Tall Penguin, who recently revealed her atheism publicly, writes:
As I've been writing about my increasingly atheistic ideas, I felt this overwhelming need to "protect" that idea from any ill perceptions. I haven't been feeling great emotionally for the past few days and I thought that if I wrote about my depressive thoughts I'd be "casting a bad light" on atheism. The thought swirled around in my head: "No one's gonna wanna become an atheist if they see that it hasn't cured all your ails."
So I didn't write. ... I realized though this morning that that was completely irrational. I'm not responsible for what anyone thinks of atheism or anything else for that matter. And I'm human. I suffer from depression. This is part of my life for the time being. I can only be where I am. And so it is.
TP was right to give up this attitude and move forward rather than remain in fear of making atheism look bad. One of the things which critics tend to misunderstand about atheism is that there is no dogma, scripture, or organization to it. All atheists are individuals who aren't behold to any set of traditions or teachings and who certainly aren't beholden to anyone else. Atheists speak and act for themselves alone, so neither their beliefs nor their actions can or should be taken as somehow representative of atheists generally."