Just A Quick Note to Atheists (From an Atheist)

  1. Being an atheist does not erase privilege.
    1. This includes white privilege.
    2. This also includes cis privilege, CNDP privilege, and het privilege.
    3. Seriously, being an atheist does not erase your white privilege.
  2. Criticizing exclusively (majority) non-white religions is racist.
    1. This includes Islam.
    2. The existence of white Muslims does not invalidate this point.
  3. Black Christianity is not always hetereosexist.
    1. Black people are not the most heterosexist heterosexists that ever heterosexisted.
    2. Black queer/gay/lesbian/non-straight/pansexual/asexual people exist too.
  4. Mestiz@s are not the root cause of sexism.
    1. Neither is Latin American Christianity.
    2. You do realize Christianity was imported, right?
  5. Atheists are not the only oppressed religious group.
    1. Muslims are oppressed too.
    2. Often by white atheists.
  6. Islam is not evil.
    1. Neither are hijabs or niqabs.
    2. Neither is Vodun/voodoo/hoodoo.
    3. Neither is any other religion…
    4. …unless it’s World Church of the Creator / The Creativity Movement
      1. Which is white supremacist.
    5. …or the Westboro Baptist Church.
      1. Who even the KKK hates.
  7. Evolutionary psychology is sexist, racist, cissexist, ableist, and heterosexist.
    1. This includes evolutionary psychology that (supposedly) supports atheism.
    2. Supporting evo-psych means
      1. You have not done your homework, or
      2. You are prejudiced.
  8. Other people’s clothing is not your business.
    1. Including religious articles of clothing.
    2. Including hijabs, headwraps, niqabs, burkas, crosses, crucifixes, pentacles, and other symbols.
    3. Even if you really don’t like it.
    4. Even if it’s really religious.
  9. Acknowledge other people’s identities.
    1. Even if you’re uncomfortable with them.
      1. Especially if you’re uncomfortable,
        • Because they have racial, sexual, cultural, or disabled identity
  10. Paganism is not ‘atheism-lite’.
    1. Neither is agnosticism.
    2. Neither are indigenous religions.
  11. There is no such thing as ‘ironic’ bigotry.
    1. Unless it’s atheists whining about Christmas.
      1. Seriously, I thought only evangelicals did that.
  12. Trans people are not your special little puzzles.
    1. Neither are autistic / disabled people.
      1. I don’t care if you’re a scientist. We’re still not your Rubik’s Cubes.
  13. Not everything should be about science.
    1. There. I said it.
  14. PoC are not the reason why a lot of people are wary of atheists.
    1. It’s because of white/het/cis/CND atheists.
      1. Yes, including you.
  15. Demanding people educate you is oppressive.
    1. Even if you’re ‘being really nice about it’.
      1. Nice =/= good.
  16. Religions are not inherently oppressive.
    1. Did you know that hijabs and niqabs are cultural?
      1. And that many women find them liberating?
  17. Using emotion in writing, reasoning, the internet, or decision-making does not mean one is stupid/dumb/monkey-like/less-evolved/other ableist, racist, eugenicist terms.
    1. It means one is a fucking human being.
  18. Disability is not a flaw in evolution.
    1. Disabled people will not die out with evolution.
    2. Fuck you.
  19. Being atheist does not mean you are automatically not allistic.
    1. If you don’t know what that means, look it up.
      1. You can use Google.
  20. Being a queer atheist does not make you white.
    1. Seriously, enough with this racist bullshit.
  21. Cultural appropriation is also done by atheists.
    1. Deal with it.
  22. There are no purple people.
    1. You should know this.
  23. Making fun of ‘them crazy darkies doin’ their ridick voodoo’ is racist, ableist, and the reason why a LOT of black atheists will not have anything to do with you.
    1. Satire is a tool that works when aimed upwards, at the most powerful people.
      1. Black people are not the most powerful people.
        • Especially black people practicing voodoo.
  24. No religion is more ridiculous than any other.
    1. Including Mormonism.
    2. …but some have more power, and are therefore better to make fun of.
      1. Like Mormonism.
  25. Being colorblind is only okay if you literally cannot see or distinguish colors.
    1. Otherwise, it’s racist.
  26. Religions derive strength and power from the social power of their followers.
    1. Which is why evangelical Christianity is a better target than Black Christianity.
  27. Being an agnostic (or bisexual) is not ‘taking the easy way out’.
    1. Really, now?
  28. Monosexism is real.
    1. How do I know?
      1. You’re doing it right now.
    2. And yes, queer can be a term for polysexual.
  29. If you think black people are mean to you,
    1. You’re probably white,
      1. And won’t say you are
        • Because white people never say they’re white.
  30. The terms ‘hermophradite’ ‘third sex’ and ‘biological gender’ are
    1. Essentialist,
    2. Bigoted,
    3. Cissexist,
    4. Anti-intersex
    5. And not up for debate.
  31. If you refuse to identify your privileged identities,
    1. I’m going to assume you just think you’re ‘normal’
      1. And moderate you.
  32. Refusing to acknowledge the power of environment and social structure
    1. Is bigoted
    2. And means you’re a biological essentialist.
  33. Intersex people exist.
    1. Deal with it.
    2. And no, they are not ‘miracles of evolution’.
      1. I thought you didn’t believe in miracles.
  34. Freedom does not just mean ‘freedom to be an atheist and make the choices I would make’. It means freedom to make even choices I don’t like.
    1. Including religious choices.
  35. Social justice / social uprooting / anti-oppression is not about you and your feelings.
    1. Nobody cares about white guilt.
    2. Making everything about your feelings is oppressive.
  36. If you’re offended,
    1. Get over it.
    2. Realize that being offended is much better than being oppressed.
This entry was posted in kyriarchy, social justice stuff, the internets is srs bznz and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Just A Quick Note to Atheists (From an Atheist)

