'm just going to make my own.

That was what we did, and we just made them more personal expressions of appreciation for people being in our lives with jokes and such (lots of adjectives to describe how we hope your new year goes before saying, you know what, you get the idea! and a reminder to our friends and family not to do anything we wouldn't do, which is a joke for us because we're some of the more adventurous members of our families... well she's the adventurous one and I follow her around. :D).

As noted, still got Santa hats on, but just because we thought they'd look nice for the photos, especially as they were at the Observatory in Cincy, which is all kinds of Christmas right now.

IMAGE(http://static-l3.blogcritics.org/10/12/02/149449/atheist-christmas-card.jpg)

IMAGE(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_gcJ8CSnE3Oo/SxVlt6QrOUI/AAAAAAAABnU/RohZoBZHoyk/s400/328678603v10_350x350_Front.jpg)

IMAGE(http://rlv.zcache.com/darwin_atheist_christmas_card-p137624504484959852bh2r3_400.jpg)

trichy wrote:

IMAGE(http://rlv.zcache.com/darwin_atheist_christmas_card-p137624504484959852bh2r3_400.jpg)

I'm pretty sure I could send this one out to all of my relatives and no one would recognize him.

NSMike wrote:
trichy wrote:

IMAGE(http://rlv.zcache.com/darwin_atheist_christmas_card-p137624504484959852bh2r3_400.jpg)

I'm pretty sure I could send this one out to all of my relatives and no one would recognize him.

He makes a damn good, if a little introspective, Santa.

I should track down a box of those. Everyone on my dad's side of the family would find it hysterical.

We haven't sent out holiday cards in over 10 years. But after the ideas in this thread, I'm thinking a nice annual new years card might be in order.

I didn't realize that Darwin is the Athiest Jesus. I'm pretty sure it is OK to believe in evolution and God in some sects of Christianity.

PoderOmega wrote:

I didn't realize that Darwin is the Athiest Jesus. I'm pretty sure it is OK to believe in evolution and God in some sects of Christianity.

Yeah, Catholicism openly doesn't have a problem with it.

clover wrote:
PoderOmega wrote:

I didn't realize that Darwin is the Athiest Jesus. I'm pretty sure it is OK to believe in evolution and God in some sects of Christianity.

Yeah, Catholicism openly doesn't have a problem with it.

JP2 didn't have a problem with it... I'm not so sure that's true of a lot of the laity, and some of the clergy.

Don't forget these cards!
http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Ho...

PoderOmega wrote:

I didn't realize that Darwin is the Athiest Jesus. I'm pretty sure it is OK to believe in evolution and God in some sects of Christianity.

No, no, that terror doll that he's carrying will definitely cause some child to stop believing in God.

Here's one that I sent.

IMAGE(http://www.soane.org/shop/images/T/La%20Mariee%20%28Small%29.jpg)

I wrote 'Worst Xmas tree ever?' inside.

http://www.soane.org/shop/Mascarade-...

Ideally Xmas cards should be interesting and/or beautiful.

This is always a favorite of mine by Evil Ink Designs.

On the inside it says "Santa doesn't need you. (Santa doesn't need anyone)"

IMAGE(http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h260/macquigg/631664340_m.jpg)

McIrishJihad wrote:

My wife and I (she's pagan) spent 30 minutes trying to find the most non-denominational pack of holiday cards that we could this season. Either the front looked awesome, but had a bible quote inside, or there was the Capital G word right on the front.

Couldn't you just felt-tip marker the letter "s" in after all the instances of the Capital G word? May God(s) always look upon you with joy!

NSMike wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I think expecting any devout Catholic or Christian to send anything but an overtly religious Christmas card is odd. I always view those cards as representing the people sending them, not me.

I didn't express it well, but that's part of my conflict, yeah. I'm also conflicted by the fact that they should know their audience.

Jayhawker wrote:

And if someone prays for me, I try to take it as a compliment rather than an affront.

It depends on the spirit in which the sentiment is offered. I've encountered people offering to "pray for me," when it was clearly meant as, "You are wrong, I know you are, and I am going to tell you that by appealing to my imaginary skyfriend to change you."

Mike, I think this is exactly what they mean, even when it is a compliment. I also don't think it is something worth spending time thinking about. I got this from my former mother-in-law all the time, because I didn't marry her daughter in a church (they sort of frown on that for someone who doesn't believe in God). I know she likes me, even now, and she is worried that when I die, I will be condemned to a fiery hell and my kids will have to spend their afterlife eternity without their father. So she prays that I will see that I am wrong wrong wrong and find Jesus. It's a nice thought, but it has less influence on my life than the flavor of my coffee. I suggest you accept that your parents want the best for you, and they believe that that means coming back to the church. They are wrong (according to you - which is all that matters), but their heart is in the right place, even if it feels a little pushy and invasive.

