Atheist ‘Safe Zones’: A Solution In Search of a Problem

Atheist ‘Safe Zones’: A Solution In Search of a Problem July 7, 2016

I just became aware of this website: “Secular Safe Zone.” Why are secular safe zones needed?

“The number of nontheists in America is rising rapidly and there is a growing body of research that is beginning to explore this once-invisible and amorphous group. While tolerance for minority religions is growing around the country, discrimination and harassment of nontheistic Americans continues to be a problem. Everyday American institutions and customs can be exclusionary to nontheists.  Beyond being alienated from civic life, nontheists in America are also often looked upon with suspicion and treated as outsiders, untrustworthy, and immoral



Along with these attitudes and discriminatory behaviors, nontheists lack the community, institutions, and support that religious Americans can readily rely upon.”

I don’t know if this a real effort or a Poe, but I will say this.

If there is anywhere in the world that needs ‘safe zones’ for atheists, it’s Bangladesh, where several atheist bloggers have been hacked to death for their blogging. But the idea of ‘secular safe zones’ in America seems, frankly, ridiculous.

In fact, the explanation quoted above seems self-defeating: if the number of nontheists in America is “rising rapidly” in the absence of ‘safe zones,’ that would suggest that the ‘safe zones’ aren’t needed. What is needed is for atheists to come out of the closet so that theists who’ve never met an atheist can meet one in real life (not on the Internet), analogous to how homosexuals coming out of the closet has been accompanied by an increase in societal acceptance of their orientation, even if not also always accompanied by an acceptance of their lifestyle.


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