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.

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Thanks Richard, glad you enjoyed it! Good luck speaking out though, it gets hard at times. My love for science helps me get my point across most of the time.

Ryan,

 

Why don't you post some of these 'debates' on a blog?  It wouldn't take more than a few hours to set-up an account, write an intro, and post several of the transcripts (editing out the theists name).  I think it would be a great resource to see how some of these arguments unfold.

Thats a good idea Heather, im just not sure how to even begin setting up something like that. Also I tent to use some bad language and I tend to lash out with asshole inspired comments lol but I usually use science and common sense to try and get my point of view across first.

I had a really easy time setting up a blog at blogspot.com, although your 'contributor profile' sits on blogger.com and then your 'blog account' sits on blogspot.com, which is a bit confusing at first.  Once you get through it, though, it isn't hard to start posting stuff, tearing it down, and reformatting a bit.

 

I know my html well enough but I rarely have to use it to format my posts, and even then only just for minor tweeks that aren't important at all.  I use plenty of fowl language in my personal bl0g, but I checked off a box that says so in order to warn people of that and nobody has complained so far.

Heather thanks so much! I have started a blog and I have been kind of playing with it today and learning as I go, im excited to see where this goes. If you would be interested in checking it out let me know, im open to any advice you may be able to give me. Thanks again!
Well, for starters, you need to post a link to your blog when you want people to look at it. Also, don't forget to drop a link to it at the end of e-mails or any place that let's you leave comments so you can get a little traffic.  Notice how I inconspicuously dropped in my link above, :)
lol now I notice! See I have a lot to learn no doubt. Ill have to learn to link and also learn how to put my post in categories or whatever. here is my link if you or anybody wants to take a look, just keep in mind im just starting and i know it needs work. http://anatheistsurroundedbytheist.blogspot.com/

Wow Ryan - you managed to waste an hour of my time.  You just had to go fiddling with the settings on your page, making it look cooler than mine, forcing me to spend an hour mucking about to make my page look even cooler!  :)

 

I've added a link to your page on my page.  Just scroll down and keep an eye on the right and you'll find an 'other atheists' section.  I'll get to reading your transcripts later - I would have had time to do so now if you hadn't gone and made your page look cool.

lol im sorry Heather,  but I owe it all to you for turning me on to this idea! Thank you again for that! Im still trying to figure out some thing, im gonna work on it again tomorrow night, I still have a few things I want to get up on there pretty soon for everybody to read. Anyway thanks again!
I'm glad to hear you are enjoying blogspot, Ryan.  I hope I haven't turned you into a blog-o-maniac!
well I have ran into a problem now, when I copy from Word and paste it onto my Blog post it shows up with a white blocky background and I cant figure out how to fix that! its driving me nuts!!! but ill figure it out
hey thanks Dad P!! see I still have a lot to learn

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