Whenever an atheist is interviewed on the news or on some talk show, the host always makes a point to say that the atheist is “self-professed.” They never do this for Christians, Jews, Muslims, or any religious figure. They don’t say, “Here is self-professed Catholic priest…” Why not?
I think when they add, “self-professed” in front of someone’s identification they are taking a shot at them. It is a way of delegitimizing them. A self-professed priest for example would mean that only that person recognizes his position and that everyone else thinks he is crazy.
When they say that someone is a self-professed atheist, they are saying that they really believe we really believe. Some Christians have this thing where they believe that atheists secretly know God is real and that we are just “rebelling” against him. Or that we secretly know that God is real, but are agents of Satan trying to lead good Christians astray so that Satan can eat their souls or something.
If you are ever interviewed about something as an atheist and the interviewer uses this “self-professed” crap, stop the interviewer right then and there and demand an explanation. Demand that the religious person be addressed as “self-professed” and start addressing the religious person as such. Do this especially in relation to their religious title or position.