  1. Ira Sass says:

    “Being colorblind is only okay if you literally cannot see or distinguish colors.

    Otherwise, it’s racist.”


    • MGB says:

      I can remember the first time someone told me they were colorblind.
      I asked if they were red-green, or blue-green, or green-yellow.
      …It was an interesting conversation.
      [Side note: If you say you 'don't see me as being mestiz@' I want nothing to do with you. I have no desire to have someone else misracialize me, thanks.]

  2. timberwraith says:

    Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes!

    After nearly two years of reading new atheist spaces, I’ve finally given up. Until the heaping mounds of unexamined privilege in those spaces are dealt with, I’ll be spending my time in other places.

  3. Julia says:

    I really like this, but I have one question- what’s CNDP? I looked it up, and it’s all about the national center for the defense of people, and that doesn’t make much sense :(

    • Bracula says:

      CNDP = Currently Non Disabled Person/s.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m curious how exactly does that work with mental challenges? For instance, if your depression is controlled, are you still disabled? You obviously have the condition, but it’s not affecting you beyond having to maintain your treatment. I guess what I’m asking is what is the importance of the ‘C’?

        I’m also curious about the “mestiz@” because I’ve found the at-symbol all but impossible to search for. These are obviously polite requests for education, not any sort of demand. Though to be honest, I don’t know why anyone with points to make would ever deny someone willing to learn from them.

        • Bracula says:

          1. I’ve already answered what mestiz@ means. Try reading my blog.
          2. I’m not your teacher. If you want me to be, pay me.
          3. I’m not going to attempt to place limits as to what kind of depression is a disability and what isn’t, because all depression is a disability.

  4. Bracula says:

    This person didn’t have the courage to come out and say it directly, so I edited their comment to make it clearer.

    Hi, racist.

  5. Bracula says:

    You see, were I more patient, I would, perhaps, explain to you precisely why you are wrong. But I’m not going to, partially because I just got 10 hateful, racist slurs in my inbox, and partially because I have a giant blooming list of links and blogs to my right. Read them, now, and please pull yourself up out your ignorance.

  6. Bracula says:

    I don’t approve trolls on my blog. I got better things to do.
    And PS: Ain’t nobody friendly when they’re anonymous.

