Who Is An Atheist? You Are!

Posted on October 19, 2020


In the wake of the religiously-motivated murder of a middle school teacher in France, I am once again reminded that there is plenty of work to be done here in the USA to erase the stigma attached to terms that describe those of us who lack belief in supernatural claims.

Many negative stereotypes about Unbelievers have been perpetuated and maintained for centuries by religious believers whose goal is to dominate, silence, and erase those who do not worship their god, practice their religion, and obey their oppressive, dehumanizing rules.

Let’s take a minute to think of terms that refer to people who lack religious beliefs.

What images, ideas, and impressions come to mind? Are they generally positive, neutral, or negative? Why do you think that is?

I’m an atheist. I lack belief in the supernatural. I reject my sister’s claims that two of our beloved dead–one who died in Michigan, and one who died in Florida–went to LilyDale, New York, to tell a self-identified “Psychic,” who charged real-world money for messages from the mythic Otherworld realm, that–wait for it–“They’re okay being dead! They want us to be happy!” …for lack of credible evidence.

I’m an atheist. I lack belief in the supernatural. I reject claims for gods, goddesses, demons, ghosts, afterlives, and resurrections…‚Ķfor lack of credible evidence.

In Lenawee County, many Christians have great privilege AND a big persecution complex. They dehumanize, demonize, and bully those who refuse to relinquish their minds to the Christian hive-mind.

Lenawee County Christians demonstrate their hate and fear toward Unbelievers in numerous ways, so that many Unbelievers do not feel safe to “come out” as atheists. They fear that they will face rejection from family members and friends, face negative repercussions on the job, or be denied human or civil rights.

Several Unbeliever Facebook friends have told me that they can’t “like” or share atheist content, but they appreciate my posts. Even so, like most of the US, there are far more Unbelievers in Lenawee County than data shows, and our numbers are growing.

But let’s put social trends aside and get down to the heart of the matter: everyone is an atheist.

Yes, YOU are an atheist, no matter who you are.

Here’s why: Over the course of human history, every “civilization” that has appeared has included myths and deities; there are THOUSANDS of deities that we could worship.

Even if you believe with your whole heart in your god and your religious teachings, you lack belief in the deities worshiped by people in other religions.

Such atheism is commanded by Yahweh, the top deity in the Bible, when he tells his people to “have no other god before” him. He is characterized as jealous and angry when his people worship other gods; his people must worship only him. But he never claims to be the ONLY deity; he admits to the existence of other deities–but threatens people who worship them with destruction–in time, eternity, or both.

Check out this list of gods and goddesses. Do you believe in every single deity in this list?

Of course you don’t, my atheist friend.

Everyone lacks belief in MOST gods, goddesses, and supernatural claims.

Everyone’s an atheist.

I’m an atheist. I reject all supernatural claims for lack of evidence.

You’re an atheist; you reject most supernatural claims.

I see you as a full human being, worthy of all civil and human rights.

It’s time for Believers to recognize the full humanity of all human beings and stop dehumanizing and demonizing Unbelievers, because our humanity is not erased because they believe some supernatural claims.

lisa eddy is a writer-for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy
On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com