I’m An Atheist, But I Had to Walk Away from The Toxic Side Of Online Atheism by C. Stedman
This atheist, Stedman, outlines some of the very reasons I reject atheism, particularly anti-theism atheism: many of its adherents behave like arrogant or hateful jerks. They display an irrational, seething, obsessive hatred for anything about faith or deity.
Apparently, being an anti-theist atheist turns people into jerks. I don’t want any part of a belief set that would turn me into a jerk, nor would I want to associate with such a group of people.
The atheists I’ve known in real life and online who are kind are not anti-theists; they don’t rant and rave and belittle theists. They have a more “easy going” form of atheism that is way easier to tolerate.
(Link): I’m An Atheist, But I Had to Walk Away from The Toxic Side Of Online Atheism by C. Stedman
…In an environment that rewards anger and sound bites, I attempted to humanize my community — one of the most negatively viewed in the country. Afterward, strangers from around the country messaged me to say the conversation helped them rethink their views on atheists.
But the chatter online took a different, but sadly familiar, tone.
A number of prominent atheist bloggers criticized my interview, saying I was awful and suggesting I was allying with O’Reilly. The comments were worse. Anonymous posters ridiculed me, saying I should decline future television invitations because I was too “effeminate,” my physical appearance made atheists seem “like freaks” and my “obvious homosexuality” made me an ineffectual voice for atheists.
…But even as I spoke up for atheists, a subset of the community attacked me and my work, including a book I wrote about atheism and interfaith activism. There were some legitimate critiques, and I’m grateful for how they challenged me and helped me rethink some of my ideas, but others were petty and vindictive.
…Other bloggers went further, writing posts attacking my personal life; one went after my mother directly. (The author of that post later apologized, thankfully.) While most posts and comments were merely cruel insults, I was also threatened with violence and received death threats.
Speaking of Toxic online culture:
(Link): Stuff that Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook Group Likes