Today's Evening Standard is proof. Atheism is still poorly understood by the general public.
Today's stellar Evening Standard featured columnist picks a fight with atheism off the back of the British Humanist Association's successful lawsuit. Atheism will now be taught on the GCSE syllabus, showing teenagers that nonbelief is an attitude towards faith also adopted by many in their community.
But apparently this is "A GCSE in nothing". McDonagh believes, like so many God-fearing commentators that scepticism of Gods is equivalent to a positive belief in nothing. All while jumbling agnosticism into this recipe of half-baked understanding of the choice of over 56% of Britons not to pick Thor, Vishnu or Yahweh over rationalism or Humanism.
It's not hard, Melanie. Some of us disbelieve in one more deity than you, and incidentally, claim a tradition dated back to Lucretius which, yes, requires teaching to be properly understood. How many 16 year olds do you know who have read Plato, Thomas Paine and Einstein's views on faith?
Oh and agnosticism isn't atheism. One is knowledge and the other belief. I am an agnostic atheist, others are agnostic theists... But this requires some understanding of he subject. Clearly this is trouble Ms McDonagh is unwilling to take before banging out a column to be read by millions.
Unless... her blatant disregard for the terminology and traditions of atheism and Humanism could just be sour grapes. The disgruntled reaction of a theist in the face of a lost lawsuit, where the godly have had the run of RE teaching in schools for so long they can't face the prospect of an alternative... Her snarky equation of nonbelief with nothing could just be the bitter aftertaste of the sour, sour grapes she and her ilk are having to swallow over this defeat. Just maybe.
God forbid I should cast aspersions.