What Stigma have you Experienced?

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Atheist Ireland Member
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What Stigma have you Experienced?

Post by Dev » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:30 am

For me at the most some light hearted jokes, a mate has lovingly bestowed the moniker of devil worshipper on me.

I'm just wondering to what experience you have first hand or second hand with this? Please no discussion regarding media coverage.

I don't think it is that bad in Ireland they way some atheists claim, in some cases that they face "blatant discrimination" akin to black people or a similarly oppressed group. Most people in my experience are either apathetic or simply indifferent.
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Re: What Stigma have you Experienced?

Post by Dionysus » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:27 pm

Well, in secondary school I was actually bullied for not being a Catholic. I was repeatedly ganged up on and surrounded by other kids jeering and laughing at me, I was called a satanist, a cannibal, a witch, a heathen, lol, which might sound kinda funny now but it really didn't feel good being told to f off to a school that wasn't catholic. I wasn't particularly forthright with my opinions because I wanted to keep my head down, but if someone asked me directly whether I was a christian I felt obliged to tell them I wasn't. It did get me a fair bit of hassle, to be honest.

I won't say that it was the worst discrimination ever, but I was considered to be not as moral, or good, as the rest of my class. The fact that I sat out religion class made people hostile towards me for some reason.

It took a good three years for people to stop caring about my lack of religion, it did make me feel sort of out of place and weird...

I know a few other people who were born-again christians, they weren't exactly liked much either when it came to religion...
Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.

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Re: What Stigma have you Experienced?

Post by eccles » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:11 pm

I was born in Australia in 1940. In those days being Roman Catholic was bad enough to suffer a Stigma in the eyes of, what "Roaming Cattleticks" called 'Dirty Filthly Proddy Dogs". Fortunately those days are gone. Australia is becoming more secular. Church attendance is down to about 7%.
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Re: What Stigma have you Experienced?

Post by ctr » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:05 pm

Other than have my career path of running for President ruined :D (I share that pain with a lot of people) none really. My family while mostly Catholics (devout parents) the religion was not forced on us kids. Mass yes but no prayer groups etc. A number of my siblings are Atheists like me. In school my skepticism was know and the head christian brother orgainised a retreat for the year I was in and told me he had me in mind when doing this. He was told that I found the experience enlightening but pointless. He, while not happy, did not try and force his view on me. If he reported this to my parents I never found out as they said nothing.

A painless upbringing considering the country I lived in IMHO.
Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver
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Re: What Stigma have you Experienced?

Post by anadub25 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:49 pm

In my experience, the way people respond to your views depends largely on how you present them. For instance to say 'I am an atheist' provokes a neatly wrapped concept of your views as an identity or part of your identity. To challenge a religious assertion or to pose a question is far more inviting of conversation. Im not in the business of presenting myself as an atheist deserving of politically correct deference, it is too similar to religious strategy for my liking!
I have generated friction at work for debating certain things which were previously accepted without question however nobody treats me as The Atheist, they just reacted to the related topic in itself. Its a subtle difference but an effective one.
"Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis."

- Sigmund Freud -
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