I said yesterday that one of the motivations for Richard Dawkins’ book was surely because he saw himself as a dying breed and needed some company in his misery. Well, I was partially correct.
“People who were ashamed to say there is no God now say, ‘Wow, there are others out there who think like me, and it feels damned good,’ ” said Margaret Downey, president of the Atheist Alliance International, whose membership has almost doubled in the past year to 5,200. It has a 500-person waiting list for its convention in Crystal City later this month.
(In America, Nonbelievers Frind Strength in Numbers, by Jacqueline L Salmon, Washington Post (online), September 15, 2007)
5,200! Impressive. Turns out even Atheists need the comfort of like minded folks to commiserate with. However…
Despite atheists’ increased vocalism and visibility, it seems that the rest of America isn’t buying in.
In a nationwide poll last year by University of Minnesota researchers, Americans rated atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” They also associated atheists with everything from criminal behavior to rampant materialism. According to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll, more than half would not vote for an atheist for president.
I sincerely wish that all who are atheist would come out of the closet! I agree with Richard Dawkins: Come out! Be Proud! Claim your beliefs or lack thereof! Come out by name! There is no shame in being who you are! You see, I think if more atheists would come out by name, then all the less-educated-than-atheists Christians could spend more time praying for them by name.
Hey, I heard a joke one time: What do you get when you cross an Atheist with a Jehovah’s Witness? Someone who knocks on your door for reason whatsoever. (Maybe I told that one before.)