Monthly Archives: January 2013

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
~ Jack Kerouac

“Here’s to the …

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How does being an atheist affect your politics?

I have been thinking about this for a while now. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be hanging out with my local atheist meetup group. I was new to the group, so I mostly sat back and listened, throwing in the occasional comment. Then the conversation turned to politics and the upcoming executive decision on gun rights. It was clear that they were on the side of banning firearms and imposing as many restrictions as possible. I sat back quietly and listened to what they were saying. Oh goodness, if they only knew my dirty little secret.

I’m a Libertarian. GASP!

Or Libertarian-ish. I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I want the government small and out of my personal space. I want to earn and keep as much of my money as possible while giving a reasonable amount of financial assistance to my fellow man (NOT government) in need. I want to keep my right to safely bear arms and protect my family if the need were to arise. I want a true separation of Church and State for the sake of my children and their children. Everyone is different, but these are my personal convictions. It had not occurred to me how much of minority conservative or middle of the road folks would be in the atheist community.

Last week I asked how everyone felt about proselytizing. Sword of Apollo made a bold statement in regards to people’s belief system and how it influences their vote:

“I wouldn’t care much about other people’s beliefs, if they didn’t vote to coerce people like me based on them. Various groups want to ban abortion, ban “vices,” impose forced charity such as welfare and Medicaid, impose subsidies, force employers to abide by labor union rules, impose minimum wages, etc.

When people use the government to coerce me like this, then I have a serious problem with the beliefs that cause them to do it.”

I agree with him wholeheartedly. What are your thoughts? I’m not asking for anyone to come out and tell me their own personal political choice, as that is none of my business. I am curious to see if you feel pulled more-so in one definite direction due to your non-belief?

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Let’s talk about proselytizing.

“Have you heard about the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?” You might be asked this very question while standing in line at Wal-Mart or the grocery store if you are lucky enough to live where I do. This happens often enough, yet I still can’t grapple with why it is socially acceptable. Despite living in a rural area, we still get our doorbell rang by the Witnesses, Mormon’s, and Christian’s. The last Witnesses that came to the house luckily didn’t make it past the front steps, but they did threaten to come back and show me” the truth about Jesus that is hiding in the Bible that you read”. I guess she assumed I was a Christian. Luckily I haven’t seen or heard from them since. This was bothersome even before I was atheist, but even more so now. I have never been the type to shout my convictions from the rooftop. I have always been of the opinion that whatever I believe was no one else’s business or concern. So why do strangers feel the need to come to my private residence and ask to come inside my house uninvited and share what they are happy about? I know the logical answer to this question is that they are compelled by their beliefs to save my soul and share the good news. But what if non-believers did the same? What if the atheists of the world decided to jump in a van and drive around neighborhoods with a copy of a science book and Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” and showed people what we were so happy about? How well would we be received?

On the other hand, how do you feel about atheists proselytizing? Do any of you have an opinion? Do you feel the need to attempt to change the minds of religious people? Personally, I don’t feel comfortable engaging someone in a discussion for the sole purpose of telling them they are silly for believing in fairy tales and they should really rethink their stance on life. I am fine with expressing or even debating my beliefs when asked, but I am not about to go out of my way to broach the subject of my beliefs. I hope to always be respectful of others and give atheism a positive name. What are your thoughts?

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Richard Dawkins on religion

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/general/2012/12/2012121791038231381.html

This was an interview and discussion that was aired on AlJazeera. I found it last week while visiting another blog (I wish I could remember which one!). It was very interesting and thought provoking.

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Separation of Church and State? I think not.

It’s a great notion, really. To be completely honest and fair, I have never had a problem with the First Amendment as it applies to education in public schools until the past year. I never had a problem with prayer at football games or during school assemblies. This was, of course, because I was a Bible toting Christian at the time. I always thought that if this bothered an atheist or someone with another religious background…well, they would just have to ignore us and deal with it. I realize now how rude and dismissive I was for thinking this way.

I have kids. They attend a state run daycare and public schools here in the Bible belt. I was under the impression that religion was not allowed in the classrooms of state funded schools. Last week as I was driving one of my kids home from school, he starts to tell me about Moses and the burning bush. This was something that he had learned that day in school. He isn’t old enough to have history class, so that is not the context that it was taught. My other child comes home from daycare with coloring pages of manger and resurrection scenes. How confusing is it going to be to tell them that Jesus isn’t the only way and that there are other options including non-belief? I want my kids to be open minded to all that this life has to offer. I don’t want them to be closed minded like I was for most of my life. How difficult is it going to be when there are others in their path that are telling them otherwise, including the public education system and my Christian family?

I would love to get the opinions of others in the free-thinking community. And GO!

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What just happened?

Well, here I am. Grown up, married with kids, and without religion. It seems that what was supposed to have been ingrained into my DNA is suddenly missing. I have experienced many things that were supposed to steer me in the other direction,yet here I sit, starting a blog about what it has been like to find myself in a place I never would have dreamed. This blog is more than just about a journey into non belief. I want it to be about what I have learned about myself in the process and will no doubt learn along the way. I am hoping to meet new friends and hear your stories as well. Much of what has propelled me to start this is the fact that I am closeted and have no idea how to approach this sensitive subject with my very religious family. Let the fun begin!

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