Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Independent

Why do most atheists run from the term atheist for themselves?

See also

Roughly 1/10 of Americans, or 10%, don't believe in a god. Well, specifically, 1/10 adult Americans. But according to a Gallup survey only about 2% call themselves atheists, and maybe another 2% agnostic. Why do the majority of people under a more broad definition of atheism (simply lacking a belief in a god) not call themselves atheists? After all, most Christians call themselves, well, Christians.

Well the answer is because the word atheist has been so demonized. Literally. Atheists are often believed by the devoutly religious to worship and believe in a literal devil. I myself met someone who had that belief. So this massive ignorance on the basic beliefs or non-beliefs of atheists is promoted by alas, people on the Christian right-wing. This tidal wave of ignorance washes over the rest of America, including those who happen not to have a belief in a god.

So while those who don't call themselves atheists, but lack a belief in a god, do not necessary believe atheists worship a devil, they buy into the negative image of atheists that those on the Christian right-wing (or even Christian mainstream) promote. 300 years ago atheism literally was another word for evil. Those who were atheists were considered evil. Thankfully it is not quite defined in this way anymore but it is time atheists get our word back and stop letting those who despise and fear us, control it. Groups such as American Atheists promote atheism and defend it. We can use your help.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!