Q: At what point does atheism become antitheism?
A: When it proselytizes as fervently and annoyingly as the theists.
Listen, I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve felt that call to wake people up and convince them of my truth. Call it our memetic drive. We have to cast our seed as broad as possible to inseminate as many fertile fields as we can before growing season is over. Whether it’s political, sociological, ethical, moral, or religious, we make it our life to put those ideas into anybody else’s head in the hopes that our seed will find purchase and grow. If we had our way, the entire world would be covered in our ideological spunk without a single mop and bucket in sight. This is gross and excessive.
Most theists I know are quiet about it. They have their strong faith, yet they move along with the toil of life. You would only know them as theists by where they went on Sunday mornings. Most atheists, you wouldn’t know them either; they’re just as quiet. But in each ideological population, there are the top 10% who are so vocal, they dominate 90% of the conversation, overpower the majority among them, and seek only to further the cause, pushing their thoughts and agendas onto others. This is untenable.
Even as an evangelical christian, I knew this distinction. I carried the cross, but I didn’t put it on display. In my own small ways I pushed the agenda, but for the most part, I kept quiet in order to remain as non-offensive as possible. As an atheist, I’ve also had my time on the mission field trying to convince others that there is no god. I carry some amount of shame for those offenses. Now I’d rather blend into the scenery and just live my life, letting you think or not think about my eternal damnation as you feel. I don’t care.
What I do care about are the proselytes, the advertisers, the pushers of any ideology. Please, for the love of whatever, be quiet and save your breath.