I am an atheist.
Not one of those “I am young and rebeling against everything so I decided to say I’m an atheist” atheists. Not one of those “My life has been shitty so fuck God, he’s fuckin’ fucker and I hate him” atheists.
Those, by the way, are not real atheists by definition since you have to believe in some thing in order to hate it (or at least you have to in my mind, I could be wrong) and atheism is a non-belief in a god or higher power.
When asked why I don’t believe, it was always really hard for me to explain for the longest time because, unlike a lot of people I know, I did not have a pivotal moment where I was like, Ah ha! God is not real!” Only recently did some one manage to peg down exactly how and why I became an atheist: “Honestly, it sounds like to me that it had no use or impact on your life so you just left it behind.” Thinking about it, it really is true that I just basically walked away due to the lack of practicially of it in my life. Then I educated myself on why I did not believe and there has been no turning back.
The reason I start this blog post by saying this is because I am often insulted by Christians insisting that I turned away from God and Jesus was because: I wanted to sin, I am young and wanted to rebel, I am angry for things not going my way, etc. To them, atheism is just a phase to be grown out of, that I just begging for attention instead of an actual educated choice. Granted, maybe they met some one claiming to be an atheist that fit all these decriptions and thus the associatation was made. I’ve even met a couple of different people claiming to be past atheists but once you hear their story, you realize that they are not.
The reason I find all of this insulting is because I take my atheism very seriously. I am fully aware of some of the potential risks I take by being an open atheist and, no, going to hell is not one of them.
While I have been exteremely lucky over all with my family’s reaction towards my atheism, I know a majority of them simply do not know. Even the reasonable family memebers that know still had a negative reaction (I am very lucky that in the end, those that I have talked with have accepted it but asked that I be respectful of their religious choices, a comment that will spawn a different post). I can’t even begin to count the number of nightmares I’ve had about fighting with my family due to my atheism and them rejecting me.
Does this sound like some one that is rebeling for the sake of rebeling to you?
Maybe, just maybe, I have a legitimate reasoning for being an atheist after all.