If you’re of the Christian faith the title of this writing may probably be sacrilege and inflammatory to you. If so that was the intent. Now many of you know precisely how I, and many others of my ilk, feel when we tell you we don’t believe in a God and you look at us as though we arrived from the distant planet Bonobo inhabited by flying purple juice pigs.
My name is Toddy English and I am, in fact, an ATHEIST (and NO this is not an alcoholics anonymous meeting.There is no shame in this playa’s game).
Now, allow me to preface by stating that I have nothing against Christians or Christianity (unless you are Christian and infringing upon my rights and civil liberties, then that is a problem). I am just sick and tired of being ridiculed and castigated simply because I don’t have faith in a God that NO ONE can even prove exists.
Let me state that this is just a rant. I am not going to write a series of essays, ala Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins, deconstructing religious faith. This is just a personal problem that I have with, “People of faith.” I am fed up with being demonized by fundamentalist Christians for being an atheist. And when I openly profess my none faith it Invokes the arrogant and condescending, “I’ll pray for you” comments. Or, if I’m lucky, I’ll have an exorcism performed for me right on the spot(usually only black people do this)! My favorite is when people say, “See, that’s why you’re leading the homosexSHULL lifestyle. Its cuz you’ve forsaken the lawd and Save yah Jaysus Christ. Ah’m gonna pray for you…” Or when someone gives me those sad puppy dog eyes as if to say, “You’re soooo nice. Its too bad you are going to bathe in the lake of fire for all eternity. Hope you have your moisturizer!”
Look, pray for me because my mother is sick. Don’t pray for me when I don’t have a problem outside of not believing in YOUR God, okay?
And if I have to listen to one more person ask me, “What church do you attend?” or “Do you have a church home?” or, “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Savior” I am going to scream louder than a porn star being screwed by a tag team tandem of Tiger Tyson and Thugzilla! Don’t even get me started on the people who insert themselves into your life just to get you “saved,” as if God (If there is one) is going to give them brownie points for spending time with an infidel.
My intent is to let all of you know that we ATHEISTS do exist. And we are NOT the monsters that we are portrayed to be by members of the Christian church! Not only do the negative perceptions anger me but the assumption that EVERYONE believes (and is supposed to believe) in a God is maddening!
Yesterday, I happened to be watching a DVRed episode of The View (all right guys, if you are male and watch The View regularly you have some homoerotic tendencies. Deal with it and move on) and Kirk Cameron was a featured guest.
Anyone who knows Kirk knows that he was Mike Seaver on “Growing Pains” and, more recently, the star of the “Left Behind” films (based on those books by Tim Lahaye and some other guy…). Well, Kirk (who looks really good by the way) lamented upon the trappings of child stardom (aw poor baby. You had millions who loved and adored you and a fat paycheck…That is a fate worse than having to shop at Walmart). Anyway, he went onto espouse his views about the power of God and Faith. Y’know, I am completely fine with that. Like I said I believe in the freedom of religious expression. Whatever works for you then do YOU boo boo.
However, what chapped my cheeks was when he said, “I used to be an Atheist.”
It wasn’t the fact that he uttered that particular phrase. It was the implication that came along with it. It was the mere insinuation that atheism was somekind of way station for immaturity and debauchery prior to “evolving” towards an idyllic Christian life(i.e. wife, 2.5 kids, a golden retriever, and house in the burbs…). Okay, Kirk may not have meant this. So I will give him the benefit of the doubt (even though he is one of the most judgmental and ignorant people I’ve ever seen). HOWEVER, the majority of the times most Christians, and pious religious types of all stripes, have this linear and quite ignorant view of what it means to be an Atheist. So I’ve decided to set the record straight.
I AM an ATHEIST. I don’t worship the devil. I don’t offer babies as blood sacrifices to my lord and master Lucifer The Shining Star (an extension of number one). I don’t draw pentagrams on the kitchen floor and stand in the center whilst chanting for an undead army to take over planet Earth (although that would be pretty cool). I’m not an alcoholic, compulsive over eater, or sex addict, in an effort to fill the void left by having no God. I am not angry at God (in order to do that I would have to believe a God exists, which I don’t). I don’t dress like Marilyn Manson (okay maybe for Halloween). I am not angry at the church (righteously indignant against it, maybe. Angry? No). I don’t hate Christians (my mother is devoutly Christian and I love her more than air). I don’t hope for the eradication of organized religion (just complete separation of Church and state is fine with me). And I don’t ridicule and mock people who believe in a God. Oh, and I am not some nihilistic emo who feels like there is nothing left to live for, so we might as well slash our wrists and get it over with.
I am an ATHEIST. I simply don’t believe in an anthropomorphic God (or Goddess) that created the universe, no more no less. It really is quite simple.
“Well, what do you believe in?” Most Christians ask…
I believe in the universe and all that it encompasses. For me that is tangible. And I take comfort in knowing that I am an intrinsic part of the world around me. I love knowing that I am permitted, by the universe, to take part in LIFE. I don’t need a God to give me personal fulfillment and purpose. I give that to myself by appreciating life and everything that is beautifully human: great art, music, food, nature, sex, romance, my loved ones, and–most important of all–myself. And just knowing that everyday I wake up is a new start is more than enough for me. As Ulysses said, “I shall drink life to the lees!”
So, Christians, before you judge open your minds and hearts and get to know me. I am happy being just who I am. So, I appreciate your religious beliefs and what they do for you. But allow me to be a happy infidel sans the obnoxious testimonies about Jesus. Aight?
God Bless (teeheehee Just kiddin)!