1. I am an atheist. I don’t believe in or worship any gods, nor am I in any way spiritual.
2. I never thought much about it until I moved to Texas where everybody is super into religion, incorporating it into their day to day social interactions, and constantly assume I am Christian for whatever reason.
3. For a long time, I never mentioned it or brought it up because that’s not how we roll in Canada (arbitrarily talking faith is considered to be impolite, eh). There was also a time when I didn’t discuss it because I didn’t want to be judged or rejected by the Christians in my life.
4. I strongly dislike bigots of all sorts. I may be an atheist, but I don’t judge or discriminate against people based on religion. I see a lot of religious discrimination on Facebook and it makes me very sad—but also angry—to know that people like that exist in my life.
5. There are a lot of vocal and angry atheists out there. This has led, in part, to atheists becoming one of the most disliked demographics in the USA. I’m not angry about religion (except where it infringes on my civil liberties and human rights), I’m not an immoral person, I don’t hate Christians (or Jews or Muslims), nor am I in any way waging a war against their religious freedoms. I’m just a person living my life the best I can. For this reason, I am working on being more public and forthcoming about my atheism. A lot of people dislike atheists because they think they don’t know any, allowing them to make whatever assumptions they choose about the “faithless.” I believe it is the kind and compassionate atheist’s responsibility to let it be known that they exist and that we can be good without god. If you are an atheist, or even an agnostic, I urge you to do the same.