August 7, 2013

Giving Atheists a Voice: The "Not Alone" Project

NotalonelogoIt has been great to witness the growth of atheism over the last several years. Regardless of whether there are many more atheists today than there were a few years ago, I think we can agree that the general public probably knows a bit more about atheism than they did ten years ago and that the stigma around atheism is beginning to decline in some parts of the world.

Unfortunately, there are still many places in which atheists are not safe to express their thoughts on religion. The most obvious examples come from predominately Muslim countries in the Middle East, but there are others. As anyone who has lived in a place dominated by religious fundamentalists will attest, the experience can be quite isolating. There are many good reasons why atheists living in such areas are still reluctant to identify themselves as atheists.

Martin (Martin S Pribble) announced a new effort today, The "Not Alone" Project. The project aims to use the Internet to provide closeted atheists with a means of telling their stories without having to reveal their identities. Here is how he describes it:
My hope is to create a place where the non-believers stories can be published, in a completely safe environment, which doesn’t judge its participants in any way. This is an internet “safehouse” for those who fear coming out, an a place to share stories, freedoms and inspirations that atheism allows you. Those who publish their work here have the choice of remaining anonymous, or publishing their names in their articles.
I think this is a valuable effort, and I hope it succeeds. Atheists living in religiously oppressive environments need a voice, and it is not always feasible for them to start their own blog like some of us did. By setting up a site and a submission form, Martin is making the process easier.

The "Not Alone" Project can be found at http://notaloneproject.wordpress.com/. Check it out.

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