Is it safe to be an Atheist in Belfast?
Last night a saw a proud Atheist wearing his Scarlet “A” t-shirt in Belfast International Airport and it got me thinking: I live in a country where Catholic Nationalists and Protestant Unionists have a history of killing each other and there are still factions on both sides who aren’t finished and I started to ponder the question…are Atheists really in danger here? Would either side really care that I’m an Atheist?
For being an Atheist, even an outspoken one? No, I don’t think they would. They would probably view me as no more than an oddity. I can’t imagine them sticking a bomb under my car or anything like that. Not because I’m an Atheist. I don’t broadcast my Atheism everywhere I go, but I don’t keep it a secret either. I would hope that no one could tell that I’m a godless infidel without me telling them, and I only tell them if it natural comes up in conversation, normally when someone says something stupid. I’m shocked every time I think about how many people I know, and am good friends with, who don’t accept biological evolution. When someone says something pro-creationism I normally reply with something condescending before activating my brain.
I’d be tempted to test this by wearing very clear Atheist t-shirts around Belfast city center on busy shopping days to see if I get any attention, but I don’t find the t-shirts all that attractive. I have the “A” tie-tack, but it’s a bit too small to catch anyones attention.