Atheists: We Don’t Bite

About a month ago, I spent some time speaking to Sylvia Broeckx, a filmmaker working on a documentary (“Hug An Atheist“) about what atheists have to deal with in America and how we’re not as horrible as pastors make us out to be.

She just released a clip from our interview in which I talk about the negatives stereotypes we deal with and where the name of this site came from:

Hope you like it!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    Neat-o!

  • baal

    I had an friend from an on-line game who was both younger and semi-suicidal (both issues are better now with time). He had gone to his pastor to talk about his shyness and difficulty in finding people who would be friends. The pastor’s advice was to openly profess his christianity to the best people around him and ask the good followers of christ to be his friend. Well, the pastor’s plan back fired rather dramatically when everyone he ‘came out’ to turned out to be an atheist.

    He was floored and his worldview shattered. Instead of getting christian support, all the nice people he knew were non-believers. I wasn’t (and still not) up to suicide counseling so I found a help line for an org (secular) in his area and pushed him to go to them.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I thought that was pretty good. Then I went to the website and saw the clip there. Wow. I hope this can reach its target audience.

  • Joker

    What a joke. You even admitted it a while back yourself, Mehta, that this blog is not really properly named.

    The “Friendly” Atheist.

    Sure. Tell me some more jokes.

    • Patterrssonn

      I wonder if you could satisfy my curiosity. How old are you?

      • Glasofruix

        I bet on 12.

        • http://churchofthecasualchristian.blogspot.com Pryopizm

          Trolls are ageless.

          • coyotenose

            They’re all old and shriveled at heart.

      • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

        Mentally or chronologically? Sometimes the gap between the two can be vast.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      [citation needed]

  • Joker

    We’re Friendly! Get used to it… as in “we’re friendly, so you better get used to it bitch!”

    What an utterly arrogant spew from Mehta.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

      Dude, turn your sarcasm detector on

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerome-McCollom/100000327150215 Jerome McCollom

      You got some real anger problems Joker.

    • NickDB

      Hemant’s the friendly one. Me not so much, please F off.

  • Bill Donohue

    Contain your rage!!

    • Patterrssonn

      He needs to put that rage back in the container!!

  • anniewhoo

    What a great clip! I think “Hug An Atheist” is such an important project, as it will allow people to see atheists as they so often are: caring, compassionate, thinking people. I think you covered all three in your clip!

  • jose

    We only bite other atheists.

    • rhodent

      And only if they ask very nicely and say “please”

      • meekinheritance

        “Jesus” is *not* the safeword.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    i admit it: i’m angry, radical and militant about my atheism. i’m also considered by most people who know me as also being really polite, considerate, compassionate and charitable. even to racists, sexists, and homophobes, when the situation calls for it.

    and you’re so adorable, Hemant. love your vids. keep makin’ em.

    still, i get annoyed by people who argue (and i’m talking believers, not Hemant) that there is some kind of requirement that we atheists be “nice” to those with different beliefs.

    first off, they aren’t nice to us. see also: religious gay-haters working in uganda who want to kill me, or the several nations’ governments which have “kill the atheists” laws on the books. and they don’t shut up, ever. they’re on TV constantly, in government, in police and military forces, beating us down when we have peaceful gatherings or protests, breaking into our homes to arrest us, killing our leaders, etc. hypocrisy, thy name is religion. otoh, there aren’t really any roving gangs of atheists hurting believers physically or financially right now. like, anywhere.

    secondly: i’m sorry if someone finds logic, reason, fact, history and science “unkind.” actually, i’m not; fuck that noise (oooh, i used a ‘bad’ word! i must be going to heyall!). as various american conservatives have (falsely) claimed, “facts have a liberal bias.” if you believers deny them so strongly, i suppose from your perspective, they do and your god is a little punk who dropped out of 3rd grade special ed. but it’s not my fault you don’t want to use the brain cells “gawd gave you.” he put all these dinosaur bones and shiny things in the sky just to confuse you, because he, um, wants to test your faith, or something.

