Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #25

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Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?


Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

Have seen PWDs [people with disabilities] obviously uncomfortable due to ableism

[Warning: slurs] Quotes from atheists denigrating people with autism, stories describing developmentally delayed as “man-child,” description of religion as a mental illness, use of “retarded” and “crazy/insane/lunatic/etc.” as insults, constant references to religious individuals as “lunatic” and “deluded,” etc.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Definitely look for accessible buildings for any meetups, and make a point of calling out ableist language, both in the rules and just as individuals in general. It would be especially nice if prominent atheists would stop giving this language a pass, and especially stop USING IT THEMSELVES.

The above has been response #25 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

I know some people don’t get why “crazy” and it’s synonyms are a bad idea to use as slurs against people with dangerous supernatural beliefs. I didn’t get it myself. But then I heard person after person say “you know what? this hurts me”. And after a while, I couldn’t continue telling them that their pain didn’t matter to me, or that my liberal word choice mattered more than refraining from causing harm.

For further reading, I recommend this and this (especially the second).


Written by The Nerd

May 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #25 […]

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