Why I Need to be Outspoken About Atheism

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Someone posted this on my Genesis Bible Commentary page and since I don’t get too many comments around here, I thought it warranted its own post.

I must confess that I have not read you commentary, just seen some of your pages while looking for something else.
But  I was just wondering why someone who clearly does not believe in God go to such extreme lengths to proof it. Like someone building a plane to proof that a plane can not fly.
Just let go! If you carry on reading and studying like this you run the risk of becoming a believer! Enjoy your carefree life, I mean, if you are dead you are dead, why worry.

Hi Josua, thanks so much for stopping by and inquiring. It’s a fair question, but it would also be fair to ask a MADD member why they want to stop people from drunk driving or why an interventionist keeps trying to get people to go to treatment or why social workers are always trying to convince people to end their abusive relationships. Because we care about people other than ourselves.

You must understand, I’ve seen some pretty awful things happen in the name of religion, and I had some very intense, insane, and in retrospect, terrifying experiences during the couple years I was a believer. I also had a friend who put a knife to a woman’s throat over a religious disagreement. I had another who jumped off a bridge because Jesus told him he could fly. I’ve had two close friends (two that confided in me about this, anyway) who were depressed and borderline suicidal because they were convinced that God hated them and wanted them to suffer. I have seen enough effects from religion to know these are not just isolated incidents.

And finally, I had a next-door neighbor, whose family actually introduced me to God when I was a kid, who murdered six people in the name of Jesus in 2008.

It’s hard to see all this needless suffering and not want to speak up to try to make a difference. I feel sometimes like I could have saved those six people if I had just wandered to the end of the road and given my neighbors grief for what they believed. I was too respectful, or too shy or young, or just didn’t care. Maybe I never could have made a difference, but I’ll never know. I don’t ever want to feel like that again, so I decided that I wasn’t going to hold back in my fight against the insanity.

I totally respect and care about all the religious folks out there who are being victimized and don’t realize it, but I don’t feel obligated to respect a religion that promises to “draw people toward goodness” and pretends like it’s bringing communities together, then turns around and directly causes this much suffering in my friends and neighbors. I do, however, feel an obligation to speak the truth and help others avoid that suffering.

2 thoughts on “Why I Need to be Outspoken About Atheism”

  1. I find your experiences horrifying as well, sadly I see that none of them disprove God but instead prove the easy degree to which human nature is perverted to violence, and self destruction. While this happens in the name of religion, it also happens for many other reasons. Many of these reasons are intertwined within each other wealth, and the lack of it, respect, a sense of belonging, and the list goes on. Having grown up surrounded by those who believed everything from Satan to the idea that they were vampires who could go out in daylight, what I find is not that God does not exist, but that human beings need the ability to separate fact from fiction. The idea that certain books of the bible for example are literal truth is laughable, many are creation stories and myths the same as any other culture, it doesn’t mean they aren’t important, but the stories of Adam and Eve hold as much truth for me as the stories of Oberon and Titania. This does not mean that I doubt a higher power is responsible for the creation of my universe, only that the only human way to understand this is to be carefully grounded in reality. I am sorry that religion, and specifically the Christian religion has done you so much harm, it should never have happened that way. I would love to converse intelligently as I have often found that discussions with Atheists yield more religious truth than those who dub themselves, “believers,” because the believers never try to understand their faith, and outsiders see things differently. I hope you take this message in the spirit it was given, and I look forward to reading some of your work, your writing just in response to this comment seemed clear, concise and well thought out.

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