I became atheist probably a couple years ago.  Gradually, went from a crappy catholic to an atheist.(seen the light after some deep discussions with my daughter when she was home from college.)  She dropped the bomb on me and eventually, I saw exactly where she was coming from.      Anyway, before, when I was on the fence, religious people slightly annoyed me, but not that bad.   Now I can't stomach them for a minute.   I'm almost feeling hostile.    It seems like since I came to terms with my atheism, all I notice are people praying, blessing, giving credit to god, etc. etc.  It's annoying the shit out of me, to be honest.  I want to scream and pound them!   Does everybody feel that way? 

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Hey folks....I've been an atheist for many years and until recently I guess you could say passive atheist.....About 10 years now I have been doing a lot of "historical" research for some writing projects I have going, and the recent Islamic turmoil has led me to be very militant about mystic faiths. I am so happy that "WE" are not required by law to live by or even recognize mystic rules and dogma.
peace & happiness
Yeah,I do..I went from being an in the closet atheist to a flaming one...All the bs they fling around just amkes me want to puke through my nose.
I took the same path as you. Its funny how you get called out on expressing your non-religious views but they have the liberty of expressing their views as much as they want without criticism. Double standard?
Isn't it amazing that you never notice this as a believer, but as soon as you get outside that little box, you begin to really grasp how much religion influences our lives? Me personally, my rage comes and goes in cycles it seems. There is some threshold in my mind that once it is crossed, I am absolutely ballistic about religion for a while. It is really notable when someone dies. Its like boom, prayer city vomits onto your life and gives you a prayer cosby sweater.
8-9 years and counting, believers manage to annoy me every day more. That's pretty impressive, gotta give them that :P
Hi Lisa, I'm new to this site and it's an odd feeling. I'm used to feeling guarded, on the edge of hostile but here I realize I don't have to be. It's amazing and I'll have to get used to it.

Over the years I've developed a high level of alertness with regard to general things, who to trust, who not to date, what not to believe, etc. Realizing I'm an atheist was a relief on some level but on another, I also became annoyed with pervasive christian assumptions. I haven't settled anything yet and it seems every time I read the news or learn more in school (I'm a college student), I can plainly see that religion is the root of so many of our social ills or at least the willingness to be governed by those who push the dogma.

If you find any philosophy regarding any peace to be found with this issue, feel free to drop me a line. In the mean time, take heart knowing you're among friends and we feel your pain ; )
Hey I kinda relate not only was my father an evangelist he also built his own church.Most of my life I had question my father's faith not because I knew the truth about religion but because he made me read that pile of rubbish psalms and all from the preface to the very last chapter.I always asked my father if he had to read the bible as much as he made me read it,to my surprise he hadn't.But after going thru all those years of finding my true self I can say that if he wouldn't had me read the bible that much,I would never know it was full of mistakes that sometimes seem to childish even for a young man.Not to mention all the other atrosities I found in it.In our country I remember hearing helicopters droping bombs and bullets all around and, I would hide under the bed to see my poor mom pray and cry along with my dad. I can remember me telling dad stop praying and grab something so u can fight,but he did what any other coward does whe he feels death nearing pray.Needless to say when we got political asylum in America he gave up his faith and confessed that it was good while it payed the bills.To know that my dad was just milking this cow gave me more strenght to become the atheist that I am now.Fellow atheist we have taken on the biggest and most complicated task I as a Latin man living through some of the most extreme situations throughout my life I say I haven't even started batling,and as an opressed minority I say the U.S.A first then all Latin America untill we erase all religions off the face of the earth.
Wow, fantastic story. What country was this, if you don't mind me asking?

Religion has a strong hold on Latin people as it does my own people, Native American. I don't think my people realize that this religion was forced on them. They have an attitude of "White Man stole our land but he did give us a good thing, Jesus Christ." It's sad.
Do I? I live in a catholic state even Katrina couldn't do away with these catholic churches and,now is worst because of the oil spill weak minded people r frustrated with the goverment and turning to faith.
I could read the whole thing (perhaps tomorrow, it's just too late in the evening).

I went through my reactionary phase starting quite a while ago and ending fairly recently - spanning, I'd say, about 6 years. Religiosity still can, but especially then, make me sick. I even share your story and contend that "the leading cause of atheism in the world is catholicism" (--Jeffrey P. Murphy??)

But I've learned quite a bit along the way, bringing me out of this state of repulsion (most of the time).

1a. Holidays aren't *REALLY* about religion. I'd rather celebrate New Years with gifts and family, but I'm man-handled into Christmas. I find Easter repugnant, but love going to the Spring Equinox festivals (if there are none in your area, organize one - you might be surprised by the turnout). The holidays are about family, friends, love, and gifting/forgiving - all tenets of what I consider to be a happy life. They're not about bigotry, narcissism, hate, and resentment.

1b. when and if someone hints or suggests you exclusion from a holiday event, it is perfectly acceptable to remind them, kindly, that these same holiday themes have been present through all of history, dating to before even biblical times. And besides (1a), so why don't we just enjoy it.

2a. "praying for" translates into "hoping for, working towards, or meditating upon". Prayer isn't real, but what these people are doing is. They're sitting still, focusing their thoughts and energies on their hopes and desires. This may not be direct action, but that doesn't make it ineffectual. There is little doubt left in science for the power of the placebo effect, especially when combined with a strong conviction that the placebo is working.

2b. when they use this language in the condescending way we know they do, you don't have to back down, but still be polite dependent upon occasion. At holidays, I respond to this lightly with "there's no need. I'm in no position to need pity, spiritual or otherwise, and the implication that I'm somehow lacking could easily be offensive. So why don't we have a nice holiday without an unnecessary argument." The same can be used, minus the holiday bit, at other times of the year.

3. "blessing" translates into "I wish to repay you but I have nothing to give". While this can be viewed as patronizing, it's really just something people say to make you think you've been thanked. I don't find offense in this, but I do modify my approach to this person in the future. What's to make me believe you're stingy ass has *ANY* say in who god blesses? Why should he bless an atheist because a confessed sinner commanded it? But there's almost no sense in saying anything of the sort, though. Take it for a kind remark and move on.

3. "giving credit to god" translates into "I wouldn't be doing this unless I thought someone was watching". This goes in line with "it's gods will", "I'm doing gods work", and "morals and ethics come only from god". But the specific "giving credit to god" is in the far banal end of the spectrum, with "morals and ethics..." and "I'm doing gods work" near the more malign side, the latter depending on the context (working a soup kitchen every night cuz you believe its the way god wants you to quit drinking is fine, waring against a nation with a different metaphysical description of the world being bad). I take this one from others as false humilty. I like messing with the particularly prickish of this sort, but if the person isn't an asshole, just a fool, I let it go.

The point is, you can't get worked up all the time - it's not good for your health and just makes atheists look nuts. If you can remain calm while driving them nuts, that's a double win.

Just my $0.021
For a good few years after I started labeling myself openly as an atheist I was pretty tolerant, even had the occasional discussion with my christiand friends father who is a pastor. Lately though, I can't stand it for a second. My sister told my 7 yr old nephew that god lived in the sky, all I could say was "I used to fly planes up in the sky and I never saw any gods up there."

I just felt sick.
I probably have settled down a bit in time. I am always courteous and suck it up, but deep down I want to defend my lack of faith. I guess that's why I get so annoyed. It shouldn't be assumed that everyone is a believer, much less christian which so many Christians do. It seems downright rude to just assume everyone believes and not even take the time to find out before bestowing your blessings or prayers or whatever. Its so self righteous. I guess I haven't settled down that much, now that I think about it.


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