I've been reading so many blogs recently and much of it is so depressing. Every time that I hear a new story about the fundamentalist state of mind and the effects that it's having both on world and people, it's so sad.

So then, why are we the bad guys? We're the ones who are hate-filled and and unwilling to try and understand. While I have the same distaste for the religion itself, I have a lot of trouble coping with how to address "the flock". I guess it depends on the person. Many I find to be sincere, devout followers who think that they are in the right. But many others, I get the impression of willful ignorance, staring facts down and trying to find ways in which to deny what they see. Why then are these people normally the worst of them all in trying to beat everyone over the head with their agenda? I guess if I was trying that hard to convince myself of something, maybe I would try really hard to convince others as well.

Or maybe I am. I was raised with a very "god will help you" mentality and I can't shake the sound of my grandmother's voice from my head, and a slight flutter in my chest, whenever I refer to myself as an atheist. Also, I find myself looking at irrelevant things, like series of numbers, and thinking, if only fleetingly, that they represent some kind of message. This is all to say that it makes me think that maybe I'm just like those believers I just mentioned. I'm not steadfast in my (non)beliefs and that maybe that has something to do with why I want others to understand my point.

I'm really looking for people to help me come to terms with my identity. When I come out to my family, this is likely to get me at least nearly disowned. They didn't allow my sister to family functions for years after she came out as a lesbian. And the only reason her girlfriend is allowed over now is because they started going to church. Some may ask why I would even want acceptance from this bunch, but they're family and I love them.

Okay, I hope that someone reads this and has some brilliant words for me. Thanks for listening.

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Comment by Krista on January 2, 2009 at 8:35am
I also felt nervous about my atheism at first and found myself still looking for "signs" in everyday things. Learning more science is what gave me more confidence and took away those superstitious fears. Especially reading Richard Dawkin's books. Up until I read his books I was an agnostic. As for family, mine is fundamental independent baptist and I'm a lesbian. Nobody I date will EVER be welcome at my parents house no matter what I do. For the past year or so I've had a barely balanced harmony with them but before that I didn't speak to them for three years. I don't accept that they will never accept me. I don't think it would be right to accept it. But thats just me! I still love my family and always will ... but thank god (ha) for AN!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on January 2, 2009 at 2:49am
I'm really not trying to 'blogdick' here, but if you have some time you might be interested in a blog I wrote on myspace when I first started getting into this 'atheist' thing. I think you'll find I shared some of your thoughts (and still do!).

A Journey Into Atheism
Comment by Spork on December 31, 2008 at 3:02pm
Many people who still follow religion do it because it's easy to. Not everyone wants to read about evolution, astronomy, and other religions. They aren't interested. So when you mention to be against something they have been taking for granted most of their life, of course they're going to object! You would too, you're human. You really have to take arguments with a grain of salt and keep your cool.

Today, I find it helpful to compare most of the religious in America with the citizens of ancient Greece or Rome. Many, in those days, believed in their religion, just as they do today. Some elites of then, and almost everyone today, regard those religions as myth. Religion is myth, but people use the term religion with a sense of elevation, falsely.
As an atheist, a big step for me, was learning to be content, having a good life, and realizing that a some people are willingly brainwashed.
Comment by Becky Garcia on December 31, 2008 at 1:30pm
Sorry, no brilliant words here. But I think I relate to your feeling depressed after reading the blogs. I read a lot of blogs that are really depressing. This has not been such a good time for GLBT rights, women's rights or, as you said, atheism and anti-theocracy. It seems like all the blogs are bad news.

And it is hard to come out with a label like that. I think Sam Harris said that "atheist" is something close to "child molester" on the list of things people don't want to be. Someone in a class I had a couple semesters ago actually thought that an atheist was a satanist. It sucks sometimes, but that's why it's important to be true to yourself whenever you can and to educate people.

It's also especially hard when you feel like all you're trying to do is help but people hate you. For example, feminists have a lot of bad stereotypes, but we're really just people who believe in equality of the sexes and we'd like the world to be more egalitarian. GLBT people and their straight allies are trying to make the world more fair, but people treat them badly, too. Some moron even called peaceful protests against Prop. 8 "anti-family rioting"! It's really, really frustrating to see radical members of the religious right enjoy mainstream popularity, but I honestly think that a lot of it is because people aren't fully aware of how hateful they are and how harmful their influence of society is.

It may not always look like it, but I don't think that most people agree with the religious right. And if they do, it's probably because they don't really question it enough. I think that if people saw their true agenda they would be as outraged as we are. Times are changing and people do seem to be slowly but surely coming to their senses. What's that MLK quote...? Something like "the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."



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