You Won't Shout
As I Meddle About
Pastor H. Wayne Williams

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And Think Before You Click!
A note to some theists who write to us:
We insist on the right to insist on truthfulness in all discussions.

Positive Atheism is for atheists. Here we learn of the joys and hardships of being truthful about religion. We study our heritage as unbelievers and find that atheism is really no big deal. Still, there exists a class of meddlers who seem unable to resist any opportunity to tell the atheists a thing or two.

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "H. Wayne Williams"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: September 08, 2003 2:28 AM

I am shocked to learn that we have meddlers! Oh, my! Please tell me more about these meddlers affiliated with Positive Atheism!

Seriously, I'd bet dinner at Ruth's Chris that you could have resisted this very easily.
 

Nobody said anything about atheism itself being positive. Not all football is of the "touch football" variety.

Furthermore, the term positive has 23 different definitions in Encarta. Your question betrays the fact that you have not consulted our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section to discover which one(s) we have in mind when we use the word as part of our service mark.

It pays to read more than just the front page of a 140-megabyte web site before launching an attack upon the integrity of that site's author or upon the basis for his motives for creating the project.
 

The "joys ... of being truthful about religion" include being able to endure slanderous sarcasm such as the above and still feel good about having spoken one's mind (that is, saying precisely what's on one's mind) when asked about one's religious affiliation (that is, when the interrogator assumes that one even has a religious affiliation).

After years of covering up our true feelings and telling people what they want to hear ("just to get along," or to "not rock the boat," or "not to hurt the religious people's feelings," etc.), many of us have decided to stop lying about religion, to stop defending it where it is indefensible and to stop praising it where it is anything but praiseworthy.
 

The "hardships of being truthful about religion" include being nudged out of a job, an apartment, a social circle, and any number of other situations, simply for committing the crime of pointing out that this or that god-claim cannot be shown to be truthful, moral, healthy, and the like.

For me, such hardships have included being held in jail for 24 days simply for telling the judge that I am an atheist, and as such, refuse to undergo religious instruction in the ministerial program of a faith-based charity which had taken upon itself duties rightly (morally; legally) administered only by the State.
 

Our emphasis is upon two things: (1) the welfare of atheists and (2) the destructive behavior of certain religionists.

FAQ sections work when you work them!

Of course, it is clear that you are not here to learn but to menace.

By our reckoning, atheism is nothing -- absolutely nothing. Atheism is the absence of a specific element in one's overall worldview. This element is an important part of the worldviews of a small but significant fraction of adult humans; it plays at least some role in the worldviews of over 78 percent of adult humans Worldwide (and over 85 percent of adult Americans).

To say that I am an atheist is simply to say that I am not a theist. If all you know about me is that I am an atheist, then all you know about me is that I do not hold a belief that gods or goddesses exist (or angels or ancestors, et al).

My atheism takes a very low priority on the list of elements that make up my ideological outlook. Any number of aspects of my personality are infinitely more important to me than my atheism.

Unfortunately, meddling religious folks (such as yourself) simply cannot leave it at that: such people act as if they are somehow compelled to make a big deal of our atheism.
 

I have been a social activist since before I became a teenager. For most of my life I advocated for the welfare of others.

Now I find that the social class to which I've belonged since birth needs advocacy as urgently as any in whose behalf I've ever worked.

For these reasons (and in response to the jail term I served), I have taken up the cause of antiatheist bigotry. This involves much more than simply shaking my index finger and saying "No, no!" when people behave as you have in this letter.

I don't expect you to understand either what I am doing with this project or why I am doing it. Neither do I consider it my burden to explain any of that to you.

Had you bothered to read more than just the front-page tease, you would not be embarrassing yourself by asking these particular questions.
 

The term meddlers is, to us, a "no-brainer," as they say, a "natural."

The term meddlers came as an obvious description of a certain species of Christian with whom we are almost constantly forced, against our will, to deal. (I'll bet that as a clergyman you don't have to deal with nearly the number of atheists who seek to change you as any atheistic activist must deal with Christians who try to change her! I'll bet my daily approximates your yearly!)

The term meddlers describes those Christians who, rather than "diligently seek" the object of their god-claim (whom they call "God"), prefer, instead, to make it their business to menace and harass those who openly admit that they don't "seek" anything that any humans have ever seriously called "God."

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Have a nice life. As far as I can tell, it's the only one I will ever get to lead.

Good luck in your (apparent) endeavor to make all men think and act the same way you do (or at least in a manner that you approve).

And thank you for reminding a few atheists of at least some of the reasons either we jettisoned the religious faith that was forced upon us as defenseless children or we never became interested in it to begin with.

Cliff Walker

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Eight years of service to people
    with no reason to believe

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