The title of this blog entry is very specific. If you are a very new reader let me explain that I am an atheist and have been so for most of my life. In grammar school I decided I had no use for concepts such as original sin. It didn’t make sense that my siblings and me had been into a life of sin. This idea of sinful children would have condemned our parents who were responsible for our having been born and who wants parents that bring them into sin?
Furthermore I was not impressed with the story of Jesus and I soon learned that there were hundreds of different equally unimpressive religions. So although I have felt a need for companionship and some of the other benefits of religion I have held steadfast to my belief that there is no afterlife. In addition, having overcome long periods of depression tro achieve a life worth living, I intend to live as long as possible.
If you meet with atheists you will find that some of us love to join online religious groups and make snarky comments. That’s not me. I simply hide the religious based comments of some of my religious Facebook friends and agree to disagree. I have fun in the atheist groups I belong to and exchange all kinds of jokes and puns.
So today is March 31, Easter, which floats around the calendar according to some bizarre formula. If you celebrate it, I hope you have a good time and that your belief brings some comfort. I hope you believe with your eyes open, however. I have read comments about believers that make me worry that they are unquestioning sheep. Belief with your eyes open means that you also hold science in high regard. You understand that there are contradictions in almost any holy book you read. Some of the stories make no sense at all. My favorite example being Noah and the ark filled with all of those animals. I’d like to hear a rational explanation for the idea that the bible is filled with stories of men who lived for hundreds of years in an era before people knew about infections, bacteria and sanitation. Mothers regularly died in giving birth until fairly recently.
Beyond that is the question of whether what you are being told and what you observe about your faith are aligned with your everyday life. Say for instance, you are part of a religion that condemns homosexuality but you have relatives, co-workers or other close friends who confide in you that they are gays, lesbians or transgendered? Who are you to judge them?
Ask yourself whether you can accept the idea that your government treats these people you care about as second class citizens, actively discriminating against them? Finally, what about the question of separating church and state? Have you heard the myth about how wonderful things were when public school students could pray in school? I was one of those students and no one asked me whether I wanted to pray. I was simply brought to a church one afternoon per week for religion until I stood up one day and refused to go. Separating church and state protects the minority from the tyranny of the beliefs of the majority. Our government is led by the constitution, not the Bible, the Koran or any other book. And the First Amendment to the constitution serves a very specific purpose in protecting your ability to enjoy your holiday and my ability not to share it.
- Care and feeding of your atheist Pagan, by Rhett Aultman (humanisticpaganism.com)
- Why I Am An Atheist (patheos.com)
- Teresa MacBain, a Pastor-Turned-Atheist, Celebrates Her One Year ‘Coming Out’ Anniversary (patheos.com)