Friday, June 19, 2015

On "new atheism" and atheist representation.

There's an article over on Salon about 8 atheist leaders actually worth listening to, I thought I'd link to it here, since this is something I'm happy to read.

I wrote an undergraduate thesis while in University about atheism and the Canadian identity:

The Illegal Atheist: The Charter, Marginalization and Canadian Identity 
This thesis deals with the preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the way in which it creates an assumed god-worshipping Canadian identity. The production and reproduction of this assumption marginalizes atheists and non-believers and further prolongs a Christianity-based hegemony. I work through this by identifying the preamble of the Charter and the way it affects the reading of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I then move into how this preamble is part of a Christian hegemony that is well rooted in Canada, and how this history has created a “Canadian identity” with which we live today, and which privileges the god worshipping. Lastly I discuss the way in which this “Canadian identity” frames the atheist and non-believer as “other,” and how the “othering” of the atheist marginalizes her by excluding her from discourse and political representation.

So, atheism and atheist readings aren't new to me. At the time (2008) I completed a literary review that included a lot of work by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Sure, they had some great points here and there regarding atheism, but overall they were dicks. They were sexist, racist, and elitist. 

I'm not familiar with the term "new atheist" but according to the wikipedia entry it's a club that features four white guys. So no, I'm not a "new atheist" - I'm just an atheist.

So, this article over and Salon (by AlterNet's Greta Christina), lists students, writers and activists of different backgrounds, genders and cultures as resources for atheist representation and community. 

Anyway, if you're interested, check it out.


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