Just Accept That You’re An Atheist
Freethinker, Non-theist, Non-Religious, Heathen, Infidel, Naturalist, Bright..
While I think that some of these terms are “cute”, I personally feel that these names are nothing more than an intentional obfuscation of one’s religious inclination. What I mean by this is that the term “atheist” is covered in a negative stigma and rather than deal with that baggage they give themselves a name that defines their position to themselves but also separates them from the charged term. There’s a few problems with this. If you walk up to the average American and you ask them what a “Bright” is they will most likely mention something about an object’s luminosity or a person’s level of intelligence. These uncontroversial terms are still fairly unknown to the common populace and they are pretty much entirely created to separate yourselves from your fellow non-believers. You’re trying to avoid the persecution the rest of us get.
Ostensibly I don’t have any problems with this but when you really think about the issue you are hurting your own cause. If you’ve taken the time to find one of these cutesy names then you evidently have some amount of passion about the topic. If you’re not standing with the rest of us then you aren’t going to be counted with us when it really matters. Sure, under most questions on religious surveys you’ll line up with us but when you’re out on the street being a normal citizen and this kind of thing comes up you’re not “one of us” in an average citizen’s view. Some level of unity is important in a persecuted minority and unlike Christians, we actually are a persecuted minority.
I don’t blame anyone for wanting to not be dragged through the trash just for being a non-believer but I feel like this is sort of a “free rider” situation where we are running around suing and fighting for secularism and these folks get the benefit of it with little to no effort. It’s very simple, there is already a word for your position that has been around for a very long time. If you lack belief in a god you are an atheist. If you outright deny the existence of any god you are an atheist. Just own up to it and stand next to the rest of us. The only way we’re going to move up the social ladder is if we have some amount of solidarity. Have some atheist pride, dammit!