Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Wouldn't Belong to Any Club That Would HAVE Me As a Member.

I see that the Seattle Times has proclaimed Atheists as "Hot!"

This is a little irritating for me. I've always been a person who does not believe. There was never a good reason for me to believe. I was never tempted to find solace in faith.

For fifty four years, wherever I go, whoever I'm with, I end up getting bonked on the head with somebody's religion. I've been the target of conversion attempts twice in the last year, by people who pray for me and pity me and are very sad that I'm going to go to Hell. Am I offended? No! I reassure them. I tell them that I love life as much as anyone can, that I take joy in my marriage, my books, my plants and my rocks. I tell them that I'm going to be fine and that they shouldn't worry about me.

As I've said before (and will doubtless say again), I don't even like the term 'Atheism'. Denying theism gives theism too much creedence. Why should there be a name for a null function? Why isn't it the default position? I don't have to give a name to my disbelief in banshees or the Fountain of Youth. Why should I identify with people who single out some petty little Gods to disbelieve in?

But it seems that Atheists are now forming clubs. Going on camping trips. Having cook-outs. Organizing. Eeeeew! They believe in Atheism!

I think they're on the wrong track there. The problem is religion. I don't deny the fact of religion. It exists as surely as the Sun and the Moon. It HAS existed, in myriad forms, as long as we have. Religion has deeply affected the course of history. Literature, music, painting, architecture have all been inspired by religion. (Or commissioned by some rich clod looking to buy a ticket to Heaven.) Religion has also inspired Inquisitions, Crusades, Jihads, and Genocide and no-holds-barred war, and continues to do so to this day. In the 3,000 or 4,000 years in which the Abrahamic religions have developed, and distorted and deranged (The Big Three, The Top Dogs, The Chosen, The People of Peace) their followers have been killing each other AND themselves as exuberantly as if there were no tomorrow. The words of their Holy Books, as contradictory, arbitrary and insane as they might be, are cherry-picked for passages that will allow even more atrocities and horrors to be committed whilst citing a higher authority.

Religion has had it's finger in every pie that it could lay it's greedy, divisive, irrational and POLITICAL hands on. That's what we have to put a stop to. Religion can no longer be allowed to dictate national policy, or decide which books we can read and which books should be banned or burned. We are a civil society, duty-bound to use reason, evidence and precedence to govern ourselves. (I'm talking about the USA here. Taking on any more would be biting off more than I could chew.) Religions are constructs of man, designed to raise high the elite and repress the rest. And I CAN label myself as anti-religion.

I'm not the thought police. I would never attempt to coax or coerce others into accepting my status of an anti-religionist as their own. I just require that they stay out of my face with their religion, on both a personal and national level.

Here Endeth the Lesson.

- Maggie


Andrew said...

I think it's a good thing that atheists--or non-believers if the word atheism really is that irksome to you--are coming banding together. Don't you think atheists have been quiet and polite long enough?

How are we supposed to remove religion from the political scene if we atheists don't band together? We're supposed to work alone? Just because we are banding together does NOT mean that atheism is becoming a belief system or a religion.

It just means that we are finally getting ANGRY enough that we are not afraid to take on religion full force.

TiaHermanaMaggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TiaHermanaMaggie said...

I think that non-believers and anti-religionists should set a good example. They should do good deeds, because morality (not religion) calls for it. They should cast their votes for people who promise to abide by civil law and the Constitution, instead of the Ten Commandments.

I've been openly 'Atheist' all my life. For most of that time I was the only 'Atheist' that I knew. (Or at least the only one who would come right out and announce it.) There are a lot of 'nouveau atheists' out there, and I'm afraid that they haven't fully examined the extent of their disbelief. I'm afraid that they ARE going to turn Atheism into a religion.

As for being quiet and polite, that's never been a problem for me, as evidenced by the post that you've replied to. I never needed to be part of a group in order to muster up the courage to say 'crapola' to anyone who waves the Good Book at me. There are numerous other posts that I've written in this blog about reason, evidence, rationality and disbelief. (I'm not the only author on this blog. Can't speak for the others.)

I'm open to the idea that I might be wrong, or rather, that what works for me isn't necessarily going to work for others. But I honestly think that the first step in abandoning our childish reliance on the ultimate father-figure is to become free-thinkers; individuals who have no need of moral support. You don't need to be part of a group to state your case. You don't need to be part of a group to write articles or cast your votes. Just be yourself and do what you know is right.

I occasionally volunteer to cook at the church my husband belongs to. I do so because the Pastor is a man of excellent character, secure enough in his philosophy that he actually introduced me to another non-believer (one of his best friends) because he knew we shared similar political views. Pastor Tim is a good man and I approve of his church because they do very good deeds. We have no need to argue, he and I. Neither of us desires to convert the other. We know where we stand and we accept it and we work together. If I were to join the local chapter of the Atheist's Society, I would be might be vilified or 'excommunicated' because of my relationship with this honorable and courageous man.

Not worth it. I make my own choices.

- Maggie

quinn said...

ya look what atheists did, (i consider my-self a non-caring person about religion, no word for that) they made a first atheist chyrch, at this url

Maggy said...

Amen. There is no god to forgive my sins. I'm my own watch dog.

I do believe that certain aspects of religion in politics, society, business do call for a frontal attack. But I doubt if it would be possible to unite enough atheists to have even the sleightest chance of winning. Both because atheism isn't an -ism and because even in relatively secular Europe christian parties have a large loyal electorate.