An atheist’s story 8

An ABC news film, not new (May 11, 2007), but still interesting.

John Stossel talks to atheists. Richard Dawkins says a few words.

Nicole Smalkowski, 13, a talented athlete and musician, tells how she was hounded out of school by “good Christians”, who deny doing any such thing of course.


  • Deewhybee

    I wonder how this family has done in this area since this report. I wonder if they have been harassed to the point where they have moved. I’m glad I live in an area where there are a fair number of atheists, (Pacific Northwest). There are a lot of people who do the Jesus dance for business reasons.

  • Macnvettes

    Having lived as an atheist (plus as a white guy with a black girlfriend) in the deep south for about a year and a half, I can honestly say that I know what prejudice and discrimination feels like. It amazes me how the faithful can ignore their so-called principles if they think that you are a non-believer. They would rather I be a member of another faith than not believe in anything at all. Somehow, people believe that if you don’t live your life by some set of so-called divinely inspired morals (even though the faithful rarely do themselves), that you must be a bad person. An excellent example would be coming up this weekend. I work as a supervisor at a beverage factory, I can guarantee you that 10% of my workforce will call in sick this weekend to celebrate Easter. Meaning that christians will lie about being sick (violating their so-called divinely inspired law) to celebrate a christian holiday with pagan rituals. But of course, I, as the atheist am the one without morals. I lose some respect for atheists who hide their beliefs, and I despise those that would sit in church every Sunday to keep up appearances, they propagate the discrimination problem. As the number of atheists grow, we become less of a minority and more of a force. Bill Maher had an interesting statistic in Religulous. Atheists and agnostics are a larger percentage of Americans than Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, gays, and NRA members. The other minority groups all have huge lobbies in Washington, but we as atheists, do not. The problem that we face as atheists is that our politics are not uniform, though there are probably a few issues that we can all come together on such as “God” on the currency and in the pledge, tax exemptions for churches, freedom of speech, the 10 commandments in the courtrooms, and federally funded religious art.

    • George

      I totally agree with your sentiments Macnvettes as we have a lot in common. You have lived as an atheist as a white guy with a black girlfriend and I am an atheist black guy with a white girlfriend. It’s amazing that the very people who go to their houses of worship and proclaim tha we are all created equal and are all the same in the eyes of the LORD are the biggest racists hate-mongering bigots on earth. What a bunch of two-face hypocrites these reliogious zealots are ( both black and white ) . It transcends race.
      I got into a mild debate with a Catholic friend of mine who proclaimed that we atheists don’t believe in anything. I informed him that it is not WE atheists that do not believe in anything but rather it is Christians who do not believe in anything because what Christians believe in is something that DOES NOT exist ( i.e. —they believe in a non-existing entity or NOTHING ). I told him he had it all a** backwards.
      And of course I heard the usual drivel such as — ” Well you can’t prove there is no God ” . I said — ” So what ? You can’t prove there is NO Tooth Fairy either , so why aren’t you believeing in and worshiping the Tooth Fairy Deity ? Helllloooo !!!! Duhhhh ! ” .
      The biggest hate mongers on earth are the religious zealots and they are the ones who always proclaim to be so moral, enlightened, tolerrant, compassionate and all that bullcrap. Pardon me while I barf —-arrrrrrghhh !!!
      You’re right to say that if more and more atheists would come out of the closet we would be so much farther ahead. It is understandable that the reason that atheists remain in te closet is out of fear . theists fear being harrassed, being ostracized, being discriminated against , havinmg family members ‘disown’ them and to be totally rejected in their life. When atheists do come out of the closet , they feel as if they have just commited ‘social suicide’ by the horrible treatment we endure.
      What we as atheists must come to grips with is the understanding that all causes require a social battle. The black civil rights movement, the womens liberation movement and others all required a struggle and people got harrassed, taunted and many suffered physical abuse and yet it took that outward struggle and sacfrifice in order to send a message to the general public that they were NOT going to be treated like second class citizens and socially abused any further.
      We as atheists need to follow suit and stand up for freethought. However I must admit that such a struggle does not come without a price to pay . Atheists who are outspoken and are out of the closet find themselves as loners with few friends and associates and often shunned by their peers , co-workers and other associates who by their indoctrination have a total NEGATIVE outlook upon atheists because of the bogus propaganda that permeates our society.
      As I have stated before freedom , rights and acceptance comes at a price and it requires that we as secular freethinkers attain a gutsy attitude followed up by gutsy action and lets stand up for freethought.

      • George

        Correction on previous post one moment ago . The sentence should read — ” atheists fear being harrassed ” instead of “theists”. TYPO

      • Macnvettes

        Hi George, well, I no longer date the black woman, she dumped me for being an atheist, how messed up is that?

