so i thought i would, too.
.....although the title of this thread does not apply to atheists, as, by definition, we have no "belief system" about gods.(alternative or otherwise) Might be why you have 6 pages of mostly pagans and wiccans, etc, replying to this thread, and very few atheists.
Atheism is a belief system, the way bald is a hair color.
Atheism is a belief system, the way not collecting stamps is a hobby.
Atheism is a belief system the way abstinence is a sexual position.
Things have vastly improved for atheists in just my lifetime, oh wow, you guys should have seen the 70s! shiver! First remark ws always "you wil burn in hell!" and First question, invariably, was "Well, do you worship the devil then?"
Not that long ago, people had never heard of an atheist, we were not on tv, no one was out at all, our numbers were far far less than they are today, and no books or mags would be on the shelves, and only were mentioned negatively, always.
Only atheist i ever saw for first many decades of my life, was my own reflection in the mirror, and Dr Ohare being pelted with eggs when she left her home, and mocked by the reporters and anchors with much relish.
I once had "you will burn in hell" keyed into my car for being out. People could treat a person with almost horror upon finding out you were not a christian, let alone an atheist. OH, i could bore you all with tons of stories of the typical reaction: to anyone finding out you were an atheist back then.
things have changed!!
Now, there are well spoken atheists all over tv, all over the internet, websites dedicated just for us!! Although atheists are hard to count, some counts have us as hight as 20% of the population!! (some nations, we are the majority, like Norway, for example).
it's becoming a whole different atmosphere, so glad i lived to see it. Most everyone today has met or at least heard of an atheist. They've stopped throwing eggs and keying our cars. (well, most of 'em)
We've come a long way, but, have a long way to go yet.
LIke many atheists, I have learned to not bring it up at work, instead, i do this: (reply #2)
that^ could work for all of you with alternative belief systems, too.