Friday, April 15, 2011

International Ask an Atheist Day

I know this event was aimed at campus freethought groups, but I figured why not do my part. I'm a big believer in normalizing mistrusted fringe groups by as many people as possible being public about it. Works for nursing in public, works for atheism!

So I printed out a couple stickers to wear, and I changed my Facebook profile picture to the sticker and put up a status welcoming questions.

I was very disappointed with the non-reactions to my stickers. I wore them at the YMCA, but no one asked me any questions. Facebook didn't yield much more. My best friend asked me if I think people are intrinsically good or bad (short answer: yes), and we had a bit of a conversation with another friend who jumped in and confirmed she was an atheist. So it was cool to realize that other friend was a non-believer. And another freethinking friend said she liked my picture.

And that was it.

Well, wearing the sticker did have one big effect: I was exceedingly polite all day. I'm naturally very friendly and courteous, but I was certainly more aware than usual of trying to project a positive image. Perhaps we should all wear nametags identifying our cherished group memberships - as representatives we would probably all be nicer to each other!

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