by PZ Myers, Pharyngula
A while back, I floated the idea of a logo for the godless. There was a lot of enthusiasm for the idea, and a lot of good design ideas came out of it … maybe too many good ideas. And being a mob of atheists, there was absolutely no consensus on what was the best symbol to use. Finally, I didn't want to impose a logo on anyone, so I just let it drop to see if anyone would simply start using one of the suggested designs, that maybe a consensus might coalesce. I saw a few of the logos on scattered sites, but there wasn't much of a spontaneous response, and alas, every single site used a different logo. Typical atheists.
Now, though, there is one possible option: the RDF has started the Out Campaign, an effort to get atheists to publicly and proudly declare their status. It has a slightly different meaning — it's not exactly a symbol of atheism, but more a symbol of the willingness to come out about your disbelief — but it's nice, it's simple, it's clean. It's a simple red Zapfino « A », the scarlet letter.
Go ahead, use it. I've got one on the sidebar to testify to my openness about my ideas of the nature of the universe, we should all spread it far and wide. I'll even make it easy for you: you can use this code to put one on your website, if you're one of us loud and proud atheists.
One weird thing about this development, though, is that it sure brings out the whiners and concern trolls. I'm a little bit surprised at the response at the Dawkins site, with far too many rushing to complain. You'll see two kinds of negative reactions.
The nay-sayers who complain that this is too much like Christianity, it's a uniform, it's Dawkins trying to enforce conformity. How ridiculous. It's a freakin' t-shirt or bumper sticker, not the High Holy Cathedral of the Sacred Letter A. You can wear it or you can skip it. You can use it to wipe the sweat off after a workout. You might wear it to a barbecue at the park. Wear it while you're doing the dishes. It's ;em>casual wear. It's a nice shirt that sends a straightforward message about your willingness to be unafraid, nothing more, with no other deep significance. It will not be part of the dress code.
The shrinking violets who complain that it's too bold, it's too in-your-face, it'll make us a target. Talk about missing the point: yes, it's supposed to be bold. You are supposed to be bold. Begging for a tiny little delicate bit of subtle embroidery on a shirt pocket means this movement is not for you. Don't wear the shirt. Don't put the bumper sticker on your car. Don't say a word — it's easy to pass as a Christian or a Muslim, you know.
Just don't try to claim that you're helping.
The Myers family ordered a few t-shirts, and my car will have the bumper sticker on it. We aren't afraid. Especially not to make such a trivial commitment.