My friend, @vjack has an interesting post up over at Atheist Revolution concerning why some atheists refuse the label. This has always been curious to me vecause I have never been afraid of the label “Atheist”. I don;t go around introdicing myself that way (Hi, I’m Jim and I’m an Atheist) but I’ve never backed away from it. Ever. If you’ve read these pages, you understand why so I won’t repeat what I have repeated time and again. I do agree with Jack that there may be people who are non-believers but see the label “Atheist” as negative. Heck, all you have to do is turn on the news and when they’re discussing crime in America, inevitably Atheism will be brought up as a cause (not THE cause). So people that openly claim the label Atheist are few in our country compared to other western nations., that’s another post entirely. Suffice to say that it’s possible, no matter where you luve, you don’t know an atheist, It’s also possible you do. It’s more likely if you live in a large metropolitan city because, and I say this truthfully, it’s easier to stay in the shadows in a city of multiple millions. You can scream you’re an athjeist all day and no one will hear you. Or claim to hear you. Well, for some it’s entireley practical in that there could be a loss of social standing and yes, even in the 21st century, a possibility of losing employment or an opportunity as well as promotion. Atheists are evil and everyone knows that. Right? I’m not sure there’s much we can do in the short term about how others view us as it’s impossible for a Catholic priest to convince me he’s not a pedophile. I don’t evangelize atheism. I’m sure there are some that do and in order for perceptions to change we probably need more of them. How though?People aren’t walking around wit thought bubbles above their heads that say, “I may be an atheist. If there was only someone I could talk t about it” So to find individuals may be difficult, the only real way is if a person brings it up (usually a conversation killer). Advertising a local atheist organization could be helpful bringing people to meetings to be able to socialize with fellow non-believers but outside of something like that, prospects are dim.