This very well may be published in American Atheist magazine so I cannot give the rights, but you’re more than welcome to change typos and whatnot and publish onto converts corner on www.richarddawkins.net. I would like for Mr. Dawkins to get an opportunity to look over it himself.
This is only a piece of what I’ve written but I wanted Mr. Dawkins to know how important he was in who I’ve become today. If I am ever to have a sudden change in career fields or become even a part time successful writer- I know he’ll understand.
Atheism And Connectivity In America: How I committed social suicide and why it’s good.
How much pride do you have for the respect of all those around you? Everyone loves you. You’re magnetic, easy to get along with, and an all American “Christian” bad boy. That’s how I felt 6 years ago. Since then, my life has been spent in a horrific circle of truth seeking, anger, sorrow for the world we live in, rejection, harsh judgment/criticism, and change resulting in peace of mind and happiness.
I went from Central Alabama teen rebellion to crime to probationary addict to Hellfire Southern Baptist to Northwest American Navy Air Traffic Controller to Agnostic (though not allowed to discuss it) to Iraq with the Marine Corp to Wyoming National Guard (presently) to Mid-West Federal employee(presently) to open atheism resulting in several articles on modern day face book additionally resulting to deleting face book account and shutting out nearly everyone I knew before last year because I felt and STILL feel like an outcast. This is a collection of my stories and random thoughts from my mind that I have put down in text over the past year or so. It needs to be known that where I am spiritually today- I will remain so until after death, the end of my only, short life. I want to leave a legacy for my family, the meaning of my existence.
I feel sorrow for the distress I have inflicted on my former Christian family. Mostly my mother. We don’t talk about it but we’re on good terms I guess. I know she loves me and wants what is best for my family and I. Mom, I could care less for the problems of my childhood for which you surely feel guilty- the only mistake that I think you made in my preteen and teen life, was forcing me into the destructive environment you call church. The extreme irony here, is THIS mistake is the ONLY one for which you feel no guilt… you think you did the right thing. This enrages me but I look past because I love you and you were a good mom all things considered.You created me physically and instilled in me many great qualities and skills. Everything you don’t like about me isn’t completely your fault. Religion is also responsible for what I am today.
I find peace in the fact that my Alabama relatives will all see this soon and hopefully its popular enough that I’m not justifiably labeled hell bound and insane.
I owe a special thanks to my wife, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, and youtube. You all were the initial sources of the relief from incredible burden and years of guilt. (A signed copy of The God Delusion would make my year, Mr. Dawkins.)
I have committed social suicide in America and within my family in the Southeast. I know there are more like me, but they’ve covertly planted themselves deep in the heart of American secrecy with the exception of a few. I’ve accepted the least popular vote in exchange for moral happiness and truth. I was once angry because I thought that I had to be that way and everyone HAD to accept it. This isn’t true. No one completely accepts my beliefs so I’ve decided to start over. I only want people in my life that want to be there. Being in online publicity in an American facebook community, mostly of religious people was a source of tension in my life that I could no longer be happy with.
I’ve been on a superstitious and emotional roller coaster. There was a point that I was so angry with my family and Christianity in general that I considered myself an Anti-theist. I planned to actively seek the destruction of belief in god even though this conflicted with my belief of acceptance, professional life and military responsibilities. I’m going to start with one of the many “rants” I ever put down on wordpad. It’s important you understand that I don’t feel this way now, because its that way of thinking that made me the same as the religious predators that target/ed me.
Written around the beginning of 2010.
A New Generation of Belief: The Inevitable Change.
Do you believe the earth is six-thousand years old? Yes? This article is for you.
There was a time in my life that I didn’t know for what I was voting, I didn’t know who the Prime Minister of Britain was, I didn’t read/watch/blog the news, I had no real opinions, no real voice. I had NO idea that life existed outside the US. All I knew was what I was told to know, and I said what I was told to say.
Now, I am politically active, courageous, and I am part of a wave of change that you cannot stop. The harder you fight it, the more force we gain. Allow me to explain.
My new generation of belief and politics is fueled by my mandated norm of life in Southern America during the 80’s and 90’s. The US was and still is dominated by a majority of corrupt, religious ties that hold down the fabric of a free lifestyle. People like the present me were scarce and afraid to stand up because we were outnumbered as we still are, for now.
I can show you charts and statistics of polls taken throughout the past 30 years proving that change is coming, but your eyes have been burned out by the years of reading the tiny text in your bible. I’m probably wrong- I’m sure you upgraded to the larger text and the better modified “New International Version”, made readable by morons worldwide to the point you have paragraphs of explanations, deciphered by man AGAIN, scribbled in the lowest part of the page. Deal with denial however you want.
