About three weeks ago (before my whole strep throat debacle) I went to see world-renowned DJ Donald Glaude spin at club Circus in Los Angeles. The party was thrown by Spundae. It was an absolute blast. If any of my readers are into clubbing and reside in the Los Angeles area, I suggest you check out the Spundae events at Club Circus.
While I was dancing in front of the main stage, I noticed a hip looking guy in his late twenties or early thirties. He was dancing near me with his date, and he was wearing jeans and a black tank top. Because he was wearing the tank top, his arms were exposed, and he had a handful of tattoos on both his arms. The reason I noticed him was because one of his tattoos literally jumped out at me. On his left bicep was a tattoo of an atom symbol with an "A" in the center: The exact logo of the American Atheists organization!
Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. I quickly got his attention and pointed to his tattoo and told him "that's awesome!" He smiled and started telling me about what the symbol was and what the different parts of it represent. Although I was already very familiar with the logo and what it meant, I didn't want to cut him off. After he explained the tattoo, I told him that I write for a few atheist blogs and am heavily involved in the freethought radio show, Hellbound Alleee. He said that was cool, and I then left him alone so that he could resume dancing with his attractive date.
As if the night wasn't great enough being able to dance to the intense house music of Donald Glaude, I got to see an atheist with an atheistic tattoo prominently displayed on his bicep. What a cool night!
Now, there have undoubtedly been atheists in America since America was founded. But what about proudly displaying that type of affiliation on one's arm? What I mean is that this young man is doing something that he could not have done a few generations ago without severe consequences. 200 years ago, this man would have been persecuted for that kind of display, even in America. 100 years ago, this man would have been blacklisted for such a display. Even 50 years ago this man would possibly have been blacklisted, and most likely ostracized from his community.
Nowadays, you can still find yourself in a bad light for this kind of display in certain rural parts of America, but even then, not to the degree that you would have found yourself in 50 years ago. And nowadays in most parts of America you can proudly show off these kinds of tattoos without fear of persecution or too much grief from your local community.
Attitudes are most definitely changing, and they are changing for the better. I bet that 50 or 100 years ago, there were no atheists in America with atheistic tattoos. But today there are very likely more tattooed atheists than just this one guy.
The afterlife is dying, one dance party at a time. Now let's all go out and dance to celebrate! I will be dancing my ass off with some fellow atheist friends in celebration on December 3rd, to the transcendent trance music of Ferry Corsten at club Avalon in Hollywood. If any local atheists plan to be there, let me know so we can meet up at the club. I'll buy you a drink.