  7. Shirley Chan says:

    This blogpost makes me very uncomfortable, but not because I think any of these lists of grievances apply to me. Your tone is very antagonizing and obviously directed to a specific (white) audience and I don’t think that it’s very productive. In my interpretation of your blog, you are completely generalizing the “white population” and though I appreciate your defense of minority cultures, it seems like you are polarizing your audience in the exact same mannar that you assume they are perceiving “the other”. I totally agree that white privilege is a problem in the Western world (and even in the non Western world), but I don’t agree with the means in which you are trying to disperse your information. To give you the benefit of the doubt, I don’t know if you are surrounded by completely idiotic people that do think these things, but the majority of your blog post seems redundant and targeted at a small population. If this is true, some context to your situation would be helpful.

  8. Bracula says:

    WRONG! Anti-Islamic criticism from white atheists, for example, is centered around racism against Arabs, and anti-Santeria criticism from white atheists is centered around racism against Black people, and so on.

    • Bracula says:

      I’d rather not be misgendered, but actual discussion is nice. Bye, troll.

    • Bracula says:

      Receipts required on the bolded.

    • oolon says:

      I think butterfliesandwheels specifically but also the other blogs ran by privileged white atheists on FtBs manage it pretty well.

      Maryam Namazie and Taslima Nasreen are on the same blog network and afaik don’t criticise their fellow bloggers (I’m sure they would if they saw what you describe!). But I thought you had said *exclusively* criticise Islam so asking for proof of the bit in bold is presumably not needed, as long as they criticise other religions with as much vim and vigour?

      BTW I’m white, male and your style is totally different to how I would phrase any argument and quite different from a lot of blogs I read. But surely that is a good thing, I want to see lots of styles and ways of communicating concepts so I don’t get the tone trolling… What works for the majority is not the only way.

      • Bracula says:

        1. You’re white. I don’t expect you to notice racism when it happens, because you have been socially conditioned to think that racism is normal and thus out of notice.
        2. I don’t see the value in critiquing religion as an oppressive force unless it’s part of critiquing oppression as a whole.

        • oolon says:

          Quite true, I generally only notice overt racism and sexism. Although I must say that reading more about it certainly opens your eyes as I started to notice MRA comments on the internet after reading blogs like yours when I’d just edited them out before. Given the extreme nature of a lot of them when you do pay attention this was a surprise! I’m no buddhist but that sentence just reminded me of this koan on the importance of not being oblivious. http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~beatrice/buddhist-practice/attention.html

    • Bracula says:

      That’s so cutting and edgy, misgendering someone while referring to them as an idiot (.) I’m sure you really had to work hard to come up with that.

    • Bracula says:

      I guess you just got on the internet a couple minutes ago, then. :D

  9. Bracula says:

    I am deeply, deeply amused by the following:
    -an inability to comprehend words
    -an inability to see religions as multifaceted
    -the assumption that I am a feminist. I am not. I am decidedly not a feminist and have no desire to be a feminist; feminism does not care about me and mine and does not benefit me.

  10. niffick says:

    I love this post and everything about it and, by extension, you. Also everyone in your comments section appear to be dicks. Sorry about this. I hope you have a troll-free day, keep bein’ awesome.

  11. Psyfer says:

    At the risk of opening a can of worms, how is evolutionary psychology in itself ‘exist, racist, cissexist, ableist, and heterosexist’? I can see how people could use results of research for the above ends, but the same has been said in the past of evolutionary theory.

    Evolutionary Psychology (as I understand it) can give an explanation for certain behaviours and/or ‘instincts’ to exist as a result of environmental pressures over time, but it does not label them right or wrong, or at least, people using the paradigm shouldn’t claim that it does.

    At least, this is what I understand to be the case. If I’ve missed something, I’d like to know what I’m not understanding.

    Thank you

    • Bracula says:

      When evolutionary psychology says things like:
      “Rape is a form of sperm-competitiveness”
      “Trans* people should not exist”
      “Gay people are natural population control”
      “Disabled people will die out”

      And forgets the existence of (just to name few marginalized groups) intersex, trans*, queer, asexual, and agender people,

      It’s bigoted. Science is not immune from bigotry.

