My parental units are both atheist, and I grew up agnostic not giving god much thought. My parents pulled me out of the elementary school subject “christianity” in Norway in the early 90’s, because they believed it to be irrelevant and damaging for my learning experience. We were two kids who got pulled out, and got additional science tutoring instead from an eager young teacher. The “christianity” subject has since my elementary school days been switched out with a much broader “religion” course.
My best friend all through childhood and my teenage years is a devote christian, and I even joined her for sunday school at the local church one time when I was around ten years old. I got to dress up in a nice outfit and was very excited. After church service the preachers and other members of the church told me more about Jesus and god – I was scared shitless. I ran out of church and home to my parents. I had been told that I would burn eternally in hell for not being baptized.
Luckily, my parents are the greatest parents in the world and told me the church had been untruthful. My parents read me parts of the God Delusion, and things started falling into place.
*Atheists can be happy, balanced, moral and intellectually fulfilled* – easily observable, even for a young child. Both my parents have master’s degrees and very good jobs, they are happy, loving and have great morals.
*Natural selection* – every single one of my ancestors managed to have at least one child, which is why I am sitting here writing this today. Amazing.
*Children should not be labelled by their parent’s religion* – I have been called many weird things through the years. Anti-christ, heathen, evil, immoral, stupid and ignorant, and I have been hurt by this in the past, but now I tell them at least I’m not wasting the one life I have fearing the invisible, evil, murderous, rapist, flying, magical spaghetti monster in the sky that noone has ever seen, heard or spoken to.
*Atheists should be proud, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent mind* – this is the one that really got to me. I am proud that I have read the bible and that it made me even more certain that there is no god, I am proud that I’m constantly trying to understand new things, I am proud that I never settled for religion, I am proud that I am intelligent, I am proud that I read books, I am proud that I’m able to tell evidence from bullshit.
Life is too short and valuable to waste.