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How to Get on an Atheist's Good Side

Here's nine tips for believers who want to reach out. After all, atheists are a growing movement and may soon be a force to be reckoned with.

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And that's fine. That doesn't make you a bad person. When it comes to the "privilege/ marginalization" palette, most people have some of both. I am privileged as a white person, a college- educated person, a middle- to- upper- middle class person, a more or less able bodied person, an American. I am marginalized as a woman, a queer, a bisexual, a fat person, an atheist. And my privileges don't confer wickedness onto me, any more than my marginalizations confer virtue.

But my privileges do confer some responsibilities. They confer the responsibility to educate myself about the experiences of marginalized people, and the myths about them. To speak out against bigotry, even and especially when it isn't against me. To not assume that everyone is just like me. To remember that passionate anger is as important to a movement as gentle diplomacy. To learn what kind of language people prefer when talking about them, and what kind of language totally sets their teeth on edge. (Which is just good manners anyway.) To tread carefully when I'm criticizing marginalized people, and to make sure I know what the hell I'm talking about.

And to not act like a victim when my privilege is questioned, or indeed simply pointed out.

Hand_shakeI do think progressive movements should be making alliances with the atheist movement. If for no other reason, I think it's a smart choice pragmatically. It's going to be a force to be reckoned with. You want to get in on the ground floor here, people.


Read more of Greta Christina at her blog.

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