I am frequently told by a myriad of individuals that atheism is irrational, stupid, uncool and just plain negative, I am told that our worldview is asinine, that we are running from god and that we believe that we are descended from monkeys
Hard to believe that two years ago this was essentially the same belief I held about atheism! I already submitted my testimony, I believe "We are one with the cosmos" was its title. Since then I have told one of my parents about my newfound (lack of) beliefs, argued with my fundie father, tried in vain to get out of church, and still continue to suffer through a Christian school
BUT! That's just the bad. I can say with 100% certainty that despite my situation I have grown as a person in the past two years more then I could ever have imagined. The continual church services I'm forced to sit through has given me a myriad of ways to refute the various claims made by these people. The theology classes (I have been kicked out of three) serve to give me an insider's view of the religion. However, probably the biggest change in me is simply this:
I love life.
I'm no longer afraid to live. I'm no longer afraid to think and let my various hormone laden thoughts flow freely through me, I'm not afraid to say "thats fucking bullshit" when someone tries to tell me what to do with my penis, and most importantly I'm not afraid to let my uncorrupted sense of morality govern my thoughts and actions. I now believe in the absolute freedom of the individual to accomplish anything they feel like (provided it harms no one). Whereas before, I was constantly paranoid about conforming to Gods will.
This is perhaps the biggest turn off about the Christian religion, It requires (and in most cases demands) unrealistic levels of conformity, Christian dress has to CONFORM to standards of Christian modesty. Christian music must CONFORM to standards of Christian decency. Christian women must CONFORM to the authority of their Christian husbands who must in turn CONFORM to the authority of the church who must in turn CONFORM to the authority of the bible
Well fuck! With all this conformity going on you wonder how Christians manage to do anything, be anything or live happy, comfortable lives. I have discovered that in most cases either they don't, or they do by ignoring most of the core teachings of Christianity, reaching for its god as a means of comfort (think a giant cosmic teddy bear) or as a way of proving to themselves that they are worth something. Is this really any way to live at all? What is "freedom in Christ" or whatever they are calling their particular brand of conformity now? In the end it all means the same. You CONFORM to the church's teachings, then spend eternity CONFORMing to God in heaven (We were created for the sole purpose of glorifying God, remember?)
When people say that Christianity has made their lives worth something, I can't imagine for the life of me how horrible they must have had it before. But it has ceased to be something that pisses me off and is now something that just makes me giggle.
So what is the point of this article? I honestly don't know. I suppose I can sum up the essence of everything I have learned, everything I am, and everything I believe in this way:
I am a small part of a large universe, I am just one living being on a planet of billions of living beings in a universe that quite possibly contains trillions of living beings. I consign "worship" to nothing, and that's because no supernatural being is in any way, shape or form more beautiful then nature -- not more complicated, more elegant, or more mysterious. Nature is my "god" and my mind is my own church. I believe I have one life to live and that I might as well have a blast and do my best to help others do the same. I believe that religion stemmed from the simple human need for understanding the world around them, and that like an old hypothesis it has been outmoded, and thus we are obligated to remove it and look at other options. I believe that the worst thing about religion is that it stifles human growth, morality and all around enjoyment of life, I believe in laughing, living, loving, sharing a joke with a good friend, enjoying the feeling of holding that special person in your arms, drinking a good cup of tea, having kinky sex, being spontaneous and obnoxious, listening to music that doesn't feature an invisible flying Jew as a central theme. I believe in science, skepticism and the thorough debunking of any and all malarkey that might lead someone away from experiencing reality. I believe there are no "bad" or "good" people, just people who need different kinds of love and recognition. I believe we are not dirty sinners in a constant battle with the evil one, but rather the human race, we have our flaws. We are capable of unspeakable evil, but also of selfless love, elegance and unshakable beauty. We can do great things, we just have to WANT to to do those great things.