I have been an out atheist since my late teens. Not a casual decision; hell, my first crush was on Jesus—that handsome man with long brown hair and a beard as depicted on the little print I received as a prize in Sunday School after memorizing the Lord’s Prayer.
No. I gave religion a lot of thought and ultimately simply could not suspend my disbelief.
Back then I was in the minority, or at least seemingly so. If others questioned their belief in God they kept it to themselves, something I never felt obligated to do.
Through the years there have been both multiple and in at least one case, ongoing campaigns to convert me. And….not gonna happen.
My atheism is not nothing–it is my own well thought out belief system. Although some would argue to the contrary, atheism is not synonymous with amorality. I have a strong moral compass, one that is dictated not by rules but rather by what is right. And being atheist certainly doesn’t mean I ‘hate’ God, something I was recently accused of. I also don’t believe in unicorns, but that doesn’t mean I hate unicorns.
Many if not most of my friends subscribe to one organized religion or another and I have always been respectful of their belief system. Unfortunately, the respect has not always gone both ways.
For the most part I have been extremely tolerant. I understand that when someone is trying to convert me they feel they are doing me a favor. But, you are not. I’m good here; happy atheist if you will.
A week ago a family member sent me a card. They acknowledged how hard I have fought to stay alive: ‘most people would have given up years ago.’ But that was followed with this piece of advice; ‘Perhaps God is waiting for you to choose eternal life with Him.’
I cried. And then I drank too much.
The next morning I made some decisions. No more Ms Nice Guy when I am being blatantly disrespected.
Fortunately, reverse psychology often works for me. Case in point, in junior high my band teacher told me I would never master my instrument (a flute) because I had a cupid’s bow on my upper lip. Well damned if this girl didn’t go on to sit in first chair in both band and orchestra. If you tell me I can’t, I likely will.
But if you try to get me to do something that is in conflict with my personal beliefs, well, don’t even. I am open minded but I am not malleable.
And if there is a God, well they (I simply can’t gender something like God) are going to have to wait. I am in no hurry to find out if I am right or wrong.
My father in law who just passed of Covid was an atheist. At the end of the day none of this matters. What matters is the love we share for one another.
While I don’t consider myself to be an atheist, I appreciate what you are saying here. I’m just of the mind that if a god exists, she is more likely to be different than a traditional view of her may be. Would this god love me? Yes. Would this god love all of us? Yes. But I think of her more as an aquarium owner than a hands on kind of god. As an aquarium owner she tends to the needs of the aquarium. The heater works, the pump is functional, and she’ll throw in a snail or two when the glass needs extra cleaning. But mostly she leaves it alone, and gets her pleasure from just watching it continue at its own pace. You and me, the fish in the aquarium, swim around, sometimes being noticed, but generally, she is more concerned with the tank and not with individual members of its inhabitants. So, god can be good, and god can be loving, but it’s pretty much up to me to make sure that I eat, and that I stay away from that oversized angel fish that tries to nibble at my tail! God won’t protect me from him – but she did put in a windmill that’s just my size, and is just too small for that predator. Welcome to my fishbowl!
I use an ant-farm analogy, but it’s the same argument. 🙂
We each have to find what works for us. I am not a Christian or a believer in “God.” I do find Buddhism is closest to what I believe. After a jaw dropping session with a well known psychic, I do believe our energy and who we are continues. But my belief is it is science and another dimension and not religion.
Whatever works. And no, do not believe in heaven or hell and only Christians are saved and all that.
You have me smiling! You are my favorite writer. Wish you had a book out.
On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 12:12 PM life and breath: outliving lung cancer wrote:
> linnea11 posted: ” I have been an out atheist since my late teens. Not a > casual decision; hell, my first crush was on Jesus—that handsome man with > long brown hair and a beard as depicted on the little print I received as a > prize in Sunday School after memorizing the Lord” >
Linnea, We are thoroughly like-minded. I never came out, and I avoid linking my FB with my religious friends. I’m cool being closeted. Don’t care at all what others do and I don’t care what they know about me. They see how I behave and that’s enough. I would not tolerate friends whom blatantly shove their political or religious platitudes at me like some weapon. Rude and self-serving!
Love you warrior woman!
Love this so much. Just love each other….
Linnea, I have been reading your posts, like forever …. and with this post I type my first response. I love your honesty — you always touch and speak my thoughts so eloquently!
Thank you for being here for all of us!!