Another Reason to Wear Atheist T-Shirts


In a recent post on the subject of atheist t-shirts and other items communicating atheist-oriented messages, I listed some of the advantages I saw for publicly displaying such messages. I missed a big one, and I am grateful to a reader for pointing it out. After expressing agreement with the advantages I listed, he noted, "While those are valid reasons, I feel the most important is to provide an alternative to skeptics of religion." Absolutely! This is way too important to be left out of the discussion.

Many of us who were raised in one religious tradition or another de-convert gradually. Exposure to other atheists and even to the concept of atheism can be very helpful during this process.

I remember spending roughly a year of my life struggling with doubt. During this time, I did not know another atheist, and I do not recall even knowing what atheism meant. I thought I was the only one and wondered if there was something wrong with me. It was not until I began to read everything I could find on religion and philosophy at the local used bookstore that I realized that I was not alone and that there was even a name for what I was: atheist.

Imagine how much easier this process would have been if I had known other atheists. I would have seen for myself that it is possible to live a normal, even happy life without any of the religious beliefs that were beginning to seem increasingly silly. As this reader put it,

Therefore, I believe that non-arrogant t-shirts that express the lack of belief can help show that there is an alternative to organized religion and possibly influence the transformation of a religious person.

I agree completely. I wish something like this had been there for me. The least I can do is help to provide it for others.