I haven't sent cards for a couple years now, but the last ones I sent was a print-your-own card from Nodwick that depicted a snowman coming to life after an old silk hat they found in a raid turned out to have some magic in it. (which I can't find on his new website now - BOO) How does that fit on the scale?

I do have some generic ones with really pretty snowflakes on them and no message inside so I can write a note on them myself that I mostly use as industrial-grade tags for those presents that need seriously fancy wrapping. That's what I will send out if I ever get my ducks arranged in a shape that can even be expressed as a fractal this year.

momgamer wrote:

I haven't sent cards for a couple years now, but the last ones I sent was a print-your-own card from Nodwick that depicted a snowman coming to life after an old silk hat they found in a raid turned out to have some magic in it. (which I can't find on his new website now - BOO) How does that fit on the scale? ;)

Oh man, I'd completely forgotten that Nodwick existed, I have an archive binge ahead of me! Yay!

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema Sworn Into Congress without a Bible.

She's the first one apparently, a shame she still can't do so as an open atheist and must do so as 'unaffiliated' but it's a start at least.

She swore on a copy of US Constitution. Even the most die-hard Tea Party wahkabbis should be happy with that!

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

She swore on a copy of US Constitution. Even the most die-hard Tea Party wahkabbis should be happy with that!

I wouldn't be so sure of that considering the massive overlap between Tea Partiers and the religious right.

OG_slinger wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

She swore on a copy of US Constitution. Even the most die-hard Tea Party wahkabbis should be happy with that!

I wouldn't be so sure of that considering the massive overlap between Tea Partiers and the religious right.

And yet, given her position, having her look at a copy of the Constitution while sworn in might be more experience with it than most of the Tea Party elects.

krev82 wrote:

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema Sworn Into Congress without a Bible.

She's the first one apparently, a shame she still can't do so as an open atheist and must do so as 'unaffiliated' but it's a start at least.

With Pete Stark out of Congress, at least we have some kind of non-theist representation. Whether or not she's an atheist is irrelevant; she won't be (implicitly) swearing to uphold the laws of a mythological tale filled with genocide, infanticide, slavery, misogyny, incest, and celestial rape presided over by a cruel, immoral, petty, infantile god.

Good on her.

Nicholaas wrote:
krev82 wrote:

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema Sworn Into Congress without a Bible.

She's the first one apparently, a shame she still can't do so as an open atheist and must do so as 'unaffiliated' but it's a start at least.

With Pete Stark out of Congress, at least we have some kind of non-theist representation. Whether or not she's an atheist is irrelevant; she won't be (implicitly) swearing to uphold the laws of a mythological tale filled with genocide, infanticide, slavery, misogyny, incest, and celestial rape presided over by a cruel, immoral, petty, infantile god.

Good on her.

But tell us how you really feel

When I was working, I was open with my co-workers that I was atheist. No one had any trouble with it, at least openly. And all of these people were pretty religious bible belt good ol' boys with some very old fashioned ideals.

Morning Edition this week is doing a series on the rapidly growing group of people who do not identify themselves as belonging to a religion. I've linked to the first story above, and here's the meta-page for the series (where future stories will appear).

From the first piece:

Perhaps most striking is that one-third of Americans under 30 have no religious affiliation. When comparing this with previous generations under 30, there's a new wrinkle, says Greg Smith, a senior research at Pew.

"Young people today are not only more religiously unaffiliated than their elders; they are also more religiously unaffiliated than previous generations of young people ever have been as far back as we can tell," Smith tells NPR Morning Edition co-host David Greene. "This really is something new."

And:

"It begins to jump at around 1990," he says. "These were the kids who were coming of age in the America of the culture wars, in the America in which religion publicly became associated with a particular brand of politics, and so I think the single most important reason for the rise of the unknowns is that combination of the younger people moving to the left on social issues and the most visible religious leaders moving to the right on that same issue."

I interpret that as: the crazier and more xenophobic the religious right gets, the more young people are driven away from all religion completely. Even the less crazy religions start looking loony simply by association.

gore wrote:

I interpret that as: the crazier and more xenophobic the religious right gets, the more young people are driven away from all religion completely. Even the less crazy religions start looking loony simply by association.

And not necessarily wrongly so. I think reasonable religious people exist, but a lot more needs to be done by them to call out the loonies and fanatics and extremists. Some already do this (see: Phoenix Rev and others), but sadly most religious people keep silent on the issue. This creates a climate that tacitly condones the hi-jinks that the crazy side gets up to.

In such an environment it's not strange to paint all religions with the same brush, rightly or wrongly.