"Don't go wearing that thing! You're pushing your atheism in other people's faces."

More drama from my theist fam on Saturday night. I was wearing an American Atheists pendant which I thought was harmless and [from personal experience] I had noticed that no theists I had met had recognized the meaning of it. However, my mom and dad were telling me not to wear it because "they were concerned about my safety." My dad said something to the point of "you never know when you'll advertise your atheism like that to the wrong person," and "the last thing I want to hear is that you've been sent to the hospital, or you're dead, and I'll know why!" - Given the fact that I never wear any atheist material that has any words, even the word "atheist" on it outside the house, because I know that it pisses people in this conservative town off, I was stunned by that statement. The pendant itself was EXTREMELY discrete. I tried to tell them that it never had attracted any negative attention from theists, who almost never know what it means. In fact, pretty much the only people who DO know what it means ARE ATHEISTS!
For anyone doubting me on how discrete it was, this is what it looked like:


Okay... so any disagreement? I would really like to know.

Secondly, my father told me he didn't want me to be an activist. I told him that it is my need and my duty to stick up for my civil rights.

He responded that he didn't want me to get hurt. And that I wouldn't be able to make any friends. [I don't reveal my atheism off the internet to people I don't know well enough to know if I can trust them with the info]. So I was just rolling my eyes.
I am grateful that they love me enough to care about my safety.
However, does anyone else think they're going overboard?

This particular incident didn't make me angry, it just made me question whether I SHOULD be activist and to feel a little afraid of being so. After all, although I discourage "Emotional reasoning" [saying something's true because it feels good], I couldn't help doubting what I thought was my duty due to my natural animal fear of pain or death.

So, any thoughts... what should I do?

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I understand your parent's concern. However, there are many things we enjoy today uniquely because people were willing to stand-up to their beliefs. Whether it is participating in a protest, carrying religious (or atheist) symbols, having bumper-stickers on your car, or going into the military to fight, people advance society in part by representing themselves. I am able to casually and naturally hold my boyfriend's hand throughout the city in public places because - years before me - people fought for the ability to do so. Without their struggle, I might be closeted. Were it not for the protests of Europeans in the 15th and 16th centuries, we might still be dodging the Inquisition. Is that what you want? Do you want to DO something and ensure your life counts for something and advance society forward, or do you prefer to be a compliant sodomized sheep? Your choice. Now, go out there and get yourself a bigger pendant and carry it with casual, nonchalant assertive (but not pushy) pride. There was a time in ancient Judea and Rome when Christians were persecuted. Now look at them! Ge'ez! I'm on your side and support you. In fact, I support your expressing yourself with confidence and clarity and without apology.
1)Where did you get that? I LOVE it! I want one!
Someone buy it for me and send it to me right NOW!

2) It is great you can see that your parents love you and worry for you, and are trying to protect you in their own misguided way. Kudos! Keep in mind because you are underage and outspoken, there is a good chance that your lack of belief will be blown off as it 'just being a teenager thing' or some juvenile way of acting out. They are trying to instigate damage control FOR you, because they might consider this to be a temporary thing you will grow out of. They don't want your 'reputation' ruined, or later job opportunities crippled because of something you'll give up on. This is a sensible reaction for all things from a bad hair cut to sexual experimenting. It's like a reflex parental muscle. Keep this in mind when dealing with them, and it might give you new insight.

3) I am going to be the lone voice of dissent and say no. You aren't going overboard. You are a pretty young girl in a redneck area. You should be very aware of your personal safety at all times, especially if you don't go with the herd. Do something about that to reassure them, but more importantly increase your own safety.

My conclusion:

Buy some mace. Take a self defense class. Not one of those 'girl power, you can do anything' bullshit money traps, but one that will teach you to be aware of your surroundings and how to AVOID danger. Fighting back is always your last resort, hunny.
Fuck it. If you are anywhere near Tucson, I'll teach you.
I'll need your address for that, Misty.
You HAVE my address, Dave.
In BB
I don't think that Skycommet is underage.
Heh heh... I don't think I'm considered underage anymore Misty... lol... I'm 21. But yes... they do consider my atheism to be "young person immaturity" [which is irritating]. I can see why you thought I was a teen... afterall, there aren't that many years between high school and 21. And yeah... I'm making plans to start taking classes in the martial art of Juditzu.
Thanks for the support! ^_^

You can get it at the official american atheists website:

American Atheists Pendant

I think it is far less of an advertisement than many of the Christian T-shirts I have seen out there.
Very true. And with the churches doing fundraises and promotions (and with the size of their structures), the few atheist information evenings are neglible by comparision. That atheist bus ad annoyed a lot of people, most of them preaching fundies. That's just bad sportsmanship!
Since your parents are Xtian, remind them that the little fish drawing was a secret symbol so the early believers could recognize one another. Your lovely pendant performs the same function.
said fish symbol was stolen from the pagan symbol of fertility. good point. lol
Hee hee... I recently got my own "fish" on a new pendant. [ Let's just say I got more bold]. It says "evolve" and has four legs one which is holding a wrench. I hear that a lot of atheists put this fish on their car and it is a popular christian past time to tear the legs off them. The site where I got mine [which I love] even has replacement legs. lol. http://www.evolvefish.com/

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