I guess when one gets into this kind of thing that one is somewhat obligated to make a first post to introduce themselves and to lay out their “mission” of sorts with the blog, so that is what I am going to attempt to do here. First things first, the name I chose for the blog is TheAtheismo, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the icons of today’s atheism and how their words are revered in a way not dissimilar from how fundamental Christians revere the words of their Bible. At one point in designing the banner, I had put one of the icon’s face in where God’s is to make the point more explicit, but I decided afterward that such a thing didn’t look as good as the original, and it would probably get missed by most people. It did look funny though.
My original idea with this blog, when I first thought of the name and reserved the twitter account(@TheAtheismo) was that I would play a sort of Stephen Colbert role in satirizing the type of atheism that I find pretty terrible. I would take on the pseudo-role of the privileged, white male upper-class New Atheist who calls religion a mind-virus, who dismisses feminism in the movement(among pretty much all other struggles against institutional privilege). At first blush, such a thing seemed like it would be really funny, especially since I would probably get actually mistaken for one of those that I was making fun of, showing that even the most ridiculous positions don’t seem out of place among the most popular forms of atheism.
After I thought about it more, though, I realized that I would be walking a really fine line; I would always in danger of being just unfunny or ineffective, or on the other extreme just promoting the kind of horrible things that I saw myself as fighting against. Colbert had the advantage of being on screen, of being charismatic, of having audible laughter in the background, things that made it inescapably clear that he was performing satire(and he still messed up big time in some regards). I would have mere text, a medium which can cause one to be easily misunderstood, on top the fact that I am not a very good writer. The possibility that I would do what I called satire in playing the privileged anti-feminist atheist, but having those words understood by the people I am satirizing as actual support, or being understood by feminists as promoting misogyny, was just too scary. Worse, is that it would very likely propagate those “satirized” ideas, thus doing actual harm. I would not risk doing real harm to a movement–and people–that I support just for some laughs.
So what’s left? Simply put, I still want to focus mostly on fighting against what I see as the worst of today’s atheism, but in a more serious role. To be sure, I will not be taking myself too seriously, but I at least will not be punching down in an attempt at cheap humor. More specifically, I want to talk a bit about the movement’s anti-feminism, about its bad philosophy, bad theology, and just bad thinking. I will not promise to write exclusively on those subjects, but I see those as the ones that I am most interested in at the moment. I really hope that in the process I write things that I am happy about even a decade later when my mind has matured a bit more, and I hope that you, whoever you are reading this far into this post, find something of use or at the very least entertainment in these posts.