Atheists Deserve A Community Too

The other day I received the following email:

Without criticizing or judging your page in any way, I just would like to ask you, why are you so vocal about your non-beliefs?
Can you see any correlation to the obnoxious holy-rollers that most people dislike?
Perhaps its just a need for self-expression, expressed. I guess it was the "Atheist/Humanist/Skeptical/Freethinker Group" poll that got me. Why do you need help to think freely? Or company? How is it not the antithesis of a prayer group?
I just think perhaps you need balance. I found mine, or the closest I've ever come to it, in the martial arts. Self-defense, but a wonderful integration of the physical and the spiritual, however one defines that, and although its frequently tied to a religion, that can be left to the individual.
I ran across the movie "The Secret" and found your website from a Google search entitled "the secret is bullshit".
Have a good one.
By the way, I am a political conservative and a Christian, although most would argue (if they were interested, which they are not) I am not a practicing one. Just a believer.

These days, when someone tries to subtly insult me, I usually just brush it off and move on. But this email reminded me that maybe I need to speak louder, slower and more clearly.

First, this blog is for atheists and skeptics, not christians and mindless believers. This blog is by a skeptical atheist for people who like to think and use their minds. If you don't like it, no one is making you read it. Go mind your own business elsewhere. I'm not coming into your backyard and whining. I'll thank you to give me the same courtesy.

Second, atheists are growing in number and we need community too. Not only do we need it, we deserve it, just like any other group in this country. In fact, it should be a basic human right to meet and socialize with like-minded individuals, especially for peaceful purposes. Unfortunately in some countries the people aren't free and atheists are in danger if they expose themselves in any way. Now in Ireland it's illegal to blaspheme. We're going backwards!

Even small minority groups should be allowed to meet together and have a community. Why is that so threatening to believers? Why does that bother them so much? Well, here's something interesting. After christianity, nonbelievers are the biggest group in America, bigger than judaism, islam, and all the others. In fact, we're bigger than all those others combined. I guess that's why they worry when we gather together. (Religion in the U.S.)

Third, my atheist meetings are not to help me think freely. I do that on my own. Mainly we get together to share ideas, learn new things, expand our minds, and share in our growing community of like-minded skeptical, freethinking nonbelievers. So only christians get to meet on a regular basis to have a community? You think christians have a monopoly on people spending time together? You think we're uppity and should sit in the back of the bus? Get over yourselves.

Fourth, we are the antithesis of a prayer group, yes. Most definitely. Because we accomplish things. We get together to learn, expand our minds, stretch our horizons, to challenge our ways of thinking at times, to educate ourselves. And you know what? We also get together to help others. Sometimes we have donation drives for the less fortunate. We also have a campaign to help our local Botanic Garden in progress. One of our goals is to help our community. Pretty nifty, huh?

A prayer group is a bunch of people huddling together, praying to an unknown, unseen entity that has never answered a prayer. Ever. Why? Because he doesn't exist. In hundreds of years of science, there has never been a rigorous scientific study that has found any evidence of god or the supernatural. Everything... EVERYTHING in this universe that we've investigated so far has turned out to be completely natural. No god needed. Especially not an angry local god from the Middle East with a penchant for wholesale slaughter and a bad temper. So sitting in a room praying to nothing does nothing. Nothing.

Why not go out and actually help someone in need instead of clasping your hands in prayer? Prayer merely lets the person praying feel superior for doing nothing but clasping their hands together.

How do atheists relate to obnoxious holy rollers? They don't. Just because you compare two groups doesn't mean they have anything in common. It's completely meaningless.

  • We have ethics, while they shit on their own high and mighty biblical morals while preaching a hard-line moral code to their flock.

  • We get together in the name of reason, science, education and community. We are trying to build up good things. They preach and pray, people of one book, eschewing education, learning and critical thinking. They want people to stay the sheep that they are so they can bilk them for money. It's greed and power, nothing more.

The list goes on and on. I don't need to explain the good that our group does, even just by letting other atheists know they aren't alone in a sea of religious dogma. That's why we're so vocal. There are many of us out there. We are now starting to gather together whether you like it or not. If you don't like it, it's probably because you feel threatened. I can see how reason, ethics and critical thinking can be scary.

If you're a godless heathen, please consider joining a local group, an internet group, or forming your own. I wrote about how to start a group recently. While we aren't going to agree on everything, you will probably be pleasantly surprised how awesome it is to hang out with like-minded heathens and critical thinkers. Who knows, it might do a lot of good for your community, but also for you! Let me know if you do. :)


  1. So believers think community has no purpose other than to get marching orders from their leaders and to reinforce their group-think? M'kay. I guess that's where we differ from them.

  2. Because I live in a very rural area in a VERY conservative state, I have no local group, instead, the internet is my group. If I want to actually physically speak with another person about religious beliefs, I usually have to settle for a believer that's willing to have some half-assed debate-like conversation. I long for community but must settle for the scraps I can find, and that's better than nothing. What pisses me off is believers who assume they know everything about you and about your situation and think that if only you had jeezus, everything would be better. My own sister did this to me on my own blog. The sad thing is that I told her that I was willing to talk to her about religion as long as she stopped resorting to cliches and stereotypes about atheists and would instead actually ask me about what I think and the thought processes that got me there. Predictably, she then cut off communication; I can only assume that this was to prevent herself from being "infected" with actual atheist thoughts. Sorry about the rant, your article just sort of resonated with me right now. Awesome blog; keep it up!

