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Atheists launch campaign to get unbelievers to `come outí
Religious News Service ^ | 11/26/2011 | Kimberly Winston

Posted on 11/26/2011 8:06:38 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The young man in the video pulls in close to his computer camera with the trappings of a typical college dorm room—a loft bed and the clutter of cast-off clothes—piled behind him.

Alex Fiorentini isn’t talking about girls, beer or football. Instead, it’s a coming-out moment of sorts.

“Is it acceptable to the majority of the population to be an atheist?” he asks the camera. “Nope. Are all of your friends going to accept you as an atheist? Probably not all of them. And yeah, those things are gonna suck. But the real question is, ‘Is it OK to be me?’ That is the real question if you are an atheist.”

For Fiorentini, a student at the University of Illinois, the answer is yes. He and scores of other atheists, young and old, have made similar videos for a new campaign designed to build community and support among nontheists around the world.

Dubbed “We Are Atheism,” the campaign was launched this fall by three students at the University of Kansas.

“It’s time for us to all stand up, speak out and be counted,” said Amanda Brown, 25, one of the co-founders. “It is time for us to put up our videos and change the face of atheism. We want people to see we are normal people who have children and lives and do good in the community.”

Brown was inspired to start the campaign with her husband and a friend when she attended a talk by Jessica Ahlquist, a teenage atheist who was taunted and bullied after she objected to a “school prayer” banner hung in her Rhode Island high school.

Brown, who had founded a gay-straight club in her high school, patterned We Are Atheism on the gay community’s “It Gets Better” video project, launched in 2010 after a string of suicides by bullied gay teens. It Gets Better features self-made videos by gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual people who share their coming-out experiences and offer encouragement to those who remain closeted.

“The whole point of the website is to let younger atheists know you will face persecution,” Brown said. “But through us knowing each other we can all help.”

Brown’s project also piggybacks on the gay community’s experience that familiarity breeds acceptance: Knowing actual gay people tends to break down homophobia, ignorance and prejudice.

About one or two videos come in each day, and daily traffic to the We Are Atheism website has climbed as high as 6,600. Brown has heard from atheists ranging in age from 15 to 75 who say watching the videos has made them feel less isolated and, in some cases, given them courage to come out as atheists to family and friends.

The first video was posted in August, and was quickly joined by 70 more along with 21 personal essays. Some, like Fiorentini, are college students. Others are from older, prominent atheists including Hemant Mehta, a popular atheist blogger, and Greta Christina, an atheist activist.

“To those of you who are watching this video, you should know that you are not alone,” says David Silverman, president of American Atheists, in his self-made video. “You should be an out atheist because it feels great. To be a closeted atheist is to tell a lie to your loved ones.”

Reaction in the atheist community has been encouraging. The Richard Dawkins Foundation, which has its own campaign encouraging atheists to go public, is supporting We Are Atheism on its website; Atheist Nexus, the largest Internet gathering site for nontheists, has partnered with We Are Atheism to give it a wider online reach.

“If the polls are correct, there are literally millions of nonbelievers in America,” said Richard Haynes, president of Atheist Nexus. “However, many atheists feel all alone. This is the primary reason we must come out of the closet. Coming out is the only way to change the public perception of nontheism.”


TOPICS: Current Events; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: americanatheists; antichristian; antigod; atheism; atheistagenda; atheists; blasphemy; culturalmarxism; homosexualagenda; leftists; narcissists; playingthevictim; richarddawkins; whiners

1 posted on 11/26/2011 8:06:43 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Good maybe they can get a few more lawsuits and finally rid the school system of that bad morality that Christians have spread upon our beloved society.


2 posted on 11/26/2011 8:11:52 AM PST by wild74
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To: SeekAndFind
“The whole point of the website is to let younger atheists know you will face persecution,” Brown said. “But through us knowing each other we can all help.”

And you can call upon your atheist friends to give you comfort when you're afraid and dying. Lots of luck with that.

Just DON'T try to take my faith away from me.

3 posted on 11/26/2011 8:14:37 AM PST by TribalPrincess2U (WE ARE AMERICA! DONATE TO FR MORE!)
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To: SeekAndFind

“The whole point of the website is to let younger atheists know you will face persecution,” Brown said.

