The Out Campaign is a public awareness initiative for freethought and atheism. It was initiated by Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell, Executive Director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and is endorsed by Richard Dawkins, who is a prominent atheist. The campaign aims to create more openness about being an atheist by providing a means by which atheists can identify themselves to others by displaying the movement's scarlet "A". It encourages those who wish to be part of the campaign to come out and re-appropriate, in a humorous way, the social stigma that in some places persists against atheism, by branding themselves with a scarlet letter.
... there is a big closet population of atheists who need to come out. -- Richard Dawkins.
R. Elisabeth Cornwell has stated that the gay rights movement was a source of inspiration for the campaign. The campaign, however, encourages one to "out" only oneself; it invites atheists to:
Reach out and talk to others about atheism and help spread a positive view of atheism
Speak out about their own beliefs and values without feeling intimidated, thus helping people realize that atheists don't fit stereotypes and are a very diverse group
Keep out, meaning to promote the idea that religion should be kept out of public schools and government, and that nobody's religious agenda should be allowed to intimidate
Stand out and become visible in their communities and become involved.
When do you think people die? When they are shot through the heart by the bullet of a pistol? No. When they are ravaged by an incurable disease? No. When they drink a soup made from a poisonous mushroom!? No! It’s when… they are forgotten.