The Sinister Connotation of the A-Word
June 27, 2014
To this day, there is an overwhelmingly negative perception of atheists by the religious, and the public. This notion is propagated by religious believers, and the media. For most of my life, I was unaware of the sinister connotation to the word atheist, held by so many millions of Americans.
There has been a long history of demonization of atheists by the religious community, portraying atheists as the devil. (literally) If you look up Godless in the dictionary, definition you getis evil, sinful, wicked, and not simply an individual who disbelieves in a supreme being. There are people who may even say, It is one thing if you don’t believe in God, but an atheist!!! We are even told that we eat babies, and worship the devil. The mentality is that if we are not for God, they we are against him.
Gallup Polls indicate that atheists are still the least trusted group in America, and some studies indicate that people trust them as much as child molesters. A whopping 43% percent of Americans will not elect a well qualified for office, and aproximately half of the country would be unhappy if their child were to marry an atheist.
Fox news is always at it with the “War on Christmas” depicting atheists as the evil grinches, who want to remove a Christmas tree or a cross during the holidays. They cover atheists, only when they stir a controversy, or are shown in a negative light. The reality is, most atheists will wish you a Merry Christmas, and have their own way of celebrating the holidays. And ironically, some Christians boycott when business say “Happy Holidays,” when the etymology of holiday is hāligdæ or holy day.
While it is a long road, people are becoming more and more tolerant of atheists, and it is largely as a result of atheists coming out and showing that they can be respectful and decent people. That is one of the big reasons why I am open about my atheism, is an attempt to change the public perception of atheists held by so many religious people.
About the Author: Benjamin CookBenjamin Cook is a student at American University, an officer for the American University Humanist Community, and a former CFI Outreach intern. He is fascinated with science, and is a strong advocate of using reason and skepticism when examining the world.
#1 TheEditorAtLarge (Guest) on Monday June 30, 2014 at 10:55am
I am not an editor by trade, however there are a few errors that detract from the post by distracting the reader. I'm not trying to insult you, just pointing out a few mistakes I noticed.
I understand that you may be more familiar with replying and ignoring "proper usage" via texting, personal comments of web pages and such and that is fine in your personal posts/tweets/blogs. When posting as a representative of any organization you should take extra care to use the elements of style correctly, in order to project a professional appearance. Try to ensure you are not a victim of "DamYouAutocorrectness!"
I am told I am becoming a cantankerous old man, and I am, but some of these items are not just my pet peeves. Dammit. :D You should be held to the same standard as any traditional news organization. At least, I think you should be!
Thank you all for your work and activism, and Good Day!
Excessive usage of ", and" creates run-on sentences, and can lead to wandering off point. Used 7 times. :)
"they we are against him." [that we are..]?
And starting a sentence with "And"
"If you look up Godless in the dictionary, [the] definition you getis [get is]evil"
"That is one of the big reasons why I am open about my atheism, is an attempt to change the public perception of atheists held by so many religious people."
Consider revising - "One of the big reasons I am open about my atheism is an attempt to change the public perception of atheists held by so many religious people."
"I [am] the new CFI summer intern."
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