Should Non-Theists refuse to Address the Clergy using their Religious Titles?

 the Right Reverend Robert Loiselle, the Right Reverend George Langberg and the Most Reverend Council Nedd II …among others

The Reverend:  The term is an anglicisation of the Latin reverendus, the style originally used in Latin documents in medieval Europe. It is the gerundive or future passive participle of the verb revereri (to respect; to revere), meaning [one who is] to be revered/must be respected. The Reverend is therefore equivalent to The Honourable or The Venerable.   —Wikipedia

As a non-theist and non-supernaturalist, I see religion as a negative for society as a whole.  Even its nicer forms (liberalism) encourage educated adults to speak (pray) to invisible beings.  In my view, teaching anyone, child or adult, to speak to and believe in invisible beings is unhealthy.  So here is the question:  should non-theists be complicit in reinforcing the respectability of religion in our society by addressing members of the clergy with their religious titles? 

Religion has come up with some pretty lofty titles for members of the clergy: “Father”, “Pastor”, “Reverend”, and even more lofty, “The Most Reverend”, “His Imminence”, and the daddy of them all, “His Holiness”.  Should non-theists refuse to use these labels?  Should we tell those offended by this that it would be a violation of your conscience to do so?  Should we address these persons simply by their first and last names?   Or how about this alternative: Instead of “Reverend” John Doe, use PS John Doe.

When asked what “PS” stands for, you can explain: “Practitioner of the Supernatural”.


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