I am deeply disappointed in humanity these days. Many of us are, from both sides of the political divide, from many different religions and denominations, from those who claim non-religious spirituality, all the way to those who claim to be non religious. People of a wide variety of colors are all disappointed in humanity.
We have daily violence against minorities, LGBTQi, police. This is sickening.
One thing that disappoints me just as much as that, is the attitude that some have that their solution is the only answer. The one that bothers me the most is the attitude that we need Jesus.
I don’t need Jesus. I don’t need god. What I need is the ability to self reflect, admit to areas where I struggle, learn from my mistakes, and learn to accept differences in others WITHOUT trying to change them. This is called Self Awareness and would go a LONG way towards creating peace in the world.
Good without god. BUT – if you need god or Jesus to be good – I’m OK with that. I will protect your religious rights so long as it does not infringe on my rights to be non-religious.
I’m probably going to lose yet another family member as a Facebook friend. Because:
* I refuse to let people hold the belief that the US was founded on Christianity or that religious practices should be part of government or schools.
* I challenge hypocritical memes.
* I challenge things that don’t seem to be based on truth, but are presented as truth.
* I try to present alternative views to see if it sparks interesting dialogue (most of the time it pisses people off).
No, I’m not perfect. Not even close to it. But I’m interested in truth and freedom of choice. And even though I don’t like being unfriended or unfollowed, I’m still so much happier being *me* than I was when I wasn’t being me. And this is simply me being me!
Something I think about is why some conservative people want to make laws that prevent liberal people from doing things that do NOT harm others. Stop imposing your “values” on me and others who simply do not agree.
Gay marriage hurts no one.
If you are a county clerk who objects based on your religion, suck it up and tell god that you only do it as part of your job. Ask him for forgiveness, because that’s what he does – you know?
Same goes for bakers, florists and other types of businesses that might support weddings and marriages. Provide the service and have a talk with god telling him you do not support gay marriage.
But by no means should you deny service or give another person a “holier than thou” attitude. Sure, that lifestyle doesn’t work for you. No one is going to force you into it and you should not try to force anyone out of it if it works for them.
Education never hurts anyone.
I’m going to focus on sex education, but this applies to a broad range of scientific education. Appropriate, medically sound sex education does NOT involve telling kids to go have sex. Studies show that locales with abstinence only sex education have higher rates of teen pregnancy.
The opening paragraph of this government site says:
Using the most recent national data (2005) from all U.S. states with information on sex education laws or policies (N = 48), we show that increasing emphasis on abstinence education is positively correlated with teenage pregnancy and birth rates.
And there are many other organizations that show the same results. So if you are conservative and don’t want your kids having sex, you should talk about your values with your kids and what your expectations are – IN ADDITION to giving them the knowledge on how to prevent pregnancy and STDs if they chose to go their own way. That way my kid can still have his medically sound sex education provided by the school, which would [should] be way more accurate and complete than what I could provide on my own.
I was in a personal conversation with people at work about dating and what minimum requirements were in selecting someone to date. One of my big requirements is that he is somewhere between agnostic to atheist. I don’t want to risk offending someone I’m in an intimate relationship with. I like to talk about my views, so I know it would come up. And I don’t need to be “saved” because I simply don’t believe that there is a god.
So I told these people from work that I’m an atheist and they were fine with it. One of them even brought up the fact that I wouldn’t want a date to try to save me.
One of the other women is in the dating game and we asked her how she finds dates if she’s not using a dating site. She says she finds them at her church.
I immediately wanted to tell her I’m sorry if I offended her by saying I’m an atheist. I’m sure she’s not offended because of it, so why did I feel like that?
I reasoned myself out of saying sorry, thankfully. I think that more people need to be openly atheist / agnostic so that it doesn’t feel offensive to say it out loud.
Contrary to what you may have “learned” in the movie God’s Not Dead – atheists are not angry with God.
I’ve been a closet atheist for a LONG time – denying it even to myself until I came out recently. And it is simply because I do not find sufficient evidence to support me believing in ANY god. Nothing bad happens to turn someone into an atheist. I have been very pleased with my life overall. Has it been perfect, No! Has it been bad, NO!!!
I dated an agnostic / spiritual but not religious guy briefly and he was trying to pull away from his religious upbringing. I could tell that he had put a lot of thought into much of what he believed or didn’t believe, but one thing struck me as odd. He insisted that there must have been a specific point in time when I decided I was an atheist and that it would be linked to something that happened. But alas, that is not how it worked for me.
Atheists tend to be highly educated1. 27% of the general population have college degrees, while 43% of atheists claim the same. The more educated a person is, the more capable he or she is at critical thinking2. This of course does not guarantee that education will turn a person into an atheist, possibly due to the fact that many people find comfort in their religiosity. And then there is the factor of some religious individuals adhering to the beliefs that still make sense in the modern world, but forgoing those that no longer make sense2.