      • Erik says:

        Nor is activism. I see this post as an attempt to attack the very corrupt, innately fucked-up, white-dominated, institutionally racist culture often present among atheists, but in referring to entire branches of any field as bigoted, because conclusions drawn by some within said field are bigoted (and I agree that they are), and generalizing white atheists in the same manner, you’re guilty of the same unproductive, blanket-statement, binary thought that allows the bigots and narrow-minded people of the world to continue to view the complex, spectral issues of gender, class, race, ability, mental health, autism, and many more within a decidedly myopic framework. Your blog is a much-needed resource. Don’t stoop to their level. I really appreciate what you’re trying to do, but please don’t forgo the problematic ambiguity of all of these issues to be funny, terse, palatable, aggressive, or sardonic.

        - A critical fan.

        • Bracula says:

          This is the most text anyone’s spent on calling me ~reverse racist~, and certainly the most long-winded way of attempting to tone-police me. I suggest reading “Derailing for Dummies”.

  12. Bracula says:

    k but u rong doe

  13. metalorganic says:

    This is great. I’m so heartened to see I’m not the only one who feels this way! I’ve noticed that none of the haters seem to have brought up original points. Interesting, that. – a queer atheist cis woman of colour

  14. Pingback: it’s Friday, and I apparently refuse to work « metalorganic


  16. amberclarksmp says:

    Thank you very much for this! It is full of win and should be spread far and wide.

    I do have one question though. What does “Mestiz@s” mean? I couldn’t find a direct definition for when searching in Google. The closest I found was “mestizo” (of mixed European and indigenous descent in Latin America). Am I in the right neighborhood with that?

  17. Caroline says:


    You can be an atheist and not be a racist ableist cissexist Islamophobic fuckhead, just like you can be a Christian and not a racist ableist cissexist Islamophobic fuckhead. I know that might blow some atheists’ MINDS but you’ve just proved it. Being an atheist and being anti-religion are totally different things; one speaks to your own personal beliefs about creation and deities and the universe and all that shit, while the other is about you saying that other people are not allowed to believe differently. Until those two things stop being CONSTANTLY conflated, I will never fully feel comfortable identifying myself as an atheist. But at least you and your post have given me hope that I’m not the only one who doesn’t use my atheism as an excuse to feel oppressed/oppress others.

  18. Bracula says:

    Reading comprehension is somewhat difficult for you, I see. Only criticizing religions with a majority of PoC believers is racist.

    • Kirk says:

      I love the letter, and I originally read it that way, but would be more clear to say “Exclusively criticizing majority non-white religions is racist.” rather than “Criticizing exclusively majority non-white religions is racist.”? The second reading could be taken (uncharitiably) as saying that any criticism of religions who are exclusively non-white is racist. It takes a leap to get there from how you worded it, but I’m all for making it as hard as possible on the concern trollers. When they have little to no ammunition, they show their true colors with less prodding :-)

      Otherwise, brilliant job and wonderfully worded.

      • Bracula says:

        I have an explanation of this point on the page already, but to be frank, it’s not the fact that white atheists criticize some religions that’s the problem, it’s that they have this virulent violent hatred of any religion where the face isn’t white.

    • drashizu says:

      I had trouble with this in your post, too. It’s phrased a little unclearly. What is looks like it says, to me, is that criticizing religions that are exclusively (or majority) non-white is racist, which would mean the only religion a white person could ever criticize was Protestant Christianity (and maybe not even then, considering how many people in Africa and Asia practice some kind of Protestantism).

      But after reading your reply to Grapevine, what I think you’re actually saying is that ~exclusively~ criticizing majority non-white religions is racist, to which I absolutely, totally fucking agree.

      I also want to say that everything else in this post is fantastic, especially the Evopsych stuff. Pop evopsych is NOT REAL SCIENCE because you can’t study the mating behaviors of early humans and pre-human hominids. Because they no longer exist! Making any claims on the subject unfalsifiable and therefore bullshit.

  19. Hailey says:

    I really love your list. This is fucking amazing. What are the chances you could direct me to more information on point 7 regarding Evolutionary Psychology and racism/heterosexism/sexism/ableism/ect.?

  20. helikonios says:

    I would like to ditto what niffick said above, and add “YES TO EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST YOU WIN ALL THE INTERNETS”. Also, I love item 23A; I plan to trot it out the next time I see some idiot backpedal on a racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. slur by whining “you misunderstood meeee it was satiiiiiire!”

