First off, I want to show you this comic:
I think it makes a nice point: a “militant” Atheist is one that is open about their Atheism. That’s it. For a religious person to be “militant” they have to be willing to resort to violence or something close to it, but for Atheist, all they need to do is be unafraid to say they don’t believe in god. No violence or threats of violence needed. It’s a ridiculous double standard. Same goes for the term “extremist”.
Do people call me “militant” or “extremist” in my Atheism? Yes. Does that make me so? No. In fact, I don’t consider myself to be either of those terms. Do I want to irradiate all religion from the face of the earth? No. Do I want to ban religion from the United States? No. All I want is a little something called equality. I just want the wall of separation between church and state respected. There are, however, many religious “extremists” and “militants” who do want to irradiate all other religions from the face of the earth, etc. To them, their path is the only true path.
Why is it ok for a religious person to profess their faith openly, by either saying so verbally, or silently with symbols like bumper stickers and religious themed jewelry, but when I do the same about professing my lack of faith, I’m somehow bad, an extremist?
I see religious bumper stickers all over the place. People don’t give those drivers dirty looks. When I put up my bumper stickers I get honked at, flicked off, and people scowl. Now keep in mind, my bumper stickers aren’t offensive (any more than a christian fish is offensive to me). My current one reads “You don’t need god to be moral”. Simple, not hostile, just a statement, not attacking anyone. Yet for things like this I get called “extremist”.
Do I hold my views very strongly? Yes, but then so do religious people and they’re not labeled “militant”. Am I willing to change my mind if presented with enough evidence? Sure. That and not wanting to force others to believe as I do is what seperates me from the “extremists” and “militants”.