Michael Luciano at The Daily Banter wants to know why people think being an atheist also means you’re a social justice advocate. Atheists, he claims, owe the world nothing. Atheists don’t have to give a shit about anyone or anything except for themselves. Perhaps, perhaps, there are a few liberal atheists out there using politics to better mankind, but really, who needs that?
You do. You see, people in the Western world find atheists untrustworthy and will be less likely to offer them a job because of this. Atheists are more likely to be jailed for their beliefs in much of the world, and in 13 countries, claiming you don’t believe in god can get you executed. Prejudice for atheists is rampant and accepted, because people think atheists are immoral (and articles like yours are an easy place for those people to direct others, and say “See, told you they don’t care about other human beings.”).
Those atheists interested in social justice are the ones making it OK for you to openly claim your atheism. They are the ones showing others that atheists care about their communities, and are fighting to rectifiy ills like poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism, bigoty and prejudice. The more others see atheists stepping up to the plate and bettering the world (since we don’t believe in an afterlife, it makes sense to make this one chance we have at life the best it can be) the more the old, untrue stereotypes and prejudices will die.
It’s easy for a white cis male who comes from a middle or upper class family with money outside themselves to rely on to come out and say, “Hey, I’m an atheist. Screw your god.” They have back up, someone and something to support them if things go south. Guess who doesn’t? Pretty much everyone else. But if “everyone else” gets involved in their communities, pitches in to fight social injustice, they become the face of atheism, a compassionate, caring, go-get-‘m face that others can relate to. They are the ones others see. They are the ones who actually show the world at large atheists are not monstrous devils hell-bent on destroying mankind. They are fighting to show that goodness and kindness are found in all sorts, and that just because you don’t believe in god doesn’t mean you are a pariah deserving death for unpopular views.
Yep. That’s right. Social justice warriors are fighting for the right to be atheist, even if you aren’t a white wealthy male. Maybe that’s what really upsets you.