Deconstructing the Atheist Movement: Is There an Atheist Movement?

atheism for dummiesThis is the second post in a series on deconstructing the atheist movement. You can find the first post here.

Perhaps it strikes you as silly to start with the question of whether or not there is an atheist movement. After all, we tend to distance ourselves from those who dwell on the deconstruction of non-existent entities, right? I must already be convinced that an atheist movement exists; otherwise I wouldn't bother with this series at all. That is true, but we have to start somewhere. In this brief post, I'd like to explain what I mean by atheist movement.

As I said in the first post, I believe that it makes sense to speak of an atheist movement as long as we acknowledge that it is in the early stages and still taking shape. But what exactly is this atheist movement? It is you and I. It is:
  • Atheist bloggers and creators of atheist web sites and Internet-based social networks
  • So-called "new atheist" authors
  • National atheist organizations
  • Local atheist groups
  • Those who sponsor, support, and attend atheist conventions
  • Atheist activists and their supporters
The atheist movement is a large and poorly organized constellation of atheists who have an interest in learning about atheism, promoting atheism as a sensible alternative to religious belief, working for atheist civil rights, and/or criticizing religious belief for its reliance on faith and superstition. We are the atheist movement.