  21. vexorian0 says:

    99% like.

    There are things that while I do not necessarily dislike, I would do differently.


    2. Criticizing exclusively religions that are non-white in majority is racist. (Emphasis in exclusively)
    A. This includes Islam.
    B. (The existence of white Muslims does not invalidate this point.) becomes redundant.

    6. Islam is not inherently evil.
    A. Neither are hijabs or niqabs.
    B. Neither is Vodun/voodoo/hoodoo.
    C. Neither are most other religions…
    D. Exceptions include: it’s World Church of the Creator / The Creativity Movement…
    i. Which is white supremacist.
    E. …or the Westboro Baptist Church.
    ii. Who even the KKK hates.


    Unless it’s atheists whining about Christmas.
    Seriously, I thought only evangelicals did that.

    I hope you don’t consider “complaining about using public property and/or funds to advertize exclusively Christmas” as part of complaining about Christmas. I love Christmas, but I don’t want gov. endorsing the religious part of it.

    • Bracula says:

      The reason for the point about criticism comes from how atheists in the Dawkins model of racist Atheism go on and on about how evil and horrible Islam is, and sort of mention Christianity as being factually wrong but still don’t hate/fear Christianity anywhere near so much. It wasn’t Islam that killed 90% of the population of the Americas, it was Christianity-encouraged white supremacy and imperialism.

      Additionally, no religion besides the Westboro people or World Church of the Creator is itself evil.

      Additionally, government endorsement of Christmas is annoying and a waste of money, but it’s a lot less important than, say, Black people being murdered by police.

      • vexorian0 says:

        I wanted to change that one because you first say “no religion is evil” and then you contradict yourself mentioning two exceptions. Also, I don’t pretend to know all religions in the world, there may be more evil religions than the two you mentioned and religions are created daily, some possibly being quite evil. We got to consider the suicide cults too. Perhaps not evil, but still quite dangerous, you know. Then we have what Manson did.

        I don’t believe there is a zero sum game of activism. We can battle the little things like government endorsement of religion without lessening the fight against racist police brutality.

        • Bracula says:

          Yes, but when I see 100 posts by a white atheist on “In God We Trust” and 0 on police brutality, it’s quite obvious that they just don’t care about anything besides the most mundane irritating facets of white Christianity.

  22. Panda says:

    This list is awesome! Its good to be reminded that even though I’m a woman and an atheist, I’m totally privileged in EVERY OTHER WAY. Thank you for making this.

  23. Cthandhs says:

    White cis lady – Thank you, this list reminds me that I always have a lot more privilege to recognize. Off to google. Thanks again.

  24. Bracula says:

    I love it when racists use trolling as a code word for “Waaah, someone refuses to let my racism go by unnoticed!”

  25. Lou Doench says:

    Straight white middle class stay at home atheist Dad (did I miss anything, I’m sure I did). Great list full of good things to think over.

  26. I’m sorry,. but I can’t agree with all of this. I don’t care if some people “volunteer” for their oppression. I’ll give one:
    236: Voluntaryism is bullshit, and you haven’t done your homework.
    237: “It’s cultural” is a terrible excuse for oppression. All cultures are not equal.
    238: Culture is the most powerful oppressor of persons.

    • Bracula says:

      1. Gosh, if you don’t believe PoC are people enough to choose our believe, you might as well just say all those horrible racist other things that you think. I mean, it’s not any better.
      2. You’re right. White culture is much more oppressive than any other culture on earth.
      3. What a beautifully convenient and academic-sounding way to excuse yourself of any oppression you further.

  27. As a straight white male, I think it kinda sucks that everyone sees me as a terribly privileged brat despite the fact that my life fucking sucks.

    • Bracula says:

      Waah, it’s so hard to use your privilege to whine on other people’s posts about oppression that you benefit from! It’s really sucky and difficult to imply that my life isn’t terrible just because you think of yourself as the central figure in a tragedy!

      • Allen Jacoby says:

        …so, um…only those without privilege are allowed to ever be upset or disturbed by the fact that a stereotype is applied to them?

