February 15, 2012

The term "atheist" has to go

And yup, no gods.
I came across a headline today: "Atheist family sues to get 'under God' stripped from Pledge of Allegiance". That sounds awful, doesn't it? I suspect that religious people can't even picture this "atheist family" referred to in the headline. It's a weird, out-of-focus boogeyman for them because the term "atheist" tells you nothing useful about a person. I talked about this in a recent post, but it bears repeating.

How does it help you to understand someone when you find out something they don't do? It's non-information. I don't levitate. So what? What you want to know is what someone does, not what they don't do. The term "atheist" provides no identifying information.

It would be much more sensible if the headline read, "Normal family sues to get 'under God' stripped from Pledge of Allegiance". Not being someone who believes in fairytales shouldn't require a separate term. It's the weirdos who believe in religions that need their own labels. They can be mormons or muslims or satanists or catholics or whatever the hell they want. I guess it helps us to tell them apart--not that there are significant differences. Nuts is nuts.

But not joining a bandwagon of idiots just means you're normal. So I say we toss the atheist word entirely and use the word "normal". It's got political impact, too. "Hey, people, we're the normal ones and you're the freaks." That's a message that needs to be out there.

1 comment:

Bret Alan said...

I'm kind of shocked a polytheist hasn't sued over this before.