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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:20 AM

My take: 'Atheist' isn’t a dirty word, congresswoman (CNN)

Thought this would be an interesting article for everyone here.
This is written By Chris Stedman, a gay atheist.

CNN Belief Blog Link

(CNN)—This year, Congress welcomed the first Buddhist senator and first Hindu elected to either chamber of Congress, and the Pew Forum noted that this “gradual increase in religious diversity … mirrors trends in the country as a whole.”
<snip>
There is, however, one newly elected “none” — but she seems to think "atheist" is a dirty word.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, was sworn in a few days ago without a Bible, and she is the first member of Congress to openly describe her religious affiliation as “none.” Although 10 other members don’t specify a religious affiliation — up from six members in the previous Congress — Sinema is the only to officially declare “none.”

My take, is she may think her political career would be over if she declared herself an atheist.

10 replies, 1287 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply My take: 'Atheist' isn’t a dirty word, congresswoman (CNN) (Original post)
BillE Jan 2013 OP
Fearless Jan 2013 #1
Promethean Jan 2013 #2
BillE Jan 2013 #8
cer7711 Jan 2013 #3
aka-chmeee Jan 2013 #6
cer7711 Jan 2013 #7
trotsky Jan 2013 #4
BillE Jan 2013 #9
trotsky Jan 2013 #10
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #5

Response to BillE (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:21 AM

1. My thoughts exactly

And what a shame. She'd be in some very good company.

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Response to BillE (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:35 AM

2. The catch is Atheists mostly won't vote for someone just because they declare themself an Atheist

Atheists tend to have come to the decision to be an Atheist because of a great deal of thought and self reflection. Not because someone in a position of leadership told them to. So hearing a politician say "I am an Atheist" does not assure you votes from the Atheist population.

On the other hand among the religious the exact opposite tends to be true. There have been many polls that asked the straight question "Would you vote for someone you knew was an Atheist" and those polls by and large got a negative responses.

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Response to Promethean (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:00 AM

8. That's true, though

the trends are getting more positive, still not good, but better then 10 years ago. The more positive exposure atheists get the better it will get.

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Response to BillE (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 04:19 AM

3. Most Religionists Are Atheistic . . .

. . . in respect to the religious beliefs and practices of others; that is to say, they do not literally believe in the creation myths, miracle stories and religious mythology promulgated as true by others.

One would hope that this recognition would contribute to greater tolerance, humility, empathy, decency and rueful good humor on the part of the schismatic religionist toward others but in reality it never seems to work out that way:

Religionist: "GASP! You're an atheist?!"

Atheist: "Certainly. So are you."

Religionist: "I most certainly am not! I believe in ________."

Atheist: "But you don't believe in ____, ____, ____, Jupiter, Zeus, Odin, Anubis, the great Earth Mother, Marduk or any other god(s) but your own, correct?"

Religionist: "Correct. Those are false gods and false religions; whereas I believe in the One True Religion."

Atheist: "Ah yes; of course. Yet you must admit—for all your professed horror at my utterance of the word 'atheist'—that you yourself are a-theistic; that is to say, lacking belief in the literal existence of the gods of others, are you not?"

Religionist: "True."

Atheist: "You don't believe in the existence of 99.999999% of all the gods that ever were."

Religionist: "No. Because they never existed."

Atheist: "Quite. Well, you see, the only difference between us is that I also disbelieve in that remaining .000001%."

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Response to cer7711 (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:31 AM

6. Ah, remaining .000001% methinks. nt

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Response to aka-chmeee (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:51 AM

7. Thank You!

Very sloppy of me. Thank you for the helpful edit! Much obliged.

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Response to BillE (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:54 AM

4. I believe your take is 100% accurate.

There is still a major social stigma on the word "atheist." As we can see from believers on DU, they seem to think it can only mean someone who takes a position that they "know" there are no gods. Many liberal believers are desperate to make "atheist" (or better, "fundie atheist") be the polar opposite of "fundie <insert religion here>" so they can triangulate themselves right in the sensible middle.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:03 AM

9. We are a threat

to their belief. Our unbelief represents their doubts, so they need to separate us, redefine us that we are no different then them, or even better, to quiet us down, make us invisible, so we're not constantly reminding them of their doubt. Of course this is just speculation.

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Response to BillE (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:17 AM

10. Just speculation, yes.

But speculation that certainly explains a lot of observed facts, history, and behavior extremely well.

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Response to BillE (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:11 PM

5. If she is an atheist, I would also like to have her say so.

But we cannot determine what her beliefs or lack of beliefs just because she lists "none" under religious affiliation. We are buying into the fundie claims that she is an atheist just because she is not listing a religion. She may be an atheist, she may be agnostic, or she may believe in god but does not affiliate herself with any organized religion. There are a lot of reasons for stating "none". We should not be judging her on this.

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