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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yes I do know, I have lost friends and family for who I am.
I push my Atheism on Facebook plenty. A few of my friends get a little unsure because some of my points have them questioning their faith, but they realize and respect where I'm coming from when I speak of lies that keep mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense.

First off, I have two facebook accounts. One is work, my kid's friends, family, Xian friends, everybody but the really rude fuckers. I call it my PG-13 facebook page. Its not PC, but its pretty tame. 800+ friends.

On my NC-17 page, I speak my mind much more freely. Less than 100 friends.

I didn't proselytize much (in my mind) when I was a Xian. I ignore most Christian comments and posts, but get in my face and you will get it with both barrels. Occasionally something will rub me the wrong way and I will say something causing a shitslide. I will slam those who post intolerant bullshit on either account. 

There is a time and a place for everything. I don't make a secret about being an atheist, but I don't walk around rubbing people's faces in it. I'm happy to have conversations with people if they are civil. I do post atheist links and articles on both accounts, but I don't overrun them. I'm not out to deconvert the world. Yet.


Certainly out, but I try to avoid pushing it. I'm often vague in how I say it. For example, a status from today. "If you are worried about your stuff, let me know and I'll take ownership of it on May 20 for your peace of mind on May 21st." It's a poke, but one that even other Christians can appreciate. I'll pick on bad science, take on some political and religious issues, but I try to avoid going over the top on religious topics in how I say something. Now in straight politics, I'll offend the shit out of anyone. But religion hits too close to home so even when I hear creationist stuff, I tread lightly and let others see it for what it is. 
I am pretty vocal about my atheism, mainly cos sooo many of my fb friends are very Christian and republican, and expect me to share in those ideals.
I am vocal about my views on a specific subject.  I don't find the need to bring up my atheism.  This is not some movement for me.  It is not a religion and so I feel I need to talk about it all the time. If someone asks me a specific question about it I will speak on it.  If someone tries to convert me I will tell them I am not interested.  I don't get people's need to "evangelize" about atheism.
If you had been the victim of or witness to some of the incredible discrimination and abuse I have suffered and witnessed, then you would not say that.  Perhaps you believe that we "belong" in the closet and have no right to complain about being mistreated.  Perhaps you are in a good situation and don't feel empathy for atheists who don't share your good fortune.  Clearly, however, you don't really care about the fate of humanity.
I don't believe anyone belongs in a closet, but i don't have to put my atheist views out there for every single thing. Yes you fight discrimination.

I'm sorry for your loss of your friend but at least it is a good sign that intelligence is poking its tender head into your Facebook.  



I share your sentiment, its hard living in a close minded society.

Awesome timing, Christian! I could've almost written this post verbatim, a major difference being I'm married and thankfully my wife is agnostic and fairly tolerant of my frequent rants. We were both raised Seventh-Day Adventist and went to the same SDA church, schools, summer camps, etc.; total religious permeation. Most of our long-time friends are Christian/SDA as a result and their posts annoy me to no end, ESPECIALLY the bible verses (like the reoccurring holy hand grenade, Psalm14:1, shaddup!) Well, except the Song of Solomon ones. Those are kind of nice. Ha!

I wouldn’t call myself a militant atheist either. I’m ardent, don’t get me wrong, but my guns aren’t blazing. That’s just not my style. I've definitely been much more vocal and frequent about my atheistic views on Facebook lately though. Not to the point of debating or arguing on other peoples posts. My line is drawn there. If it's on my wall, however, you're fair game and open season. I still apply a heavy dose of tolerance and respect. 

I don't intentionally post anti-religious content for the sake of provoking a crap fest or to alienate morons but to express my opinion as freely as everyone else seems to be able to do. Hopefully it might also spark something that may inspire them to challenge their beliefs for a change instead of swallowing the Jesus pills so unquestioningly. I don't treat it as a ministry though. I'm not trying to indoctrinate anyone (free thought yo!), just express myself freely. 

When it comes down to it, you are what you believe (not what you eat). If people can't accept you as you are then that is their loss and your gain. Surrounding yourself with people of many beliefs but who are also tolerant and act with kindness is rewarding.  Respectful contrast is important, I believe so at least. Just because I don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the opposing insight. Plenty of good reasons for it: One, I don't want to become an angry atheist douche. Two, I find I'm more considerate to other beliefs the more I learn about them. Three, my brain enjoys the thinking and it's often the only exercise I get (I’m a sedentary fatso).

I know there are things I post that go against their views but I’m equally as outspoken that they’re not aimed or meant to be taken personally, just expressing an opinion. To date, I’ve only lost one “friend” and it only stung a little. Nothing an episode of Tosh.0 couldn't cure.

I'm open but not pushy about it; my WordPress blog and my Twitter both route into my FB, and I'm much more vocal there than directly on FB. If people make comments about religion to me, I figure that they *have* to have realized I'm an atheist by now (especially family members who are probably very distressed about it)--I try to recognize that, as misguided as I believe religion is, telling me that they will pray for me is their way of showing that they care, and the "I'll pray for you" routine is really only harmful in the most extreme cases, like moms who won't get medical treatment for their sick children. (And, that's not religion so much as mental illness, I think. Even when things like the Japan earthquake happen, I know plenty of Christians who put their money where their mouth is.)

I post articles and things, but I also make it a point not to go into other people's posts and start trashing their beliefs--I figure they have as much right to post things that disagree with my position as I do to post things that disagree with their beliefs. When the "Pray For Japan" stuff came up, for example: I was urging people not only to pray for Japan, but to also donate and help Japan--but I tried not to go into a full tirade about how useless prayer was, as I know it is a coping mechanism for people who are religious. I did that not only out of respect for friends and family, but because I very much feel that attacking prayer in a time of crisis is extremely damaging to how non-theists are viewed (not to mention, I feel it would make people less inclined to donate real support, if they feel their beliefs are under attack). I kept my full opinion under my hat, but I did make sure to get the important message out there.

If someone comes onto one of my posts, though, I treat them just a bit more respectfully than they treat me--but I will definitely debate them until they disintegrate into nonsense.

I don't think you should feel weak and cowardly for tempering your posts on Facebook; having the right to say something doesn't necessarily mean that it is always wise, and I think part of true strength is knowing when saying something will be helpful and when it will be detrimental. I think it is important on the whole that we continue to respect people as we want to be respected ourselves--to lead by example, and also to pick our battles wisely. One thing that I've done is to group most of the really religious persons on my Facebook into a group (largely my family), and when I want to post something seriously controversial, I block the whole group from the post. I know I'm not going to convert these people on Facebook, so I don't want to put them or me through the stress of arguing constantly about it.



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