Reflect Atheists in a More Positive Light

Huff Post: by Chris Stedman.

“I’m actually an atheist.” And then she added: “You know, I don’t blame anybody for thanking the Lord.”

In a couple of short sentences, Vitsmun delivered two equally powerful messages: that she was not embarrassed by her atheism, and that she respected her religious friends and neighbors. Blitzer’s question represented a common assumption that most people believe in God. It was an indicator of widespread religious privilege in our culture, and Vitsmun challenged it in a way that also humanized atheists.

The clip went viral and quickly became one of the most-discussed stories to emerge from the Oklahoma disaster coverage. All the while atheists, along with Muslims and many others, were at the forefront of recovery efforts.

Last week atheists were all over the news and social media. But in a world that frequently focuses on conflict, it seemed like we were hearing a different — and to many, surprising — story about atheists.


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