        • George

          I had the same thing happen to me . I have NEVER judged a person by ethnicity , skin color, nation of origin, or any of that bullcrap . As a black man I have had three white girlfriends and they have been more accepting of my atheism than any other group. I’ve had more harrassment , insults and display of hate-mongering bigotry from black women Christians as a result than from any other group.
          Let me tell you a quick true story that actually happened to me. I’m a retired law enforcement officer and while I was a cop a white male Christian conservative co-worker who worked in my patrol squad told me his wife had a black female co-worker who was looking for a nice guy. He and I were the closest of friends and he knew that i was an atheist and we were both conservative. Anyway , he had his wife give the black female Christian my phone number ( by my permission ) and she called me from her job. worked night shift and she woke me up but I didn’t mind. We had a great conversation and I faxed her a few faxes to her job and then I had a dozen red roses delivered to her job from me . Her co-workers read the flirtatious faxes and teased her and asked her where did she find such a nice and romantic guy ? She told them she had not yet even met me but only had started corresponding with me via fax and phone . One day when I was working the front desk at the agency lobby she came in and introduced herself and I took a quick break and went outside while a fellow co-worker covered momentarily for me.
          We then arranged to go out on a date ( this is a black woman Christian I’m referring to ). We decided to go to a Comedy Club and I went to her house and picked her up and while we sat at the comedy club she asked me if would attend her church sometime . I knew where that was going right from the start. I told her I was not into religion but thnks for the offer anyway and I was very polite and left it at that. Then she said to me — ” Well , I don’t want a godless man for a boyfriend ” Well , you know me ——-I’m NOT one to bite my tongue and then my “fangs” came out. I told her I didn’t want a zealot religious fanatic for a girlfriend ! She remained quiet during the entire comedy show and didn’t even speak to me during the entire show. I then took her to breakfast and she offered to pay and I accepted since I wasted my money on her at the comedy club with her arrogant attitude toward me just because my beliefs were secular , I figured I’d at least get something out of it since I didn’t even get a verbal thank you from her ( and I expected nothing from her anyway ). Anyway I drove her home and she said goodnight and I told her goodnight and I never heard from her again. Prior to her meeting me she bragged of what a swell guy I was by my faxes and roses and compliments. My co-worker buddy told me that she was indeed a Christian religious fanatic and even he and his wife ( both Christians themselves had to put up with her zealotry , which even ticked them off and they wanted nothing to do with her anymore ) . Can you believe that ? It’s all true.
          I can say that 90% of black people in America are staunch fundamentalist Christians and are staunch liberal left wing Democrat Party supporters and they represent the RADICAL RELIGIOUS LEFT . I’ve had these zealots call me every foul and insulting name in the book and yet I’m expected to put my tail between my legs and take their crap and when I stand up to them I’m called ANGRY . Then we probably have about 9% who are probably Muslims and probably less than one per cent who are probably atheist ( please don’t hold me to these numbers as I’m just throwing numnbers around as an example and I don’t really know the exact figures ). I’m at the coffee shop right now and now that I am retired I check this blog every day and it seems to be my virtual home . Do you see what I have to go through ? It’s crazy man ! The average person doesn’t understand this with their conceited, and narcissistic mindset. I know exactly how you feel . Hang in there buddy and keep looking. Take care !

  • Andrew M

    Witch hunt lite if you ask me.

    The father is wrong to say that the school violated the Constitution, but the school is just as wrong to blow the whole thing off as a farce. The freedom TO pray cannot be guaranteed without the freedom FROM the other guy’s prayer. What the school did to that poor girl is rotten and immoral.

    • George

      I agree with everything you say Andrew M except the first part of your first sentence and I’ll explain my point. The school endorsed the basketball team’s group prayer and made it a mandate for her to participate and when Nicole refused to participate , they expelled her and said she was bad for morale. This clearly violates her constitutional right to “opt out ” from engaging in a religious ritual at a public (government ) school. Nicole NEVER tried to interfere with anyone’s religious beliefs but the school made it a requirement or “litmus test” in order for her to be on the school team and the school never took any disciplinary action on the students that harrassed and falsely accused this brave girl for standing up for her rights.
      Nicole NEVER violated anyone’s rights but rather it was the school staff that violated hers and it was the religious students that subjected her to harrassment, defamation of character , slander and discrimination and made her school environment a hostile “atmosphere” .
      I understand exactly how this charming and brave girl feels as I have personally endured what she is going through and still am. I admire this girl and she definately has guts. If more students had her guts we as atheists would be advancing more and more. Dawkins is right when he said that the reason that so many atheists remain in the closet is because of fear. This is another example of the warped mentality of the so called zealot “faithfull” who have NO tolerrance for anyone who believes different than themselves or especially anyone who has absolutely NO embracing of theological superstition.