Wow. A stand up comedian! Who knew atheists were that funny!


4 posted on 11/26/2011 8:30:48 AM PST by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: SeekAndFind
None of these people have ever considered what the world would look like if not for a relatively small group of dedicated Christian people.

Any freedom that any society on this Earth has realized is due to the influence of Christians.

If the atheists and muslims succeed in stamping out Christianity, they will find that the society is run like muslims run their society....rule by the meanest and most viscous amongst us....by gangs in jeeps with machine guns mounted, patrolling our neighborhood.

Atheists would do well to pay attention to the old saw:..

...be careful of what you ask for, you may just get it...

5 posted on 11/26/2011 8:54:41 AM PST by B.O. Plenty (Elections have consequences....)
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To: B.O. Plenty

To be fixated on something you don’t think exists is insanity.


6 posted on 11/26/2011 9:04:56 AM PST by aimhigh
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To: SeekAndFind

The United States could not have been founded by atheists.


7 posted on 11/26/2011 9:42:15 AM PST by onedoug (lf)
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To: TribalPrincess2U

The idea isn’t to convert believers.

It’s that there are lots unbelievers “in the closet”.


8 posted on 11/26/2011 10:14:36 AM PST by Salman
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To: SeekAndFind
We know what atheists don't believe in. So what do they believe in?
9 posted on 11/26/2011 10:19:22 AM PST by mtg
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To: SeekAndFind

If atheists are so convinced that God does not exist, why the hell are they so worried about it? They act like a bunch of kids who want everyone to screw up so they won’t be the ones to take all of the heat. Kids! What a bunch of morons. “Hey! Look at me! I’m an atheist!”


10 posted on 11/26/2011 10:22:15 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (Stop BIG Government Greed Now!!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why do atheists have to be anti-Christian? If they don’t believe in God, what difference does it make to them what others believe?


11 posted on 11/26/2011 11:42:39 AM PST by abclily
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To: SeekAndFind

I shall call it “It Gets Hotter”.


12 posted on 11/26/2011 11:55:18 AM PST by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: Salman

I know they’re not trying to convert me. Duh!

Anyone that tries to get crosses taken away and get rid of anything related to Christ bothers me and they’re in my face.

In other words— DON’T try to take my faith away from me.


13 posted on 11/26/2011 12:05:23 PM PST by TribalPrincess2U (WE ARE AMERICA! DONATE TO FR MORE!)
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To: aimhigh
To be fixated on something you don’t think exists is insanity.

THANK YOU.
There would be NO athiests without God.

14 posted on 11/26/2011 1:09:29 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: abclily
Why do atheists have to be anti-Christian? If they don’t believe in God, what difference does it make to them what others believe?

Christ represents the SCARIEST scenario of all: He is real. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
They are also angry with Him because, I suspect, that God didn't give them what they wanted or took someone away from them or let someone loved suffer. So, they pretend He doesn't exist. That's their punishment of God ... nonbelief.

Athiests remind me forcibly of spoiled, thwarted 3-year-old termagants.

15 posted on 11/26/2011 1:15:44 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: SeekAndFind

Atheists can be easily defined as a group of people who haven’t got a prayer.


16 posted on 11/26/2011 1:19:04 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: mtg

RE: So what do they believe in?

When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing— they believe in anything. ~ G. K. Chesterton


17 posted on 11/26/2011 1:23:36 PM PST by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

I have a dear freind who is an Athiest. I respect his decision that there is no God. That is OK by me. And I do not hate him, not at all.


18 posted on 11/26/2011 3:49:30 PM PST by ColdSteelTalon (Light is fading to shadow, and casting its shroud over all we have known...)
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To: SECURE AMERICA

Exactly. “Persecuted”? By whom?


19 posted on 11/26/2011 11:38:00 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: SeekAndFind

I can’t decide. Who are more annoying and self-absorbed——gays or atheists? Really, I can’t decide.


20 posted on 11/26/2011 11:47:05 PM PST by dupree
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To: SeekAndFind

The roots of atheism are almost always moral not intellectual.


21 posted on 11/27/2011 3:31:22 AM PST by circlecity
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