Is Every Atheist an Anti-Theist?

That’s my Q of the D … Question of the Day.

If you identify as an Atheist, are you also Anti–Theist, i.e., anti-religion or against faith in any form?

These self-identifying labels always fascinate me, frequently mystify, and occasionally aggravate.

For reference, I just listened to a provocative “Heart and Soul” podcast (BBC) on A Believer’s Guide to Atheism.”

As fate-less would have it, Chris Stedman just published this in The Interfaith Observer:

“Advocating for religious believers has often put me at odds with my own community. As an atheist, I regularly encounter anti-religious rhetoric and activism. Speaking out against anti-pluralistic voices in my community hasn’t always been easy. Yet it is precisely because I am an atheist, and not in spite of it, that I am motivated to do interfaith work.

Why? For one, without religious tolerance and pluralism, I wouldn’t be free to call myself an atheist without fear of retribution. Not that long ago, I could not have been a public, vocal atheist at all. But due to relationships with religious allies and increased atheist visibility, the times are changing.”

Categories: AtheismTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. I am a self-described atheist, but I certainly do not consider myself an anti-theist.

  2. I’m an atheist, but not generally anti-theist. To me, religion and religious belief is freakin’ strange (and I say this as being a Christian in the past). I am anti-theist, when religions get special privileges, and/or slows down science, and/or breeds sexism, racism and homophobia. But I’ve got friends and family (my older sister is a Born Again Christian and my older brother is a Muslim) with all kinds of weird and wonderful beliefs, but we live in peace and happiness. Thankfully when non-believers become the vast majority demographic in my country (which according to most projections will be within a generation), I doubt we will persecute believers like we have been persecuted in the past.

  3. I’m not anti-theist. I’m anti-asshole-theist. Most of the faithful are quiet and well mannered, but there are a few, Jewish, Muslim (al Qaeda, ISIS), Christian (Frank Turek, Westboro Baptist) who should be smacked with a dirty diaper. 😯

  4. I’m an atheist and generally an anti-theist. I’m against the religion, not necessarily the practitioner but that happens often. Most religions cause harm by their very nature, e.g. the believe in the imaginary, the idea of “us” and “them”, etc. That’s enough for me. Getting rid of religion won’t cure the world, but it certainly would put a big dent in the nonsense.

  5. I hear you on that, though Religion is understandable (rational) as a part of human experience that has always been with us. That doesn’t at all mean that “accepting irrationality” is necessary. I know many people of faith who are very reasonable, self-reflective people. I can be in relation with them and work with them for a better community without always pointing to the beliefs I don’t accept. btw, I also hear a number of atheists who have irrational views that should be questioned as well. I sometimes address those in posts.

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