• By Emma Green

    In general, Americans do not like atheists. In studies, they say they feel coldly toward nonbelievers; it’s estimated that more than half of the population say they’d be less likely to vote for […]

    • @OP – ‘Women Atheists Are Genuinely Considered Monsters’

      I think “considered” is the wrong word”

      “Consideration” is a thinking process, and usually a rational one, so it has little or nothing to do with uncritical sheeple acceptance of repetitive emotional, rhetoric based, propaganda, from “faith-thinking” ignoramuses in pulpits, disparaging the “ungodly”!

    • @OP – ‘Women Atheists Are Genuinely Considered Monsters’

      I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

    • Should be “women atheists WERE considered monsters” since he’s talking about the 19th century. And I doubt this surprises anyone. Possibly there are religious pockets in this country (U.S.) who still think so but I think in general, if anything, the stereotype is atheists are white males, probably liberal or radical politics, either social skills- challenged or, alternatively, ultra hip and cool and artist -y.

      I personally think there are tons of women atheists but they disguise themselves as “spiritual but not religious”.

      More interesting to me than the purported 3% is how fast it seems to be changing to an open matter-of-factness. Most people seem to know at least one person who is atheist.

    • Ep2016

      Most people seem to know at least one person who is atheist.

      This is an important goal. When this happens more and more then atheism will become ho-hum run of the mill and this is what I hope I live long enough to see some day. We could reach a critical mass some day here when a small minority of deluded theists try to impose their religion on all citizens and the push back from the majority secular public would shut them up once and for all.

      I think that when most people came to know one person who is gay, that’s when things started turning around for them. I think this same thing will happen for atheists too.

      Women atheists of my age (fifties) are pretty rare in my experience (in the US). I only self-identify as atheist when I’m pretty sure it will go alright. I’m much more forthright when in the company of the younger set. Plenty of them think it’s unusual and (may I hope…?) a little bit cool.

      spiritual but not religious”

      You can’t trust the word “spiritual” at all. These women who self-identify as spiritual are all over the place with that. It could really mean anything. They wear the label as a badge of pride, like they’re really, really deep and wise. Earth mothers in touch with forces of nature and realms beyond. It’s a bunch of bullshit. ~eye roll~

      I can tell you from experience that when I bluntly announce to these women that No I am not spiritual – I’m an atheist.” they look at me like I’m a knuckle dragging troglodyte that wandered into their crystal reading tea party.

    • @LaurieB

      Laugh or cry Laurie?

      Get thee to a nunnery where that monster in you can be excised!!

      I suggest the little sisters of the poor, Mother Teresa’s operation. With her being a saint now you should get a great treatment for your monster!

    • Neo

      A nunnery? Even the Unitarian Universalists won’t have the likes of me amongst them. A nunnery inviting me into their midst is like the three little pigs inviting the big bad wolf in for dinner. A terrible mistake.

    • My family is almost entirely made up of devout Catholics. I have coached twenty teams for the church (all teams one of my kids played on). i have bent myself to their rituals and “turned the other cheek” because the welfare of my kids was/is at stake.

      Anyway, i have been friendly with half a dozen Catholic priests and even a few Monsignors. On several occasions i have been in a position to talk some pretty deep shit with a few of these fellows and i have to tell you that the construction of “god” that the parish folks carry is drastically different than the construction of god that the educated priests carry around. I’d dare say that the priests that I’ve engaged are closer to atheist than most believers ever are. As a matter of fact, I’d bet dollars to donuts that the one fellow that I was closest to is as atheist as me.

    • Laurie B – that was funny! I know what you mean about the “crystal reading tea party”. That’s also what I meant by “in disguise” – I know a few women who use that self-description when what they really mean is “I don’t know how you’ll react so I’ll just give you this vague I believe there’s something greater than ourselves b.s.”. Then of course there’s the whole sage burning crystal believing reiki practicing whatever whatever true believers. I told a group of them once, politely. That I was “not a believer”. The group seemed a little taken by surprise. They looked at the group leader, who said does it matter [if it’s true/real] as long as it works? I didn’t argue, just left early. I bet some women heard that exchange and thought “but it doesn’t work”. So maybe I made a couple people change tracks. I like to think so, anyway.

    • EP2016

      It just can’t be good to keep sighing and nodding to these people when they talk about energy fields and purification of toxins in the body by foot baths and goddamn kale n shit. At some point we have to just say that this is all hokum and be done with it. So a little self dignity for us and yes, the other thing is that there could be someone in the crowd who is afraid to speak up to the snake oil salesmen/women, ignorant airheads and magical powers wannabes, and these poor shy types must be bowled over to see someone else do it for them!

      I say it’s setting a good example.

      In fact, I think women in social situations are startled to hear another woman declare herself an atheist and then proceed to expound upon ethical issues including what is right and wrong, valuable and not valuable, and what is good and what is bad and unacceptable.

