Monday, November 19, 2012
Why I Hide In The Atheism Closet
For many years my favorite song has been 'Imagine' by John Lennon. I seem to find that it is on many people's list of favorites. It was brought back (as if it ever left) by A Perfect Circle, which is one of my favorite bands. I can listen to it for hours, back to back.
I like the song for all of it's lyrics. I am an atheist. I don't believe there is a God. I don't think there is an afterlife. I think today, right here, right now is all we have. I tried to be a Christian. I tried Wicca. I tried several differently philosophies and have come to atheism, with a hint of Buddhism (which no deity is involved with) to be where I have comfortably settled. After researching, living and trying out different ideas I am pretty happy with being where I am. So, you may wonder, why is it you never talk about it? Are you ashamed of your stance?
I am not ashamed of my stance. I am confident with what I have chosen to be a good path for myself. I am however ashamed of how others who adopt the same stance behave. I can log onto Facebook and see many of the pages that discuss atheism speak about and to others that do not hold the same belief with contempt anytime, any day. I can look up blogs that hold up extreme examples up to discredit religion. Pages and blogs that use Westboro Baptist Church as ammo, is one good example. As if most Christians align themselves with that extreme group, anyway. Atheists that do not hesitate to let others know there is no God. They intrude on religious blogs spreading negativity. They really set a bad example for the rest of us. I do believe that it is important that religion be removed from our government. I believe that, because I believe that we should have the ability to choose and if religious beliefs are being written into laws, then we are not free to choose as citizens. This means that I have to respect others in their choices. Even if I think their choices don't make sense. I will continue to rail against any harmful actions religious beliefs can to manifest, yes. There are some religions that view women's rights in ways is harmful. I will stand up to that action, but I will not attack that person's whole religion. I never see the value of attacking their intelligence level based on their beliefs. I can't go a day without seeing something on an atheist blog, page ect... claim that religion is for the simpleminded, feeble minded, or whatever other synonym you would like to insert there to mean stupid. This is a common saying in the atheist community and I find it offensive. I think it is an awful way to view others that see the world differently than you. Insulting the intelligence of others is not going to get them to hear what you have to say. It's going to make them feel attacked, and defensive, which in turn will make them discount your words completely.
I read somewhere the other day (I wish I had saved it so that I could cite it, but I didn't) that our beliefs aren't what makes us who we are, it's our actions that do. Our actions make our character. You can't sit and think your way to being a kind person. You have to do something that is kind to manifest that quality. Sitting on the internet and at little meetings with other atheists discussing how simple, and wrong religious people are does not make you a positive person. It does not make you better than them. It manifests more negativity in the world, which is the last thing we need. You can't change the world by bashing what is wrong with it in your eyes. You change the world by sharing with others what is right with it.
Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate.