Am I an extremist?

15 Aug

First off, I want to show you this comic:

I think it makes a nice point: a “militant”  Atheist is one that is open about their Atheism. That’s it. For a religious person to be “militant” they have to be willing to resort to violence or something close to it, but for Atheist, all they need to do is be unafraid to say they don’t believe in god. No violence or threats of violence needed. It’s a ridiculous double standard. Same goes for the term “extremist”.

Do people call me “militant” or “extremist” in my Atheism? Yes. Does that make me so? No. In fact, I don’t consider myself to be either of those terms. Do I want to irradiate all religion from the face of the earth? No. Do I want to ban religion from the United States? No. All I want is a little something called equality. I just want the wall of separation between church and state respected. There are, however, many religious “extremists” and “militants” who do want to irradiate all other religions from the face of the earth, etc. To them, their path is the only true path.

Why is it ok for a religious person to profess their faith openly, by either saying so verbally, or silently with symbols like bumper stickers and religious themed jewelry, but when I do the same about professing my lack of faith, I’m somehow bad, an extremist?

I see religious bumper stickers all over the place. People don’t give those drivers dirty looks. When I put up my bumper stickers I get honked at, flicked off, and people scowl. Now keep in mind, my bumper stickers aren’t offensive (any more than a christian fish is offensive to me). My current one reads “You don’t need god to be moral”. Simple, not hostile, just a statement, not attacking anyone. Yet for things like this I get called “extremist”.

Do I hold my views very strongly? Yes, but then so do religious people and they’re not labeled “militant”. Am I willing to change my mind if presented with enough evidence? Sure. That and not wanting to force others to believe as I do is what seperates me from the “extremists” and “militants”.

2 Responses to “Am I an extremist?”

  1. Brian August 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    Funny, I always thought an extremist atheist looked like this.

    You might be militant (which I always thought meant you were aggressive and event combative in your stance, but didn’t imply actual physical violence, thus allowing militant pacifists).

    Frankly, even Christians expect to catch some flak when they display their symbols openly. Though you live in a part of the country where the militant Christian is clearly in the majority. Things might be different out there.

    But to answer your question, I consider you militant, and slighlty annoying at times. 😉 But you’re no extremist.

  2. godlesspaladin August 18, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    *Sigh* ah yes, the old communist thing. Stalin was an evil bastard, and what the communist regime did there was atrocious, but there is one VERY important difference that makes throwing up Stalin and apples to oranges comparison.

    Stalin did not kill millions of people IN THE NAME of Atheism. Religious people DO, however, kill in the name of their faith. The terrorists on 9/11 killed in the name of their brand of Islam.

    The KKK are christians, but they don’t kill blacks in the name of christianity. It’s just as fallacious to say “Oh look, those KKK christians are killing blacks! Therefore christians kill people” as it is to say “Stalin was a Atheist who killed millions of people, therefore Atheists kill millions of people”

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