Friday, July 25, 2003

Brights Out

Despite my sympathy with Daniel Dennett’s desire to raise the profile of atheists and agnostics in this country, I have to agree with Julian (read the comments box), and some other commentators, that Dennett’s choice of labels – “brights” – is pretentious and silly. (Not to mention that it opens the door to calling agnostics “Light Brights.”) But what other term would be appropriate?

I was pondering that question last night, when I caught my first episode of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” (which has many of the same annoying qualities as TLC’s “What Not To Wear” – maybe more on that later). And then it hit me: why not follow the strategy of homosexuals and other marginalized groups who have taken derogatory names for themselves and co-opted them as signs of pride?

Thus my proposal: atheists and agnostics should henceforth be known as “heretics.”

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