  3. The opposite of a prayer group is a trip to the library, where you can learn about your world as it really is instead of how you think it should be.

    The opposite of a prayer group is a handwritten thank-you letter to a real person.

    The opposite of a prayer group is doing something good that makes you uncomfortable, so that you can expand your mind, your outlook, and your horizons beyond what you already know.

    The opposite of a prayer group is volunteer work, actually going out and helping people instead of asking the sky to help those people.

  4. revatheist, I live in a very rural community also. In the deep south. So boy, can I relate! I am lucky though, in that there are a bunch of us who get together once or twice a year for a party/campout. I've met a lot of fellow atheists online who I now also know face to face. It's worth the effort to join some forums and see if there's some folks in your general area who want to meet up. I bet I've met over 50 folks, and only one was someone I never want to meet again. The rest I consider real life friends, now.

    We're out here. Just scattered about.

  5. I am in a similar situation as revatheist. I live in a smallish town in a conservative state and there are few atheists around. I know no other atheists. I had to struggle with my feelings that there was no God all by myself, since I didn't even think about going to the internet to discuss things.

    Needless to say, I don't think your Christian friend was intentionally being an ass. Christians constantly say such things, not realizing how stupid they are being.

  6. I love you Neece. Please keep us updated if he responds.

  7. I agree, Buffy. Then again, believers have no end to the amount of hypocrisy they pile up. This is just another example.

  8. Excellent examples, 4theist! I thoroughly agree!

  9. I understand, Revatheist. As you can tell, the email I got pissed me off too. I'm sorry about your sister cutting off communication with you. It sure sounds like she was afraid of being "contaminated" by the forces of reason and lack of belief.
    At least we all have the internet now, which really helps for people like you who are isolated from other freethinkers and nonbelievers.

  10. Thanks for the encouragement, Puck. Yes, we're out here!
    I've lived in this town for 5.5 years. For 4.5 of those years, everyone I knew was a christian. Everyone. I am surrounded by believers (I'm in WV in a small town with a gazillion churches).
    Then about a year and a half ago I found Atheist Nexus, which then led me to a local group, Morgantown Atheists. I'm not a "group" kind of person, but my husband and I went to a meeting, and not long after I was making godless friends easily.
    If it can happen for a hermit (me) in the bible belt's buckle, there might be hope for others who seem isolated too! :D We just need to organize a bit! :D

  11. Thanks Ann! :D
    I will let you know if he responds, of course! :D

  12. Like you, I never thought to go online for help with getting rid of god. Then again, it was the late 90's, and I didn't really spend much time online like I do now.
    But as I was saying above, I thought I was totally isolated from like-minded people and now we have a very nice, budding godless community. Now all of my friends are atheists!

    Oh, and this person wasn't a friend. It was a random email from a stranger. I have no idea if he was trying to be an ass or not.

  13. I knew it was a random email. I was using the word friend as a general way of speaking about someone you get somehow acquainted with.

    Anyway, I actually didn't think to look up atheism online. I think it was more because I was scared to consider myself an atheist. Questioning, agnostic, trial of faith, whatever it was, it was less scary to me than the thought of being an atheist. Atheists have horns and eat babies after all, and that's scary.

    As for whether or not they were really trying to be an ass, I can't really say for sure. I tend to be a little narcissistic in terms of generally believing that everyone thinks like me, and I don't generally go around trying to piss people off or hurt them, so I tend to give the benefit of a doubt to anyone that I feel has injured me in some way.

    It's hard to know the difference between purposefully being an ass and accidentally being an ass. I would like to think that being an ass is generally an accident, otherwise I would have to be pissed at all sorts of people.

  14. Well, you can't blame us for eating babies, really. They're so tender and delicious, especially in a delicate garlic butter sauce! :P

    See, I am more jaded about how others "seem" to be thinking. I don't claim to know what they are thinking, but from their actions and words, I usually infer they are narcissistic, egocentric, and thoughtless. And yes, it does lead to frustration. Hopefully my new mindfulness meditation will help me with the frustration part. :P

  15. Baby meat is too fatty. I like toddler meat better. Not quite as tender, but much less cholesterol.

    I guess I need to stop being so laid back. It may be less stressful, but I don't get to join in the fun of yelling at people as much.

  16. LOL! I guess I like the baby fat. It's so delicious even if it's not as healthy as toddler. :P

    No, be laid back! I don't yell at people as a general rule, but I don't think it's fun to be frustrated either. If you are laid back and accept people as they are, that's awesome. I wish I could be so accepting. That's a real talent.

  17. Toddler, the other - other white meat.

    I don't know if it's talent. I think it's more laziness. I don't like spending energy being upset with people, so if I think of things differently I can sit back and not have to act. lol

  18. I love the way your comments nest by the way. Most blogs, including mine, would have made our comments in this thread about 2 inches wide by now. Is that the Atahualpa theme, or has it been modified?

  19. I had to reply to my own comment to keep this near yours, Godlessons. I guess we tapped out the nesting. I think it's to do with the theme, Atahualpa, but I really don't know why it nests so nicely. I haven't modified it. It's a great theme though, tons of customization.

    Oh, and the previous comment... LOL! :D