On the No God Blog there was recently a post referring to the Brad Pitt story which was titled 'Brad Pitt Admits His Atheism.' The issue, of course, was the wording of this statement as if to imply that atheism is something which requires admittance.
The writer of the original story is Trina Hoaks, an atheist blogger, so I doubt her choice of words was meant to imply any kind of negative connotation with atheism but the fact remains that the term 'admit' carries with it negative connotations. One admits things that they are embarrassed about or that are weaknesses. For example, no one would admit they got into an ivy league college, they would joyfully celebrate it. That same person, however, may admit that they're a drug addict. You admit things that you are ashamed about and atheists should not be ashamed or embarrassed about their atheism.
A couple of comments which peaked my interest at No God Blog was an exchange between a proud atheist and a resident fundamental christian. I think Joe Zamecki's response in the last comment says it all:
joe zamecki says:I know that a lot of atheists don't see atheism as something to be anything about, prideful or otherwise, because it's such a simple thing - a rejection of an idea. I sway that way myself from time to time because when you remove all opposition from atheism it really is as unimportant as not believing in fairies or men on the moon.
This seems like another good reason to capitalize “Atheist.” We’re proud. It needs to be celebrated. The world needs to hear about our positive message. If nothing else, I want Atheism to get the respect it deserves.
1. What’s positive? There is no positive way to define atheism.
2. Why does the world need to hear? Sounds like evangelism to me.
joe zamecki says:
To me, Atheism is positive because religion is so very negative. Religion has so much power, and Atheists have so little, it seems. So common sense has helped our numbers increase, that and mass communication.
I’m proud to be an Atheist because that’s what I graduated to, when I figured out that religion is a scam. I was lied to, and then I figured out the facts. To me, that’s a reason to celebrate. I bettered myself.
But that religion put me down so LOW, and I’m way above that now, is special. I’ll capitalize that.
I think what makes me proud of being an atheist is in part what makes Joe proud - the fact that religion is so negative and I feel so positive knowing that I'm not under the control of something so massive, ugly and cruel as belief in a mean spirited, vengeful, jealous god. I am proud of being a part of something that isn't afraid to stand up to the big bad bully of organized religion and say that it's wrong, even if it opens me up to ridicule and abuse.