Paranoid Atheist
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10-02-2012, 06:45 PM
Paranoid Atheist
Yesterday I was listening to TTA podcast on "Closet Atheists". The more I listened the more paranoid I got. I realized that if certain people found out I was an atheist my life could be severely impacted.

I have a great job for a very religious family-owned company. If they were to discover that I was an atheist I wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to fire me. This would financially devastate my family. All of my son’s friends belong to extremely religious families. I have no doubt being found out would affect how their parents would feel about their children coming over to our house and hanging around my son.

This is where the paranoia gets scary. I started to think how they could find out. Well on Facebook I have commented a number of times on religious topics. While not overtly atheist statement they were obviously opposite of what a religious person would think. Gay rights, science topics, birth control, etc. On Twitter I follow some atheist people and groups.

Now I hear that the government is monitoring Twitter and other social media to see who is commenting on Homeland Security. Is it so farfetched to think they will start looking at atheist sites and atheist groups to see who we are. As if we're dangerous for not believing in a deity.

I almost feel like I need to get off the grid as far as my atheism goes.

Have any of you ever had the same concerns?

.
I wasn't . . . until I was
I am . . . until I'm not
.
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10-02-2012, 07:20 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2012 07:25 PM by Jeff.)
RE: Paranoid Atheist
Given your situation I suggest that you cool it on facebook. I don't think u need to worry about the government monitoring for atheist. I've worked around a number of homeland security issues and have never seen any concern raised about atheists. At work, throw in some random "thank god"s and you'll avoid the suspicion of the believers.
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10-02-2012, 07:44 PM
RE: Paranoid Atheist
You should move to England. I'm openly an atheist and practically militant with it and I've never had a problem.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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10-02-2012, 08:05 PM
RE: Paranoid Atheist
I stay off ALL social media sites.
There is nothing to gain, lots to loose.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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10-02-2012, 09:24 PM
RE: Paranoid Atheist
I agree that keeping opinions out of social media is a key.

Isn't it interesting that an atheist is just somebody who doesn't believe in any god. But we feel like we need to hide our opinions or face possible persecution. It doesn't matter how good a person you are, you are look upon like an evil creature. On the other hand somebody can be a mean, unethical, immoral, and cruel human being but if they praise Jesus they get a pass.

Oh well, move the coats over and get back in the closet.

.

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I wasn't . . . until I was
I am . . . until I'm not
.
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10-02-2012, 09:30 PM
RE: Paranoid Atheist
(10-02-2012 09:24 PM)free2011 Wrote:  I agree that keeping opinions out of social media is a key.

Isn't it interesting that an atheist is just somebody who doesn't believe in any god. But we feel like we need to hide our opinions or face possible persecution. It doesn't matter how good a person you are, you are look upon like an evil creature. On the other hand somebody can be a mean, unethical, immoral, and cruel human being but if they praise Jesus they get a pass.

Oh well, move the coats over and get back in the closet.

.

It is bizarre. I spent a life time fearing persecution by the enemies of God! Now I have become the enemy. Big Grin

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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10-02-2012, 11:14 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2012 11:28 PM by Logisch.)
RE: Paranoid Atheist
(10-02-2012 07:20 PM)Jeff Wrote:  Given your situation I suggest that you cool it on facebook. I don't think u need to worry about the government monitoring for atheist. I've worked around a number of homeland security issues and have never seen any concern raised about atheists. At work, throw in some random "thank god"s and you'll avoid the suspicion of the believers.

Yeah homeland security and atheism never really seemed like a big deal to me. Honestly if anything I think homeland security would worry more about religious fanatics who want to go blow up buildings and go do stupid stuff than worry about atheists who just want to argue their points.

Question:

- How many religions have killed in the name of their god?
- How many atheists have killed in the name of their god?
oh wait....

