In my everyday life, I wear my atheism on my sleeve. I don't throw it in anyone's face, but I will react if the topic of religion comes up and my input is appropriate. I am open to friends and family about it, so nobody has any illusions about where I stand.

Lately, I've been increasingly vocal on Facebook about news that I feel warrants an atheist response. Most of those posts are largely ignored. I was raised Roman Catholic, and went to Catholic schools from 3rd grade all the way through college, so a majority of my friends on Facebook are Catholics. As such, my wall is often littered with bible quotes, links to religious articles, and all the pro-life/anti-abortion propaganda you can imagine. I am in a serious relationship with my girlfriend and we have spoken of marriage; she and her family are all Christians of various degrees. I generally don't shy away from letting my opinion of how ridiculous religious beliefs are, and probably lean towards what is currently (and errantly, imho) referred to as "militant" atheism.

I feel very strongly about raising objections when people make religious posts (if you can imagine what my wall was like after the quake in Japan, and all the "let's pray" responses, you can feel my pain) and I feel that in as much as people are free to give their faith lip-service, I should be able to offer opinions from the other side of the fence.

I'm at a point now where I feel like my outspoken criticism of religion is beginning to alienate people who I value as friends, and is in danger of causing a rift between me and my girlfriend (many of her friends and family are also friends on Facebook). While I have no qualms about losing friends who are of the "if you don't believe what I believe, we can't be friends" variety, I feel it goes deeper than that. I feel like my friends are feeling a more personal sting when I criticize their beliefs, which is often an unavoidable side-effect of being critical of religion.

As passionate as I am about remaining vocal and offering some balance to all the religiosity, and standing up for what I believe in, it is not worth losing those I hold dear to me. I hope to one day marry my girlfriend, and while she can accept the way I feel, I think she struggles with how outspoken I am about it. I intend to back off considerably, only responding when absolutely necessary. I feel a little weak and cowardly for letting others dictate my behaviour, but I have to be selfish and ignore it for the sake of keeping those close to me from getting fed up and walking away.

I guess my question is this: If you're "open" on Facebook with your atheism, how hard do you push it? Are you vocal, or more reserved? Do you think posting atheist articles and news stories about religious wrongdoings is going too far?

I've made up my mind, but I guess I'm looking to get some sense of how you guys feel.

Tags: Atheism, Facebook

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hey thanks Dad P!! see I still have a lot to learn
I have blogs too. May be it is a good idea that we link eachother? So, when somebody looks for blogs on religion and atheism, they find all those fine blogs.
Sounds like a good idea to me

@Ryan: Thanks for fighting our fight and giving so many good lulz in the prosess.  Keep up the excellent work!

I have a few more conversations that I will be posting on my blog, so check back soon! it just keeps getting better lol thanks for the compliment!
I am pretty mild about it. Mainly because of my dad. Last thing I want is another verbal badgering about the "end of days". That speech was a total joy... After awhile I finally just said dad I read it like twice now and it's still as about as convincing as say the Never Ending Story being reality and at least that had an awesome flying dog dragon in it!
I want a flying dog dragon...

I had one of those "Never ending" discussions with a family member recently, and you do have to weigh the damage to the relationship against the % that you will facilitate their epiphany by sharing the facts; not that they often play any role in changing one's beliefs.


In the 'useless--and-unsolicited-trivia-from-a-stranger-on-the-net category', that bookstore from the movie NES is a fave bookstore of mine and where I buy a lot of my hard to find books.  


Anyway, back on point, the care and caution with uncompromising conviction is the path best trodden on this stuff.


This is a great thread. The article and many of the responses are excellent.
I've listed "atheist" as my religion on Facebook, and I've gotten a few comments about that. The comments express divergent reactions including shock, disbelief, admiration, and disgust.
I used to respond to all of the "faith" and "prayer" postings by either suggesting alternative approaches (science, medicine, research), but after getting criticized, I've backed off and now I just ignore them.
A while back, I posted a video that I found on which had a parody of religion. I got de-friended by a few people, and received a scorching diatribe essentially saying "you should be ashamed of yourself" from one person who now hates me. So I'm staying away from these type of postings from now on.

I lost a dear friend and was going to lose another one recently ; although she didn't criticize me directly , her stand was clear...sometimes we would chat for hours ... but now she avoids that ...  I decided to create a fake FB account and add it to my friends list in order to post all that I want about religion ... 

 At first I didn't care about expressing my opinion on religion , but some friends keep on posting some stupid  videos about the ''scientific miracles in Islam'' , and I decided to do something  about that .

I used to be more vocal than I currently am. I don't share too many links anymore but I am very active on my friend's pages who are Atheist, or groups who are Atheist. The difference is that it doesn't force those things into peoples' newsfeeds all the time, so they don't feel bombarded with it. I don't ever bite my tongue but sometimes I find roundabout ways to address peoples' retarded posts. Like a person on my Facebook said that moms are a gift from God, a guarantee of friendship to their child for the rest of that child's life, etc etc. My real offense was claiming God was real, but I round-about attacked it by saying it was offensive she would imply a mother is some divine guarantee from a higher power when so many mothers are drug addicts, pieces of crap, neglectful, abusive, or murderous toward their children. It's a shitty promise, or a lie, one of the two. She became very complacent after that and several people backed up my point who were Theists. Very funny.

Ever since I became sure of my stance, I have been a "loud" atheist on facebook and in real life.

Of course some of my friends don't like that someone is challenging their beliefs, but I've grown to feel some sort of apathy towards their feelings when it comes to faith. Every now and then I'll put an atheistic quote as my status. I also, as the thread starter mentioned, comment whenever I see something that has to do with religion on facebook. Be it a debate, a video or one comment. Some of my friends like it, and some don't.


What made me ease up with my negative comments about religion, was when my mom asked me to stop. Why? Because it hurt her feelings. I didn't really mind when my friends were annoyed with my input on facebook, because I knew that they were about as much a christian as I was. But when it was my mother, who is a 'true believer', I eased up. She is a peaceful christian, she has nothing against homosexuals, she's a doctor (which isn't exactly a job for the stupid), she's pretty much an idol, and I didn't want to hurt her.


Don't get me wrong though, I'm still a militant atheist, just not so much on facebook.



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