Gallup found in 2010 that the lower a country’s per capita income, the higher their population rates the importance of religion3.
Is religion an important part of your daily life? (Median responses among countries at each per-capita income level.)
Note that the US breaks the statistics with a higher than average percentage of religiosity (65%) compared to wealth (about $49,000).
Source: Atheist Group’s Adopt a Highway Sign Vandalized (Again) in California
How incredibly childish. I was walking through the parking lot at work last week and saw a few Christian bumper stickers. I thought to myself, I’m so sick of seeing all of these, maybe I should X over them with a big fat marker. Of course, I never would do that. Then I began to wonder what would happen if I were to put an atheist bumper sticker on my car and I thought someone would probably try to destroy it.
Lo & behold, then I see this!
Some messages are put into the public space seemingly only to divide people. I came across this one today on Facebook and it caused me quite a bit of grief, along with the comments supporting the message. To me, this message is the epitome of passive aggressiveness. There is nothing in this message to unite us as humans. It has subtle undertones of “Hey, we’re Christians and you have to do it our way. Like it or not!”
The majority of the people responding to that message are close family members. I love them dearly and always will. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I just “came out” as a non believer. Just because I love my family, it doesn’t mean that I agree with them. I also decided to speak up so that more people are exposed to critical thinking and more friends and family may be encouraged to speak out against messages that seem to only divide us. Too many of us take things like this at face value, or simply believe it because it matches what they feel and/or believe.
To those family members, I am truly sorry if you are offended by this blog post. I will not be silent and I hope that you understand that I am not “attacking” anyone. I’m only attempting to be more open and honest about my views.
It saddened me to read one of the first replies: “Only idiots want you to say happy holiday anyhow, since holiday mean ‘holy day’.” Because to me, saying Merry Christmas is great when you are confident that your audience is Christian and celebrates like you do. Saying Happy Holidays is much less likely to exclude people who are not Christian AND is a positive message. I cannot think of anything unkind (or idiotic) about saying Happy Holidays.
I spoke up to explain with: “Ummm, there’s more than one holiday during that period. There’s more than one religion. And there’s non believers celebrating in a variety of ways. So why not be more inclusive instead of assuming everyone is just like you and celebrates your holiday and believes what you believe?”
And I get responses like this (My thoughts follow each in red text):
- Do you just want to do away with Christmas, Easter and any acknowledgement of anything Christian, or God? Christmas is the main holiday at that time of year and no one can take our right away to say Merry Christmas. If you don’t like it, just excuse us for believing differently than you do.
When you tell someone merry Christmas and they don’t believe, it can be a bit disconcerting. They feel isolated. Saying happy holidays is more inclusive, but if you know that the person you are speaking to celebrates the way you do – then say merry Christmas.
- I also received a chat that I was attacking Christianity and it’s followers.
No, but I certainly felt belittled by the comment that only idiots want people to say Happy Holidays. That is a mild form of attack, regardless of my beliefs or non-beliefs.
- …do not try to make those of us who choose to say Merry Christmas feel guilty. You just make our belief’s stronger, and we pray harder for those of you who want to crush our faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that you are searching for God, and rebelling against what you believe to be true. My prayers will continue to help you find Him.
I never said anything about guilt. I don’t want people to feel guilty for saying Merry Christmas, but to understand why Happy Holidays is appropriate in many circumstances. I’m also not into crushing people’s faith. But on the other hand, I’m NOT searching for God.
- If you truly do not believe in God, why do you care about a bunch of empty words on your behalf? Why do you continue to post your non beliefs? We don’t want to be inclusive. We who truly believe, want to be positive about our wishes.
This one was the kicker for me. I was speechless for a moment. Number one, words are not empty. The entire message in the image was “Hey, do it my way – not this new way that is more inclusive.” And the part about me continuing to post my non belief, well – because I want the people of the world to know that non believers are regular people who have values, beliefs, compassion, and everything that believers have. “We don’t want to be inclusive.” That REALLY goes against my core belief of valuing diversity. We have so many kinds of people. Short, tall, skinny, fat, pale white to dark dark brown, olive toned, red toned, too many denominations of Christians to even think about, various other religions (estimates of 4,200), and such a huge diversity of thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. If we were open to sharing beliefs WITHOUT the intent of CONVERTING someone to the way we feel, we would learn so much.
My family is praying for me – and I appreciate the fact that they are thinking about me and care for me. I’m not praying for them though. Instead, I’m thinking about them and hoping that they will learn to be more accepting of the diversity in our world.
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I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.
John F Kennedy.
Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, delivered 12 September 1960 at the Rice Hotel in Houston, TX.