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Should We Out Other Atheists?

Within the gay community there is a taboo around outing other gays although some gay rights activists do it anyway. While there is certainly some gray areas about this especially if the person being outed is anti-gay. My question for the day is whether or not there should be such a taboo in the atheist community?

For example, I have gotten a tip about a congressperson who is a closeted atheist. Looking at this particular person’s biography and profile, it seems pretty likely that my tip is accurate. In this case, I support the efforts of this congressperson in issues of Church/State Separation and other issues. It is unlikely that coming out would hurt this individual’s re-election significantly so the question is why is this congressperson remaining in the closet?

What if someone found a politician who professed religious believe a lot and used their professed believes on anti-reason issues? Would that give us more justification to out them as atheists?

Politicians aside, there are everyday atheists out there who are still going to church and professing religious belief for whatever reason. Should it be taboo to out them as atheists?

The case for not outing people is pretty obvious. Atheists face a variety of negative repercussions in our society. However, as more and more atheists come out, the less negative repercussions there will be in the future. As I discussed in my recent Examiner article, most religious people don’t think they know any atheists and that makes it easier for them to demonize us.

For this reason, outing other atheists might help to show that religious believers do actually know atheists and make them less likely to discriminate and be hostile toward atheists in general. It may even start them down that long road away from superstitious beliefs.

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