But the point of feeling discriminated against is very real. In all seriousness MANY of my closest family and friends still to this day do not know I am an atheist. Quite literally my sister, my wife and my best friends are about the only people that know aside from my friends who are openly atheist (who obviously know). My facebook does not mention religion. I don't argue on facebook, I don't debate on facebook. I don't really go out looking to argue it. I discuss it with those who are openly atheist or agnostic. Unfortunately it still seems like in many places in the US that it's like dropping a 4 letter word.

Seems far more accepted in other countries. A german friend of mine and I were having the discussion about it. He said it's not a bad word there, he said it's quite accepted. They seem to be far more open minded about it. But if you live in the bible belt and drop the Atheist word, you may as well go tell people you're a nazi or something crazy like that.

I really enjoyed this article.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2...on-beliefs

My favorite parts?
Quote:As a result, skeptics like myself struggle to understand or anticipate the vehement anger that can be generated by the mere suggestion that perhaps there may be no God, or even that such a suggestion is not meant to offend.

Quote:It is fascinating that lack of belief, or even mere skepticism, is met among the faithful with less respect and more distrust even than a fervent belief in a rival God.

I also think it really heavily depends on how you go about telling someone that you are an atheist.
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11-02-2012, 12:50 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2012 12:52 AM by morondog.)
RE: Paranoid Atheist
(10-02-2012 09:30 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  It is bizarre. I spent a life time fearing persecution by the enemies of God! Now I have become the enemy. Big Grin

That's the crux. I don't think I've ever sat in on a sermon where the pastor didn't say something along the lines of

"and watch out for those schneaky buggers who're trying to attack the church, blinding us with their science and leading us astray. They're all in the employ of Satan, even if they seem like nice people, really nice people, it's just so they can GET YOU."

That's why the overblown reactions - they've been taught to regard us as slightly more dangerous than for example, a busload of suicide bombers.

Fear the man who can send your soul to hell etc.
PS Erx:

Tee hee Smile We GOT YOU. You're fucked now...
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11-02-2012, 01:20 AM
RE: Paranoid Atheist
I have people who freak out over everything. Yes on things like twitter and facebook avoid stuff unless it's not your real name and none of your work friends know you. I know some people who have real name happy facebook and face name real facebook. I've dealt with a lot of people who get seriously scared of work issues. Many furries along with any other less desireable type. Just make sure this username isn't what you use everywhere and you'll be fine. The only way TTA will come back to bite you is if you meet a coworker in an online game and then they google your username.

I myself really don't care. searching lilithpride and lilith lamastus will give you plenty of info about me =p

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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11-02-2012, 02:12 AM
RE: Paranoid Atheist
Though now in Singapore, I was born and raised in a country with centuries of suffering through religious persecution (I don't need to say which country as it applies to all European countries). I think you are feeling, to a degree, what the catholics felt when the protestants were in charge and then how the protestants felt when the catholics were in charge. People used to hide their beliefs in order to survive. At least we haven't seen the ritual burning of Atheists in the US.
The struggle for freedom and equality is long and hard for minorities (and even for majorities i.e. women's rights).
Perhaps reflect on this too... hiding your beliefs or your sexuality is easier than hiding the colour of your skin!
In Singapore all religions are equally tolerated and equally celebrated and respected as cultures / traditions. It is as close to the secular ideal as can exist in this era but has the advantage of being a young country and tolerance has been built in, top down. People will ask about your educational, religious and ethnical background and indeed do make judgements about you based on your responses but do not, and this is important, condemn anyone based on those judgements.
If you are worried about being an open activist (and sure, few of us have the courage of e.g. Martin Luther King) can you think of ways to chip away... ways in which you encourage those around you to think critically?
I teach management best practices and frameworks and when in Malaysia and Indonesia (officially muslim countires) I cannot resist asking, as an opening question "So, the Quran and the Bible, are they frameworks or standards?". The look of shock on my audiences faces gives me almost erotic pleasure. So bad!
If you didn't know, a framework gives guidance but a standard requires full compliance.
The good news is that most people reply that these books are just frameworks.
And then some weeks later I may get an email from someone who feels they might be struggling with their faith... little victories.
Good luck on your chosen path.
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