    finally, as many queers have learned, “silence = death.” there is NO point to trying to accommodate the faithful when it comes to public speaking, writing, or persuasive argument. jeebus is the big roadblock in the minds of many xtians in this country, and nothing we can ever say will change their minds. these are people who turn out their own gay children into the streets, who give money to causes that promote war and genocide in the name of faith, who elevate leaders who rape and kill women and children and then excuse them for it, who steal money from the sick and old so their leaders can buy fur coats and vacation homes for their rent bois and mistresses… that list goes on, and on, and on. silently letting them dominate the discourse only quickens the rate at which they oppress us.

    my grandpa won four, count em, four, bronze stars in WWII. you know what he did to get them? killed a lot of nazis. i’m much less interested in killing anyone, and thankfully, so far, i haven’t been forced to make that horrible choice in order to survive. but i am not the “quiet” german atheist in 1933, sitting around clutching my pearls in the comfort of my own home while my Jewish neighbor is hauled away to a camp. i’m going to speak up, i’m going to piss off believers, i’m going to advocate science and logic in government and policy and gun ownership laws. i’m going to transmit knowledge of history to the younger generation.

    if you think i’m “rude” for doing so, i don’t really care. not a whit.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Agree. As an aside, a while back I made a conscious decision to stop saying “I’m sorry” for things I’m not sorry for. I realize it’s a figure of speech, but it has helped me be more proactive in my thinking.

    • Sergio Castro

      I’m currently being shunned for being “rude” to my in-laws who were offended (!!!) that I left the table while they said grace. They have informed me that I am supposed to respect their religion (Catholocism = antithesis of anything I respect), that I should have sat quietly (and felt hypocritical), and that no one cares about my opinion so I should keep it to myself (because atheists should just STFU?).
      I like Chicago Dyke’s attitude much better…To hell with an apology; they’re not getting one. I shall continue to be rude. And yet somehow quite happy!

    • NickDB

      Hear Hear :) I’m really really tired of trying to be nice and just getting it shoved back in my face.

      My first course of action is always to be polite and reasonable, to use logic and reason BUT when the response to that is nothing else other than “You’re going to hell you evil sinner” (Which is the response I get to being polite the majority of the time) then I make them wish they were talking to Mr. Hitchens instead.

      • White Rose Club

        well just be outright mean
        and watch that get shoved back in your face
        i am tired of trying to accomodate anti theists and people who threaten us here in kansas city

        • Tainda

          You need to stop using the words “Kansas City” because you’re making the rest of us look bad.

          Thanks and you have a nice day

        • Blasphemous_Kansan

          Kansas City resident here. Unless I’m misinformed, the last big organized atheist meeting in KC attracted about 50-60 people. Please tell me about all those evil anti-theists that you have to deal with on a daily basis? Just one instance of one atheist/anti-theist threatening a religious Kansas City resident because of their religion will suffice. Heck, you can even choose: Kansas or Missouri side.

          Meanwhile, as I journey back and forth on the (beautiful) Kansas country roads between KC (where the work is), Lawrence (where the fun is), and visiting my parents home I am regularly treated to multiple tax-exempt church billboards proudly proclaiming that me and my ilk will suffer for eternity, for no other reason than refusing to join mean-spirited and dishonest pieces of shit like you in fairy play time. They seem to take great joy in delivering this message as well. Heck, on route 24/40 outside of Tonganoxie there’s a route I call ‘brimstone alley’, which is about 4 or 5 churches packed into a half mile of highway. The various denominations spar with each other on their billboards often, but one thing they’re all in agreement about is the worthlessness and evil of the non-believer! This is what it feels like to be threatened, fyi. So, please, tell me again about the atheists in KC that have said they would take joy in your suffering? Surely this would have made the news and you could link the story?

          Won’t be holding my breath…..

          • Tainda

            You are SO right!!

          • Ask Iggy

            Yes, you are misinformed. If you really are from Kansas City, you are well aware of the atheist organizer who told believers they would end up “in a ditch like Jimmy Hoffa”…and he did it on a well known blog.
            The the meetup attendees fall all over themselves accomodating this guy.

            There is your one instance.
            You lose.

            • Blasphemous_Kansan

              You are a liar.

        • NickDB

          Please elaborate on the threats you get?

