"Coming out" now may be a clichéd term, but as the "We Are Atheism" project has shown, it hasn't entirely lost its currency. The new organization encourages others to be open about their atheism, an act that is more than a confession; it holds the real risk of losing family and friends.You can read the rest. The writer of the piece seems to expect that atheists will one day surpass religious people in numbers. I doubt it, though the way the country is going I guess I wouldn't be all that surprised if one day it happened.
By affirming "it's OK to be an atheist" and encouraging video testimony from those who have already made the journey out into the open, "We Are Atheism" hopes to help others do the same. There are, however, serious hurdles for the no-longer-closeted to overcome.
According to the recent Public Religion Research Institute's "2011 American Values Survey," 67 percent of Americans are "somewhat uncomfortable" with the idea of an atheist as president, with 48 percent being "very uncomfortable." Muslims fare better here than atheists, and in the current political climate, that's saying something.
Even more shocking, a recent study by the University of British Columbia showed that when it comes to trust and atheism, "only rapists were distrusted to a comparable degree."
Being an open atheist, then, is a path toward marginalization.
As we've seen with this year's escalating assault on Christmas symbols of all kinds, there's a new brand of activist atheism that is becoming a religion all its own. They don't worship an external god, but their internal intellect. They're quite proud of their own minds and believe they somehow possess the wisdom of the universe that escapes those who have religious beliefs. It's an arrogance that probably affects every aspect of their lives and can make them quite insufferable.
For all the fervor some religious people may show, the new atheists are certainly doing their best to be just as annoying.