1/05/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Closet Atheists - RedTopHat

Young teenager shares his fears about his family & also describes why closet Atheists should stand up.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Dude. Dawkins & Harris would be proud of you. and continue to stay the fuck free of all things Supernatural- this includes Gods, Goddesses, angles, Fairies, Spirits, Crossing over, Ghosts, Voodoo, Snake-Handling, Astrology, Faith-Healing, Indulgences, Crystals, Limbo, Hell or Pergatory and all the rest of the sundry shit that religion throws around-Good going.

Sarabhi said...

It's almost like he's trying to make a point... My eyes started glazing over and I became more concerned with what in the world he was doing with his jacket than what he was saying.

The only comment I can think to make in semi-relevance to this kid's speech:

In my view, it's all about religious tolerance. If you want to be atheist...fine. If you want to be agnostic...fine. If you want to be Christian...fine. If you want to be Wiccan...fine. And the list goes on. The only thing I feel is important is that you, personally, know WHY you believe what you do. Then resign to just let people be different. Christian's shouldn't shove Bibles in people's faces, but neither should atheists / agnostics shove the works of Baron d'Holbach or Thomas Henry Huxley in people's faces. This is not to say that the religious and the non-believers can't discuss/debate. Discussion and Debate should be welcome between those with tolerant attitudes.

Can't we all just get along?

ryan said...

sarabhi, I thank you for your comments. I aspire to get along with everyone--if Jack the Ripper came to my front door, I would invite him in for a glass of single-malt and a bit of conversation.

By way of a brief introduction, I am an atheist, and I do not believe that the universe has a goal or a purpose. If anyone insists on ID, I would simply point out birth defects and Down's syndrome. No intelligent design there. I shudder to think what kind of "designer" would allow such things.

I am amoral. We are sophisticated animals on our hind legs, and the notion of morals comes from the same talents and imagination that gives us music and poetry.

That assertion is not welcome by humanists, but then I get along with humanists.

I do not get along with anyone who tries to tell me that I am a sinner and justly deserving of divine vengeance. We know from history what happened when these shitheads actually had the political power to enforce their religion. They would like to recover their lost status, and then none of us would be safe.

So if the xian wants to get along with me, fine. It is up to him. He can call off his dogs and his dogma. You have read these nuts like "paul" who come in here and preach their filth. Do you suppose that "paul" wishes to get along with us? He might as well call himself Torquemada.

Thanks again. I would gladly get along with any xian who can keep an open mind. In the meatime I will maintain my membership in the ACLU.

Anonymous said...

How moving. It takes such a young person to make this plea as an athiest emotional, not just defiant. I hope he sees my posting. I too was a closet athiest, but not because I was up against my parents; I was raised that way. The problem for me was my community. Unfortunately, Sarabhi, I know exactly what he's talking about. It's terrifying to come out and really hold your ground when surrounded by christians and other really devoted religionists. And I say terrifying with no qualifications; my brother was beaten up for it. Also this is not about him being religiously tolerant. If anything, he was trying to describe how intolerant others are towards his atheism. I don't think he once indicated any disrepect for other people's religious feelings, in fact gave his father a lovely kudo for being the parent that he is. All he was doing was expressing how it feels to be him. I totally relate, can I say it again? Teen darling, I wish I had met you when I was 15. We could have helped each other out.

Naomi

Brett Keane said...

My young friend Top hat has great courage. He should be supported. Not dissed.

RedTopHat said...

I'm fine, my biggest concern is for other people though. My parents know of my atheism, but they won't accept it. They call it a personal struggle inside of me. I know there is no struggle, cause there is nothing to fight against.

Sarabhi: Sorry about my ability to make people stop paying attention when I talk. I'm not to good of a speaker, but you make a valid point, religious tolerance. How does an atheist keep religious tolerance if he is harassed for being an atheist? It seems some groups rather have Atheists as a punching bag then an actual force.

Sarabhi said...

To all adressing me,

I'm sorry for the way my comment came across. I respect this kid, I wasn't trying to "diss" him. I was simply saying that I had trouble understanding his point.

I understand that it's hard being a closet atheist. I'm currently a cloest agnostic to most of my family, who are all christians except my brother. As far as what I said about the tolerance issue, I was taking that from when the kid says, "if we can get more people who don't believe in a deity, don't worship something, then they should do it."

I may have misunderstood, but I thought he was saying that if more atheists could speak out and "convert" others to atheism, than they should. I do hope and wish that atheists and agnostics can become more willing to speak out. I honestly do (me included), but I, personally, feel that we shouldn't do this to change people's belief systems. I think that we should speak out so that atheism and agnosticism has a voice.

My fear for atheists/agnostics is that we will end up coming across as converters to others, which will usually turn believers away. If believers and non believers discuss/debate then I think that's wonderful! But when I'm debating with Christians (which I've done through email correspondence) and they start to push the Bible and conversion, I don't want to listen anymore. I don't want people to turn a deaf ear on atheists and agnostics who might come across as more concerned with being "right" than being tolerant and different.

Again, I am sorry to RedTop and Brett and Ryan and anonymous (the ones I seem to have offended so far). I did not mean to offend at all. I was probably in a bitter mood when I wrote that comment.

Specifically to RedTopHat: You asked me how an atheist keeps tolerance when you are being harrassed for your beliefs...Those that harrass us actually make me want to be more tolerant, which in turn makes me less like them. Almost like killing them with kindness, lol. They preach "do not judge" so when they obviously do and the atheists/agnostics remain tolerant, it just makes them look like morons. I'm sorry for my earlier blunt and not well-expressed comment from before. Apparently my comment was less-understood than your speech. This just shows that you're a better speaker than me, which may be why I can't recognize a good speech when I hear it. Good luck with your journey!

-Sarabhi (trying to remove foot from mouth)

RedTopHat said...

Sarabhi I did not feel put down for one second. I see where you're coming from. I hid my atheist views from my parents for two years. You are correct, a voice is exactly what we need ,and I feel that with more of us talking, debating, and slightly pushing our issues, such as acceptance to society and such (In Texas an atheist cannot be governor) then our voice will be heard.

I tend to feel that if an atheist is pushed, and pushed and pushed, we must try to keep that position and not attack even if we are attacked.

I don't want to fight a person, nor would I want to see atheists look like some Christians who are morons, but rather put out the information, show our side. Brett Keane is probably one of the first people who'd I recommend Christians to look up for information about religions. Maybe a Ghandi like approach is the answer, cause all violence ever did was kill anyway.

Sarabhi said...

RedTop,

It's only been a year for me, hiding from my parents and others...and it has sucked, so I know those two years were hard for you. I totally understand what you are saying now. It seems like we agree on this issue and I misunderstood you before.

I don't like fighting with others either. I love discussing, but I've never cared for hostile confrontations. Which is one reason I was quick to post an apology to everyone. Especially since this website has made me feel more "at home" and "like myself" than anywhere for the last few years! The last thing I want to do is offend anyone on here so I am glad that you weren't put down by my comment.

I think you've got a great idea with the Ghandi approach. He rocked!

Anyways, I wish you luck with everything. ^_^ I'd personally like to ask Brett Keane some questions too. He seems very well-learned on the subject of religion.

TTYL!
-Sarabhi