          Is it eternal damnation? do people wish you get raped and killed so you can go to hell quicker? Is it that they hope some satanist sacrifices you? Do you often get told that you need to be wiped off the face of the planet since you’re lower than a cockroach and to sleep with one eye open because they’re coming for you?

          Because that’s pretty normal for us atheists ( and anti theists) to hear, and yet the first response is to be polite and to communicate and to use logic and reason.

    • meekinheritance

      I’m an American, and I respect theists right to pray and believe as they choose. Respecting their rights doesn’t obligate me also to respect their prayers and beliefs. And as you clearly demonstrate, it also doesn’t obligate me to remain silent.

    • White Rose Club

      thanks for the warning…for all i know you are the type of swine who would stick a shiv in my throat in a coffe shop and run out the back.

      we have a little atheist like that here in kansas city…calls himself a “militant” athesit and brags about his guns.

      he also collect pictures of people and their addresses

      and they love him on the meetup discussion boards here.
      that shows what swine they are too

      • John (not McCain)

        You really are worthless trash.

      • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

        Yeah, because anecdote is clearly the plural of data. Newsflash: there are assholes of all stripes, and the only one talking about attacking other people physically is you. Since Chicago Dyke didn’t make any sort of threat (unless you consider nonviolent assertions of one’s beliefs–beliefs backed by concrete evidence–threatening) you’re just coming across as a paranoid moron.

      • Blasphemous_Kansan

        “we have a little atheist like that here in kansas city…calls himself a “militant” athesit and brags about his guns.”

        How do you know this? Have you met the person? If they are so dangerous, why do you know them so intimately?

        “he also collect pictures of people and their addresses”

        I collect pictures of people and addresses as well….of my friends. The pictures remind me of fun times we had, and the addresses remind me where to send their christmas cards and presents. What’s the big deal here?

        “and they love him on the meetup discussion boards here.that shows what swine they are too”

        Again, how do you know? Are you stalking this person? How do you know their online habits?

        The scent of bullshit is strong with you, my fellow Kansas City citizen.

  • A3Kr0n

    You are awesome in the clip, and Thank You Hemant! My DVD is on the way, someday. To think; I just gave my money to someone who has no supernatural foundation for her moral values. Yet, I have no doubt the DVD will arrive, and I don’t care how long it takes. Call my silly, but I’m going to watch the trailer for a 3rd time now.

  • roberthughmclean

    It’s easy somethimes to appear somewhat enraged when “talking” with the baby jesus’s deluded followers because they appear so god-damb dumb. They look at you with a sort of glassy eyed glaze that avoids a direct look with a faint forced smile. They then trot out the usual litany of lies and then expect us to believe it, like it’s true or somethiing. All the time ignoring everything you’ve said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerome-McCollom/100000327150215 Jerome McCollom

    I never knew for sure why you called the blog, Friendly Atheist. I wasn’t sure if you meant, yourself in particular. I am glad you cleared that up.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      it’s really very sad how many can’t understand the difference between “author” and “person leaving a comment on an author’s post.” i guess that’s homeschooling for you.

  • http://www.sunstonescafe.com/ Paul Sunstone

    I love the video, Hemant! But I’m trying to say that in and outraged and angry voice, and it’s just not working.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

    Looks excellent, but at $35, I’ll wait til it’s on Netflix, or do without..

  • Tainda

    Can’t wait to see the full documentary.

    I’m not a big hugger though. I have space issues :P

  • thesauros

    Stereotypes, Really?

    i’m angry, radical and militant about my atheism

    your god is a little punk who dropped out of 3rd grade special ed

    it’s not my fault you don’t want to use the brain cells “gawd gave
    you.”

    i’m going to piss off believers,

    if you think i’m “rude” for doing so, i don’t really care

    To hell with an apology; they’re not getting one. I shall continue to be
    rude

    I’m really really tired of trying to be nice

    I make them wish they were talking to Mr. Hitchens instead

    It’s easy somethimes to appear somewhat enraged when “talking”
    with the baby jesus’s deluded followers because they appear so
    god-damb dumb.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      i am not Hemant. he speaks for himself, so do i. get that through your head, please.

      • Diego

        But Hemant does moderate and in some cases delete, so since he leaves these screeds up he has some reponsibility also.

  • William Jest

    Ill give ya a hug ;-)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X