In the town where I live a few of us have decided to start a local publication and I’ve been asked to have a column and write about atheist issues.
My first article is due in a couple of weeks and I’m trying to decide how to kick off the column.
Since it’s the first edition of the magazine I thought about doing a “Common Misconceptions About Atheism” type of article but a few of my friends say I should do something more in your face and “shocking”.
As my atheist friends, I’d like your opinions and thoughts on what my first column should be about.
I like your idea about addressing the common misconceptions. People will be shocked by an atheist column in the first place, so there's no need to be "in your face" about it. I'm not sure what function a purposefully "in your face" article would serve anyway, except to further the stereotype that atheists are rude, "in your face" kind of people.
You could either do the common misconceptions idea, or a personal account of why you, specifically, are an atheist, especially if you have a very interesting anecdote to share.
Will you post your publication (or just your article) here for us to read? I'm anxious to read it. :-)
It's great that you're doing this! I agree with Pam. No need to be in-your-face about anything. You catch more flies with honey, etc. I think I'd start just by explaining what an atheist is and what an agnostic is. Perhaps mention that, while many may find this shocking, Christians are usually atheists when it comes to Zeus, Hindu gods, etc., etc., and that atheists just take this one god further. I think this could be put in a gentle way that wouldn't turn people off and might help them to understand where we're coming from, since they can relate to not believing in certain gods as well. Many refer them to the God Delusion, Why I Am Not a Christian and Letter to a Christian Nation if they want to learn more. I look forward to reading your article!
I would like to add my vote in the "be nice, not in your face" column. Atheists are already more hated than any other group, the last thing we need is to stir the hornets' nest. I think this article, and all your articles, should be well thought out, logical, and polite. Even if you don't convert people, perhaps you'll at least open some minds to accepting atheists as non-monsters.
I like the common misconceptions idea to kick it off. Then later articles could get into Laura's idea of how everyone is an atheist, we just go one god further.
I personally think the book "Misquoting Jesus" is a gentle way to introduce people to atheist ideas. Well, it really just to sows the seeds of critical thinking about the bible and where their beliefs come from. I may be biased though, since this book played a huge role in opening my eyes.