The myth of atheists being “less” than religious people
The Linkmistress would like to interrupt her regular linkspams to bring you an actual blog. With words. As usual, civility is requested and will be enforced. Iron fist, velvet glove etc.
crossposted. The following critique is based on the media I have consumed and the experiences I have had. Feel free to rec media in which the things I am complaining about have been fixed. Except that Pullman fellow. I tried. I tried. But.
Pharyngula is linked to my old blog, and thus, when I go over there, I sometimes check his feed. I say sometimes, because the writer thereof is like many white middleclass atheists in that FAIL! on race issues, and the difference in scale between religions affected by the past how many hundreds of years of colonialism and Christianity is constant and unremitting (and the comment section is WORSE.) This post however Letting go of gods is a reason for joy…like being free of prison, sparked an annoyed rant that I had been turning over in my mind for a very long time.
I am an atheist. A black atheist at that. And I am HAPPY AND FULFILLED ABOUT THIS. I do NOT run around wistfully gazing after religious people, feeling sad that I am missing out on the experience of faith. Nor do I run around feeling nihilistic and angry at the world because there is no God and therefore LIFE ON EARTH HAS NO MEANING !!!!!!!!!!!!! And I sure as hell do not run about committing crimes and hurting people left, right and center because God isn’t in my life. I have ethics. And morals even. And NO that it NOT because God is in my life and I don’t know it, WHAT!!! Hell I formed my ideas of ethics and morals in direct opposition to some of the things in the Christian Bible (fer instance, the idea of a god sending his people to go kill people and take their possessions reminds me of European colonialism and is WRONG WRONG WRONG in my ethical universe. Women are intelligent and sensible and should therefore have been in on the equal human rights from the beginning of time, no excuses. In fact, in my ethical universe, strict instructions about the equality of EVERYONE from transpeople to disabled people to poc to people with alternate sexualities to people in different classes to anyone who has a mix of these identities, plus anyone else who might have been left out of this list would be MY FIRST FREAKING COMMANDMENT. And that’s just the beginning.)
I am SICK AND TIRED of encountering those tropes in most of the tv, movies and books which even deign to acknowledge the fact that people who don’t believe in gods exist in the first place. Almost every black movie and tv show or book mentions God somewhere. If a character does not believe in God, the person is taught a firm lesson, which is usually accompanied by humiliation of some sort, so as to bring them back into line (praise ye the Lord!!) For white characters in tv shows, more latitude is given in that there are atheist characters, but we end up with people like House, or atheists who are made to accept that the fact that someone has faith makes them a better person. (I think I have seen that dynamic in Bones but I may be wrong. Anyone watch the show and can clarify?) Which. It doesn’t. It makes you a different person. Good for you. But my lack of faith is just as good as your abundance of it and gives you no moral cookies over me, kthx.
So. I want proudly atheist characters who are happy about it in my media. Minorities of every kind, even. Because we exist. And our stories deserve to be respectfully told.