Friday, December 14, 2012
It is widely known in my former church that I'm an atheist, so I immediately understood what she was implying, but the fact is, its just not true. I still celebrate christmas, I just don't buy all the christian and pagan crap behind it. I don't have to believe in the Roman god, Saturn from saturnalia, but I still decorate a tree every year. I don't have to believe in the Scandinavian god, Yule, to eat a yule log. I'm not a Druid, but I still hope for a kiss beneath the mistletoe. I don't have to believe in Odin's flying night riders, to sing about Rudolph and his reindeer friends. And I don't have to believe that some magi gave gifts to baby Jesus in order to give gifts to my friends and family.
As an atheist, the holidays that were once seemingly only meaningful because of religion, don't become any less meaningful just because the religion part goes away. I still appreciate them for what they always truly were: time spent with the people I love. I am not offended by nativity scenes in people's yards or crosses plastered all over commercials screaming anything other than the axis tilt being the "Reason for the Season!" I simply let people believe what they wish and celebrate how they'd like. I still wrap gifts that I know will put smiles on my family and friends' faces, place them under a decorative tree and anticipate the morning they rip them open. I will always sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and watch White Christmas with my mom as we have done traditionally every year since I was a teen. And I will always tell my family how much I love them on Christmas day, because that is how I do christmas.
Peace & Love
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Even though I am no longer a closeted atheist, some people can't seem to deal with the fact that I once strongly believed in god and now I simply don't. Many times, when I tell someone I don't believe in any gods their immediate answer is, "The devil has deceived you child!" or I get a disapproving moan and "I'm going to pray for you honey." I rarely run across a believer who asks me why I chose this path, instead of judging me and offering up some type of supernatural remedy to my disbelieving mind. My co-worker is no exception. She sends out these daily devotionals via e-mail and I politely asked her to stop. She refused because she didn't want to be responsible for, "starving [me] spiritually."
I have also received all kinds of strange questions that I guess are supposed to challenge the legitimacy of my non-belief. Someone asked me once if I was going to stop using U.S. Currency because it says 'In God We Trust' on it. I told them that the idea was absolutely ludicrous. Just because I use money with those words, doesn't mean I support the words. A friend of mine asked me if atheists gather together to talk about atheism, isn't it technically a religion? No. That's like saying political parties or AA are religions because people gather to discuss commons goals or beliefs. It has been described as a movement to end the stigma on the title atheist, but it is far from a religion. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. That's it. That's all. End of story. Can I get more logical questions now?
Saturday, June 2, 2012
I have heard some religious people argue that marriage is an institution ordained by god between a man and a woman, which naturally leads to the question: "Why would atheists want to get married?" Well for starters, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Marriage is the "state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by the state" so no its not a religious anything... While many couples may get married in churches, mosques, etc. because of their religious affiliation, this doesn't mean that theists should have a monopoly on matrimony.
If you don't want to get married by a minister, find a judge to conduct your ceremony. Don't want to get married in a church? Try a court house, a decent sized ballroom, or if you have the room for it, get married in the comfort of your own backyard. There are plenty of ways to do it, and religion is not necessary to get the job done. As for reasons to get married (and this goes for anyone, not only atheists) there are several:
~Sharing employer benefits (i.e. medical insurance)
~Filing joint tax returns
~Receiving veterans' and military spouses benefits
~Obtaining joint adoption rights
~Special visitation rights in hospitals, prisons, etc.
~Residency benefits (if your spouse isn't already a citizen)
...and the list goes on. I don't think the question is why should you get married (if you're considering it). The question is why shouldn't you? Think about it...
Peace & Love,