      We need to grab the high moral ground away from those who claim it now but are little more than charlatans and misogynistic control freaks.

      I think that one of the most important statements we can say to women is that they should not herd their children into religious membership just by default. They are NOT doing those kids any favors. They don’t need it and they can do much better on their own. These statements take women by surprise. Somehow they haven’t even thought of striking out on their own. I always assure women that they are excellent mothers and they know very well how to teach their children right and wrong all by themselves.

      We don’t need old men in lace dresses telling us how to raise our kids or how many kids we have to have. Go light some stinking incense, ring a ding your bells and count how much money you got in the collection plate last Sunday. Bizarre people. Fade away into the dust of time and do us all a favor.

      It used to be that family social activities were all organized around the church but now that’s not the case. Women can have totally secular social lives so I think it’s a hopeful sign for more women leaving the church.

      Plant the seeds of ideas. Even if they don’t accept the ideas right away, the ideas will sit in the back of their minds until a time that they may come to fruition.

    • Crookedshoes – I bet you’re right!

    • @ Ep2016: Should be “women atheists WERE considered monsters” since he’s talking about the 19th century.

      Ep makes a point we should not ignore in this discussion. Until the middle of the 20th century nearly everyone in the world was “religious” with the exception of small pockets of intellectuals and eccentric freethinkers mostly emerging in the 18th and 19th centuries. While it is true that many folks cared little for worship services, active church affiliation, or troubling their minds much thinking about God and the afterlife, nearly all accepted the theological premises of the Christian Faith. God created the world, Jesus died for our sins, and Divine Judgement awaited us after death. No matter how indifferent, profane or libertine the ordinary person acted in life, it was crucial to get right with God on one’s deathbed.

      Often overlooked, religion played an integral role in constructing identity with family, ethnicity, community, society, culture, and tribe or nation state. Modern atheists regard “Christianity” as a bundle of propositions to be debated; the traditional inhabitants of what used to be called Christendom before the 20th century regarded “Christianity” as a holistic identity that enfolded their being. What we atheists often fail to realize is that when we gratuitously attack a Christian, whether the pious or more cultural variety, we are not just criticizing a belief system – we are threatening personal identity with foul, evil insults of their God.

    • ‘Women Atheists Are Genuinely Considered Monsters’

      We could expect no less from god-delusions!

      Atheist mothers, have not only have killed off any god-delusions in themselves, but in all likelihood, will actively oppose any god-delusions which are trying to possess and dominate their children!

      This is a “monstrous genocide of the god-memes”, and a threat of their extinction! –
      Think of all the extinct gods from history which no longer have human hosts to live in!
      In many cases their hosts were killed by the mind-slaves of rival god-delusions, or forced to hand their children over for indoctrination and possession.

      Of course these parasites are offended and threatened, by the very existence of such atheist people who have resistance or immunity!

    • I love Elmina D. Slenker

      It is though one women’s view put in the mouth of a man to achieve more traction, sadly.

      This is a clever woman telling a story about reason, more than anything.

      Pity about the sex thing.

    • Before 1900 and predominately before the 1960s, atheism had few representatives in human
      populations (exceptions are noted). Most people were either staunch believers or in solidarity with them. Partially for the reasons cited in the article, women expressed more religious devotion and active affiliation than men. Charged with the procreation and nurturing of children in large families, women tended to confine themselves to the domestic sphere, homemaking, household chores, cooking, childcare, etc. To be sure many women worked or had to work outside the home but mostly in lower level jobs to “put food on the table.”

      It seemed intuitively obvious to the religious consensus of societies in prior centuries to privilege Christian institutions and the Divine commandments church teaching promulgated as crucial to maintaining social order, cohesion and progress. Legislatures and courts acted to promote righteous Christian values through laws, sanctions and subsidies for the “good of the community” and viewed atheism as “ungodly” (evil) subversion of social order.

      Women in particular had to be “protected” – kept pure within the bounds of Holy Matrimony for procreative and Christian-guided child rearing purposes. (This was the “official” ideal of course).

      Ironically, we modern atheists have turned this historical dynamic on its head. Historically, traditional Christianity equated atheism with moral depravity. Christians did not entertain the intellectual content of atheism at all. Only after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, et, al. revealed nature and the cosmos to be founded on observed or mathematically operative empirical processes devoid of supernatural intervention, did consensus change to accept scientific explanations of phenomena instead of scriptural accounts based on Divine authority.

      In my opinion, believers (Christians, Muslims, etc.) should not be given the impression that we are out to “get them,” silence them, persecute them or merely ridicule them. Atheism is an intellectual project drawing on evidence and inference from a scientific approach to understanding how the world and the universe works. Over time, scientific explanations will penetrate human consciousness more and more, gradually substantiating the atheist worldview and eroding what made “intuitive” sense for millennia in the faith conditioned mind.

    • I’m a little surprised George Eliot wasn’t mentioned.