        (I’m refusing to read D4D because 1. I think derailing is fallacious and obnoxious (10% of my motivation) and 2. I’m lazy and I’d much rather read some Neil Gaiman. (90% of my motivation.)

        • Bracula says:

          It must hurt so much to be accused of things like not being able to dance. I’m sure it burns as much as being handcuffed, placed in the back of a police car, and shot in the head.

          • Bracula says:

            If you want me to take you seriously, try not misgendering me, you condescending pigfucker.
            PS: You are entirely delusional if you believe that white people experience police brutality at anything near the rates or the severity that PoC do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unbelievable. I thought you hit on some really good points in your article, then I read through the comments only to see bullying of some kid who reached out. How are we supposed to move past all this bigotry when we snap at each other like this. Fuck, I realize I’m pulling out the tone police bullshit myself here, but I’m just utterly shocked that the same person who wrote that post would cruelly mock someone they don’t know. I don’t even know what to say, I feel like I want to say something but I really can’t find the words. Yeah, before you go ahead and call me out on it, I’m an able-bodied white male myself, but that’s not why I’m defending that guy. I’m defending him because I don’t know a damn thing about him. So, fine yeah, his comment was self-centered, but… to come back with such hate. Fuck it, I can’t deal with this tonight.

        • Bracula says:

          If the only time when you see me as human is when I do what you want me to do, you don’t see me as human at all. No use trying to change you.

      • Bracula says:

        Gosh, you’re so angry that I’m not just lying down and taking whatever bullshit you throw at me, huh?

  28. Anonymous says:

    you’re as right as those priests who claimed that it was in fact the boys who seduced them

  29. Amii L says:

    Would the downvoter of the white cis commenters please tell me the reasoning for the down votes? I get that you disagree with the post for whatever reasons, but what problem do you have with people saying yes, I am white, and I am priviledged? Do you see it as a betrayal of your own privilege? or race? It’s a fascinating and untoward response. Don’t be shy!

    I’m white cis female who has seen a lot of the antics noted in the list and been guilty of slipping in to one or two myself. I did not see this as an indictment of all white atheists. Most of it didn’t apply to me and what did I have no problem being called on. After all, I do want to be a better person when I go to bed than I was when I woke up. I can’t do it all by myself without a little hint now and then.

  30. Bracula says:

    No, it’s where you think racism is a joke.

  31. Bracula says:

    Read Derailing for Dummies before coming back to comment.

  32. Deluks917 says:

    Does this really say criticizing Islam is racist?

  33. Pingback: What I believe, at the moment…. » Oolon's Dumping Ground

  34. Bracula says:

    It must be very difficult being unable to read. I’m sure it hinders googling things like the actual definition of racism.

  35. kstagaman says:

    Just a question regarding your stance on evo-psych. I am no proponent of it, and I think it’s mostly pseudo-scientific bullshit. But, the premise that our psychology is in part a product of evolution seems valid. Do you take issue with that premise (and thus the mere concept of evo-psych), or the current state of the field and the way evo-psych researchers arrive at their dubious conclusions?

  36. Bracula says:

    1. Nope. Future math major.
    2. Nope.
    3. Nope.
    4. Nope.
    5. Nope.
    6. Nope.

    Try again.

    PS: Not a feminist. Feminism is not my movement and it’s not one I support, either.

  37. Bracula says:

    White people? Yeah, I’m not really about helping them.

  38. Bracula says:

    General notice: Nobody who has misgendered me or called me a slur will be allowed to comment. This means ophidic, DLZ, Allen Jacoby, and lmao will not be allowed to comment.

  39. EndlessError says:

    I’m not sure how fair it is to compare agnosticism to bisexuality, I get that you’re coming from that place of how both are erased, but sexuality is part of identity. Any sort of belief/disbelief system acquired over a lifetime of socialization is not. Hard for me to get all worked up over all the poor agnostics who’re being told they’re taking a cop-out on the road to atheism.

    • EndlessError says:

      Also, fell into the commenting trap of getting all worked up about the one thing that pissed me off and just wanted to say that as a brown atheist woman, to everything on your list except the agnostic stuff, YES! <3

    • Bracula says:

      That’s entirely true and fair.


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