Let’s get this straight right off the bat. We at Devout Atheist respect people’s right to believe whatever they want and don’t intend to change anyone’s mind about their faith or lack thereof. This is the opposite of a hate site – we are not inciting violence towards any individual or group because of their beliefs nor do we condone it. We simply want to support atheists, who face prejudice just like any other group in this messed up world. Much of the content of this site, however, will be offensive to many believers. We make no apology for ridiculing both the beliefs and, in some cases, the believers themselves. Despite what many people think, religion – like any other system of belief or philosophy – does not automatically deserve respect. More on this below.
Devout Atheist was inspired by people like Bill Maher, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dr. Bill Nye, Tim Minchin, the Atheist English Girl, and even more so by all the ridiculous things the religious right says and does on a daily basis. They and their beliefs are fodder for a lot of jokes, and hopefully you will think our shirts and products are as funny as we do.
We were also getting pretty sick of all the right wing’s hypocritical political crap in the US. The most powerful country in the world actually has people teaching Creationism in public class rooms? This is not a direction for education or government in general that we can sit idly by and ignore. We aren’t asking for atheism to be taught, just facts and science-based information.
This kind of tells it all: in the UK, where the monarch is actually the head of the Church of England, no politician would ever bring up religion while trying to get elected. But in the US, where the separation of church and state is (supposedly) guaranteed by the First Amendment, barely any politicians don’t play to the religious by proclaiming their devotion to one church or another. Presidential candidates all talk about their faith and there are no openly-atheist members of Congress (as of Apr2014).
Anyways, we thought atheists should start to declare themselves and get rid of any negative connotations that “atheist” may have picked up in North America, and combat the right’s un-patriotic push for religion-based laws. That’s right, UN-patriotic, since the US was founded on the principle of the separation of church and state! Ask Roger Williams why he left Massachusetts and founded Rhode Island, or why the Pilgrims originally left England. The Treaty of Tripoli, penned by the US Senate, summed things up pretty well in 1797:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
We will be starting a charitable-donation aspect to the company soon, where a certain amount of each sale ($1 from each shirt?) will go to a charity. Want to help pick the charity? Check out our blog and comment on which charity you think deserves more atheists’ support. [Did you know the Pastafarians are the top-lending religious congregation on Kiva (over $2 million!), above Catholics, Muslims, Mormons and Buddhists? as of March 24, 2014]
“So you’re offended. So fucking what?” Stephen Fry
We mock beliefs, but we will always support your right to believe whatever you want. First and foremost people deserve respect and certain freedoms, like of religion and thought. But their beliefs do not necessarily deserve the same respect. Respecting people’s rights and respecting their actual beliefs are two very different things. For more on this, read our blog entry, Respecting rights, not beliefs.
We are pro-reason, not anti-religion. It is not our mission to convert anyone, because as we said, we respect everyone’s right to believe what they will. We are also very happy to be free to make fun of people and their silly beliefs. But seriously, when was the last time someone came to your door and wanted to change your mind about religion? I can guarantee it wasn’t an atheist. We don’t care what anyone believes, as long as they don’t force it on anyone else.
But believe what you will and we will support that as long as your beliefs do not impinge upon anyone else’s rights and well-being. If a law is proposed based not on scientific fact but on religious faith and contrary to fact, then that is where religion crosses a line and starts to impose a people’s beliefs rather than facts.
Know what offends us? Religious wars, the Crusades, the Inquisition, free speech censorship, forced marriage of under-age girls, genital mutilation, homophobia, denying women their human rights, pedophilia, covering up pedophilia, brainwashing of children, and your basic delusional rejection of fact.