Why is it so hard for some people to understand how someone could be happy without worshiping a god or gods? Life isn’t really that unbearable that I have to make up a better life for after this one and I get that other people feel they need that heaven for after they die. I don’t need that incentive and that just means I have to make the most of the time I have. It doesn’t mean I’m angry or miserable and I get tired of that accusation. I was never a part of a religion but I have tried a few out and I have to say I’m happier living my life for what it is rather than what comes after. I don’t know what happens after I die and I doubt my consciousness survives so I don’t expect I’ll ever find out. Anyone who tells you they know what happens after you die is selling you something and I’m not buying anything.
So what do I believe? I can’t say I believe in evolution or the big bang because those things will be true no matter what I believe. I don’t spend much time trying to figure …click here to read more
It started with a blog by Pastor Dan Delzell of Nebraska, posted by Jose Bosque of Florida, about how being gay was a sin and why churches shouldn’t change the bible. When I saw this I couldn’t let that pass without commenting on other things that Christian’s have let go, like shell-fish, mixed fabrics and slavery. The trouble is Pastor Bosque made reference in the comment section about AIDS being gods wrath against homosexuality. I challenged this on his Facebook posting of his blog telling him he shouldn’t comment on HIV/AIDS when he doesn’t know anything about it. Jose assures me that he has done mission work in Africa where AIDS is an epidemic and thus this qualified him to speak on the subject. He also stated that heterosexuals don’t get HIV. It amazed me that there were still people spreading that dangerous lie so I felt it was important to correct this information. Why bother with another bigoted preacher? What good could possibly come of it?
The importance of correcting this lie that Jose really believes is that he has a platform. This isn’t the usual religious ridiculousness we deal with every day, this was a dangerous lie that jeopardizes …click here to read more
I’m sure we’ve all heard the reasons why today’s Atheist needs to be outspoken. It’s probably more true in the United States than anywhere else. We’ve seen Indonesia send an Atheist to prison for something as trivial as a Facebook post and Atheists have been killed in some countries for blasphemy. Atheists in those countries risk their lives while here in the US there are still Atheist too afraid of what their co-workers or family might think of them. I understand the fear of being ostracized by family or friends but the rest of us need to be outspoken.
Many of the Atheists I have met, just in Jacksonville, Florida, have become more emboldened just by seeing other Atheists speak out. Some who would never have admitted to being an Atheist were able to be more open because they saw that other Atheists were able to be open without losing everything. It’s important to show others that it’s not as uncommon as they think but it’s even more important to stand up and be counted in today’s political climate. Religion has thoroughly corrupted and been corrupted by the Republican party. Today anyone running for office has to claim some sort of religious allegiance. Lets face it the reality is that a Muslim has a better chance of winning an election than an Atheist.
How do Atheists gain some acceptance in society if we don’t show people who we are? We are just people like everyone else. We care about our families and our communities. We are decent moral people, living as normal a life as anyone else and we have to show people that. Right now religion gets away with painting us however they want. We are the evil monsters that are destroying the country and as long as people don’t know us that belief will go unchallenged. The friends that I have who are religious are not as able to think of Atheists as evil because they know me. They may have other misconceptions about me but we are free to discuss those things as friends.
If we can overcome the fears of how family will react or how friends will react we have an opportunity to change minds and get on to the important fights like getting rid of morality based religious laws that allow doctors, pharmacists and nurses to not do their job when it’s against their religion. If you’re a pharmacist then your religious objection to that persons choice is irrelevant. If a doctor is a Jehovah’s Witness that doesn’t mean they can stop their patient from getting a blood transfusion if that’s what they need. We need to fight to keep science in our schools and make the history classes as accurate as possible. We aren’t the only ones standing up against religious based laws that hurt women and the LGBT community but we do need to be counted on those fronts.
Being an Atheist doesn’t mean agreeing with other Atheists on most issues but we do have to show those people we know that there is nothing wrong with having a lack of belief in god or gods. It doesn’t make us amoral or evil. It doesn’t require us to behave in a particular way. I’ve been asked a lot how anyone can have morals without religion and it’s always been a ridiculous question to me. I have never met someone who got their morals from a religious text. There are always amoral things in religions that people will ignore. I tell people that everyone gets their morality the same way I did. I tell them that in my opinion personal experience plus empathy equals a persons individual morality.