Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(947)

Jan 30, 2013

The Emperor's (New) Clothes

*Converts Corner X

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to convertscorner

show details 9/19/08


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My father is French and Catholic, though he is an atheist and nobody on the French side of my family is a practicing Catholic, so I can't really say he had much of a Catholic upbringing. Hooray for secular France. My mother is an American Methodist and attends church occasionally. Although a believer in god, she is no fundamental, but, when my sisters and I were growing up, we attended church every Sunday. Even my father would come, even though it was to Protestant churches of various denominations. Frankly I have never really understood the differences between Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist. It never really seemed to matter to my mother, so I never really took church seriously. It was just a big social and networking event for my parents and an opportunity for them to have us babysat in Sunday school for a short while.

My family traveled a lot while I was growing up, and we spent three years living in Jerusalem. We attended a school, simply called Jerusalem School, which was run by fundamental, evangelical American Christian missionaries. All the teachers were nice and professional, although some were incompetent and unqualified as teachers. The school was low on funding and relied on volunteers to come over from the States and teach. Needless to say, Creationism was taught in all the science classes. We also had an hour of Bible class every day. Then I attended church – the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the Old City, not the one organized by the school – with my family on Sundays. On top of that we were living in Jerusalem and saw pretty much all of the famous holy sites in Israel and the West Bank. Galilee, Calvary, Nazareth, Jericho, the Western Wall, Bethlehem on Christmas' Eve. The works. I even touched the spot where they decided Jesus was born, even though it said touching that metal marker in the stone floor of a church was forbidden.

I just went along with everything, not really taking all the stories seriously. I saw attending church as a boring chore. As an 11-13 year old, I would occasionally argue with my teachers in Biology and other classes over what I saw to be their preposterous affirmations concerning the origins of the Earth and life on it. I just thought it was stupid, and I felt like my time was being wasted being told about how dubious carbon-dating techniques are and how the dinosaurs did not live millions of years ago. Yeah, and Methuselah lived to be over 900 years old. I thought my teachers were idiots. I continued to display respect to them as fellow human beings, though I would often call into question the lies they would tell us. All I would get in response was to be told to have a little faith. I did try to reason with them, though it was far from a personal crusade. If they want to admire the emperor's new clothes, I figured they might as well, though, in retrospect, letting the fools rot in their feeble-mindedness was the wrong choice and far from compassionate.

We then moved to the States, and I was no longer in the fundamental milieu and stopped caring, though I was pretty much an Atheist by that time, even though I did not really know it. So I'm reading the God Delusion right now, and it confirms things I already believe, and it has inspired me to actively and publicly counter the nefarious lies of religion and those who propagate them.

Thank you Professor Dawkins for voicing the truth and leading what I hope to be a major expansion of worldwide Atheism. What can be purer and more truthful than believing in ourselves as human beings capable of governing our own destiny (hopefully we can stave off extinction) and in the evidence that nature keeps of its own history? I have had enough of these lies that defy and undermine Reason and fully intend to do something about it. After all, we must save ourselves because, if we don't, then who will?

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