I know, I know, all atheism is, is the lack of belief in deities and strictly speaking, atheists have nothing more in common with each other aside from that and our ability to breath oxygen. However, in the real world that is not actually true. There is in fact a greater atheist community.
It is important to note that not all atheists are part of the greater atheist community. There are some atheists out there who lack a belief in gods and live their lives without being particularly vocal about it or who are not interested in being a part of atheist/humanist groups. Some might not even share the same value of reason over superstition.
On the other hand, there are many atheists in America and throughout the world who do value reason over faith and superstition. This value of reason tends to lead atheists to hold other common values as well. For example, if you value reason over faith you will probably care about issues of church/state separation. You will probably care about equality for minorities and those who are often treated unfairly by many religious believers because of their religious beliefs. You will probably be fairly progressive in your politics at least when it comes to these social issues.
You just don’t see too many openly atheist Republicans out there. Why not? Why can’t someone lack a belief in gods and still be a Republican? Strictly speaking according to the definition of atheism, there is no reason why there can’t be and yet we rarely see it. It might have something to do with the fact that the Republican Party has branded itself the Party of the Christian-Right.
Still, I think it is more than that. I submit that once you value reason over faith, that reason leads you to value other things as well. Science education, the acceptance of strongly evidenced scientific theories like evolution and global climate change, and many other issues.
Issues aside, atheists often gather together to in support of church/state separation and just to hang out with others who like them, value reason over faith. There are atheist/humanist organizations that feature guest speakers, book clubs, fighting for common causes, and/or just socialization. These groups both online and off form a greater atheist community or a community of reason as it is sometimes called.
On a national level, there are large atheist/humanist organizations. In 2012, we even had a rally on the National Mall in Washington DC where 30,000 atheists and humanists gathered in the rain in support of reason over faith in government. So when people tell me that there is no atheist community and that the only thing atheists have in common is a lack of belief in gods, I call bullshit. Sure, on a strictly definitional level that is true, but for all practical purposes there are other values that many, even most vocal atheists tend to share and we have in fact formed communities based around those values. Obviously, not every atheist will be part of this greater community of reason, but many will choose to be part of this community and as a point of fact, this community does actually exist.
- Atheist community condemns Chapel Hill shooting (examiner.com)
- Atheism 101: The difference between atheism and agnosticism (examiner.com)
- Are Children Raised as Atheists Leaving Atheism? (skepticink.com)
- Can atheists use ‘The R-Word?’ (examiner.com)
- Refuting: ‘How To Argue With An Atheist: Tip #1’ (skepticink.com)
- The Catholic Advantage: Distorting Reality (skepticink.com)