Stop Lurking and Start Speaking Up

You know that feeling that almost all of us had of being different (if you grew up in the US or a religious area) for simply not believing? Well, many of us are leaving the next generation to feel the same. We need to be sure to speak up for those whom have the courage to speak openly.  Far too often we cower in the corner only to have one of us left to speak alone against the crowd. 

Today I posted a link on Facebook to the Tennessee Anti-Evolution Bill. I grew up in a religious area. Creationism has taken hold. So I got responses about religion and creationism right away. I was gentle in handling it. The more bees with honey approach. It will leave the door open to later discussions too. A couple of Atheists were there too. So I wasn't alone. But the reality is that four other atheists (semi-closeted) contacted me privately in addition to what was on the wall. We had a majority, but it didn't look like it. We certainly had rationality and I had two of them say that I'm smart. And pretty [Bats eyes]. 

It's not a question of making sure that you defend everyone every time. Most of us don't need it. But the more we look like a majority, they sooner accepting us will become a requirement. Don't let that next generation coming up feel like we have. You know what I'm getting at. If you can't be their back up, you didn't deserve any before either. We can't complain about not being treated as equal if we don't stand up to claim that equality and say come and take it away from me. Find strength in numbers. I'm speaking directly to the lurkers whom don't stand up already. Don't make the next generation have to stand up for your failures to do so. 


Views: 67

Comment by Walter Maki on April 7, 2011 at 9:40am
My lurking days are numbered.
Comment by Gaytor on April 7, 2011 at 9:52am
Baby steps will get you there. Like buttons, saying I agree. The hardest part will be if you haven't come out to the people close to you. Good luck Walter!
Comment by Morgan Matthew on April 7, 2011 at 11:38am
Comment by Sophie on April 7, 2011 at 11:55am
I make a point to correct people all the time. The best way to do this is to keep a calm even voice while you do it.
Comment by Gaytor on April 7, 2011 at 12:26pm
Yeah Sophie, I agree. My wife read some of the responses and couldn't deal with it. She's Czech so her English suffers when she's upset. She said "I don't know how you put up with it. I would send them all to Hell." Not validating a lack of a positive attitude will help you with winning the overall point. The first one to yell has lost the debate.
Comment by Tammy on April 7, 2011 at 12:31pm
I noticed that the more I learn the harder it is for me to just sit there quietly. It actually feels pretty good to stand up to the ignorance. So much so that it even out weighs the potentially bad outcome that I'll have to deal with when everyone finally realizes that I'm atheist.
Comment by Ida Claire on April 8, 2011 at 12:31am
Agreed! I already am getting funny looks and snide comments, and Im 15.  I try to speak up as much as possible, but I dont want to offend the 3/4 of my family that is mormon.  If we keep talking, people will get used to the idea pretty quickly.  You don't have to shout from the rooftops GOD IS PRETEND! THINK ATHEIST! Just stand up and say something to the people who think they are better than us because they have an imaginary freind and we don't.
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on April 8, 2011 at 12:35am
Wow, you really cut to the chase on what took me about 3 times as long to get to in my Atheist Debt posting. Yes, we do owe it to the next generation in return for the ground gained on our behalf by the atheists who plead for reason in the generation before us.
Comment by Gaytor on April 8, 2011 at 12:48am

@Ida, yeah, tread lightly if your parents are still Mormon. If you grew up LDS you've seen that excommunication is swift and you'll have real need for your parents for maybe as long as another decade and hopefully by then they will see you for who you are. 


@ Heather, I saw it but haven't made time to read it yet. Maybe you hit some points that I'm leaving out. I promise to get to it tomorrow! Pillow hugging time for an early day. 

Comment by Walter Maki on April 8, 2011 at 12:55am

I'm going at a slow and steady pace. My wife and eldest son know I call myself an Atheist, but my two younger probably suspect it even though I haven't told them. I don't discuss it too much since I'm only a fledgling building up my personal data base of facts.

One way I have been slipping logic under the face book radar is some of my subtle status updates point to reason and logic. The other way is little by little showing my wife's cousin (who is a member here now) my support, what little I have provided to this point. 

I try to very carefully word things to make people think without mentioning my de-conversion.

There are a few out there I want to "Hitch-Slap" so bad it makes me grind my teeth. 

I operate strategically keeping in mind there will be a time and place to make my point(s).

My best weapon in my arsenal is I am very friendly and some are aware that I am not a mental midget.


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