4 Reasons Atheism Is Becoming Sexy
Atheism is the position of non-assent to religious doctrine and dogma. Until very recently, outspoken non-believers were mostly to be found among scientists, philosophers, and stylish literary types. Today, people who are willing to say they are without religious belief can be found just about anywhere.
The celebrity atheists who emerged in the last decade—Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett—gave voice to ideas that had been trending for some time. Compare the hostile public reception to atheists on one of Oprah Winfrey’s programs in the early 80s with the very well-attended Reason Rally in 2012, which featured a teenage girl as a main speaker.
Although non-belief still carries a stigma in parts of society, a large community has built up around it and year upon year sees it grow more popular. In fact, atheism has taken on an air of sexiness as it slowly weaves its way into the main stream of society. Here are 4 reasons why:
Think of some of your favorite Hollywood stars. Does Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino, Julianne Moore, Eva Green or Nigella Lawson come to mind? They are all non-believers. Fifty or even thirty years ago such women would have kept their convictions to themselves for fear of being put out of show business. Today, they have the space to make it part of who they are as celebrities.
Atheists have also taken to the airwaves and turned television into a tool to change public perception of what they look like. Forget such old fogeys as Dawkins and Dennett. Look at the hot little package that is Cara Santa Maria. A face and body like hers counters the popular image of the atheist as a lonely, ugly, shit-kicking nerd.
Although a great deal of media attention goes to white male atheists, racial and ethnic non-believers are finally starting to get their due. In the black community—one of the most highly religious groups in America—non-believers such as Neil De Grasse Tyson and Anthony Pinn stand up for the ideals held by an increasingly vocal minority within that minority. Among Muslims, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ishard Manji, and Asra Nomani speak for the many atheists, agnostics, and moderates in their community.
Having non-believers of color has kept atheism up with the times, making it as fresh and appealing as the various religious sects try to be.
The rise of popular atheism has led to an explosion in atheist dating websites. Non-believers no longer need dread confrontations over religion with dates and potential partners. If you are an atheist, you can now find someone who is not only compatible in age, attractiveness, and education, but also in belief—or in this case, non-belief.
Another circumstance that is making atheism sexy is its freer forms of assembly. There is no church, parish, Mosque, or Synagogue to go to. You don’t need to depend on the pool of people you find at such places to get a date. You can spread your net much wider and make matches with people who hold beliefs of all kinds. This will inevitably lead to meeting, befriending, and hooking up with a variety of interesting individuals.
Closely related to this last point is the fact that atheism removes one more barrier to associating with people different from yourself. If you meet “the one”, you will not have to deal with hang-ups about how you will raise your family. Being an atheist also frees you from inhibitions having to do with the kinds of traditions and customs determined by superstitious beliefs. This makes it possible to enjoy the fruits of the natural—the intense and wondrous sensations of the flesh.
For all of you who do not believe you are supervised by a supernatural being who commands the universe, it is time to make yourself known. You can live a much freer and richer life if you are completely “out” about your atheism. You are not alone, and you may find that your new authenticity gives you a certain allure. There has never been a better time to put away dull falsehoods and to embrace the increasing sexiness of atheism.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.