Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #56

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

Not really noticeable

Slightly depressed, slightly bipolar (forgot the actual diagnosis)

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?

Never been to one

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

I’d say take a particular situation which really highlights the discrimination, and get it around in the big blogs. Something like Elevatorgate

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

I’ve referred to myself as insane, crazy, discombobulated, etc. I don’t tend to mind it when people say it too much, but I get by without medicine, and my condition isn’t all-pervasive, nor is it readily identifiable (people mostly think I’m a bit grumpy). So I haven’t been hurt when somebody calls me “crazy” or some variant.

I still think there needs to be expressions available that clearly indicate religiosity as a mental condition, and those who practice it are in need of help. At the same time, I have no pity for those who make fun of “retards” or “cripples.” I’ve proven myself willing to take a few punches, an give a few out, to assholes who want to belittle those that can’t fight back. My uncle is retarded (not sure of the actual condition), I have an aunt with Down’s Syndrome. My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s. On the other side, I had an uncle with early onset dementia, and my grandmother went senile later in life. So I’m no real stranger to mental illness.

In short, I’m not the best person to ask. I have a thick skin, and tend to have selective hearing in those areas that don’t affect me directly. Something I’ve tried to work on, though not getting into fights over it anymore.

Response #56 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

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Written by The Nerd

June 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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