Darwin Bedford

I declared myself to be the Atheist Messiah in May of 1999. I saw in my dictionary that the word "messiah" could mean "any leader and liberator of any oppressed people", and the word "oppress" means "to treat with unjust harshness or to cause to feel mentally or spiritually burdened". I recognized that atheists were hiding in closets afraid to speak out that they did not believe. I knew that individuals who do believe are oppressed and harmed by their religion. So I coined the term "atheist messiah" and stepped into the roll.

Since then other people have taken a liking to the shock value of the term and are using it to describe other well known, outspoken antitheists such as Richard Dawkins, James Randi, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. I'm sure these people don't even want the title. There are certainly many others that deserve the title more than I for getting the word out that religions are both false and harmful. I suppose there can be more than one atheist messiah, but at least I was first to use the term and to try to live up to it.