matt_doyle: (Default)
... I found one from last year that went up on LJ but not on dreamwidth.  Here.  For indexing purposes, my thoughts on organizational principles of the universe, sort of.  If it interests anyone who hasn't seen it before, feel free to discuss here or there.
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So, over on John Scalzi's blog he's got an interesting post about the American persecution of atheists.  Like him, it's something I've seldom seen for myself; but like him, I'm chock-full of privilege and may simply be blind to it.  In liberal, academic, intellectual circles, it seems to me that atheism and Christianity both have some degree of privilege and both have some negative stigma, but I can only really speak for the Christian side of that, because that's what I see.  So I wondered:  if you feel like talking about it, O Atheists Of My Acquaintance, would you care to weigh in about anti-atheist bias and how it's affected you?  Are there areas, geographically or socially, where the stigma is greater or less?  In your experience, are there contexts where atheism is privileged rather than punished?

Additionally, in case it's relevant to the discussion in any way, I want to repost the comment I made in Scalzi's discussion threads, after reiterating my own privilege and lack of perspective.

At one time, although briefly, I was openly first an atheist and then a pagan in a small, close-minded town, and the only flak I ever caught for it was from my Dad (and my Dad has always given me flak for everything, so that doesn't count).

Currently, I identify strongly as both a Christian and an agnostic (my usual phrasing is “heretical heterodox Christian agnostic.”). I believe in a Deity, but I believe just as strongly that neither I nor anyone else can pretend to be sure. I’m also very strongly secularist; I think my religion is between me and Presumed Deity, and should stay the Hell out of everyone’s public policy except inasmuch as it informs their personal values and convictions. (I think the Founding Fathers were with me on this one. And Roger Williams.)

When it comes to proselytizing and evangelism, what I tell people is that yes, I do it to everyone I meet, all the time. ‘You Will Know They Are Christians By Their Love,’ after all. That, and as an anonymous source I call not-Francis-of-Assissi said “Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words.” My actions should be sufficient to show people my faith. If they are not, then I need to work on myself before I’m fit to minister to others.

I’m happy to talk about my faith whenever, of course (example: what I am doing right now!), but it’s not for me to decide when to start that conversation. People who are genuinely curious about my faith or religion in general raise the subject eventually. People who are not, don’t. And since I’m one of them blasphemous Christian Universalists, I believe we’re all going to Heaven eventually anyway, and there’s no urgent need to talk y’all around as long as you aren’t egregiously misbehaving by any ethical standards.


Jan. 18th, 2012 08:41 pm
matt_doyle: (Default)
What it says on the tin. If you're not interested in hearing me talk about how I pray and why and et cetera, don't click on the cut tag. This may take me a while. Though I'll note that despite the fact that I address my prayers to a deity I believe in; the reasons I pray are largely unrelated to religious conviction.

Read more... )


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