Socialized medicine. The oil spill (though it will soon be called “disaster”) off the coast of Louisianan. Legalization of plants that should have never been banned in the first place. Flash floods and tornados and hurricanes that have ALWAYS happened but due to shifting of the earth sometimes happens in odd places and through modern day connectivity and worldwide information we now hear about at nearly the fastest way possible. One day this info will be beamed into our heads- I said it first, maybe. Homosexuality spreading like wildfires. California. Active approach at world peace. One world currency? not yet- but do I have your attention, now? You can call it a “sign of the times”, proof that the rapture is ever nearing. blah blah blah- I call it inevitability. I don’t expect to be hearing trumpets and watching half (I’m being generous) of the world instantly disappear.
Every documented society had crime, and every one of them struggled to maintain balance of what they considered good and evil. As time went by, deities changed and shifted into text- guidelines for humanity and how we define the meaning of our existence. In each part of the world, unique, and in some cases, similar religions exposed themselves- accepted as the one and only true way. Worth dying for? What I’m trying to get at- is any moron with literacy skills in any formed society can see that “crime and/or change” has an unstoppable forward motion. So take a pen to paper, rock to a stone tablet, etch-a-sketch, whatever. And tell the people, “BEWARE, god told me this is going to happen in the future”. As if it hasn’t already happened multiple times in the past- back as far as we can find text.
Yes, I am bitter. For years as a child I went to church, as a teenager- I was forced into a new Independent Southern Baptist Church that preached hellfire and brimstone, believe it or burn. Most of you wouldn’t agree with that doctrine I know- but it opened my eyes to some of the shit that I couldn’t believe was actually in the bible. The funny part? I went along for a while. I marched to the front, with the congregations heads bowed, and proclaimed my soul dirty- I begged jesus to come into my heart and save me, and chemically something happened in my brain that made me happy. (the same thing happened to my brain every Christmas morning.) I was socially accepted by every person in my religious community. I preached the “word of god”. I left chick tracts on phone booths. I tried to get people saved.
Eventually I joined the military and learned the hard way to shut my mouth. Once I left the element that surrounded me growing up- something strange happened. I started thinking for myself. Wondering why? Seeking answers. I called the pastor, I called family and asked them to pray with me. It temporarily sedated the feeling but nothing seemed to stop what was bothering me. My father, a proclaimed atheist and alcoholic, to whom I had barely any relationship, passed away. I had tried to get him saved at some point, and I’m convinced he despised me. Either way, I “knew” he was burning in hell and something didn’t seem right. The next few years were extremely confusing for me. I talked and worked and trained, but I only said what I thought my family, Christian America, would find acceptable.
One day I snapped. I woke up to find NO evidence that God existed, whatsoever. Not only that, I was ANGRY. The hatred boiled inside me until I decided that I was Agnostic, the cheating way- to to full blown atheist, to outright Anti-theist. I might as well told my family I was gay.
Now I am the outcast. Pitied by those in the world who don’t understand that it fuels my resolve. I need them to feel sorry for me. It makes me strong in ways they don’t understand. And now I’m not alone. I found out that there are about 20,000,000 openly atheist Americans and I’m not scared to stand up anymore.
Stand fast, America. Change is coming whether you like it or not. And when your body dies, and all is black. I hope your brain functions long enough to realize that you wasted not only your own years on this earth pleasing the god you accepted because you thought it was the only way to morality, but you wasted the time of everyone you ever talked to about your faith, including your children. Sleep tight.
Now you see why this way of thinking can be destructive in its own right. I can only ask others out there who are that angry to think about the best way to peace in your heart and mind. We have already won the war against religion. They can’t keep up and as long as peaceful, intelligent debate is always in the air- We will slowly start to dominate this country and push out those who seek to inflict harm in our politics and world.The Founding Fathers may have been religious- that’s been open for discussion and will probably remain that way- but it doesn’t matter what they thought personally. It’s about the country and the freedom of AND from religion. I’ve since found this new testament bible verse humorous in the sense that atheism can use it as a source of truth as well. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”. Mathew 5:5. If we’re modest, and honest, and good, and strong, we will consume those against our belief over time, at least to a point of complete social and political acceptance. The aggressive faith-spreaders will be considered legally insane one day. I have faith in that. I also have faith that my dog will shit outside, although if we lock her in the house this faith may be proved otherwise moot.
The next rant I want to show you was written the same month. I had recently joined American Atheists, Inc and researched (when I say researched, I mean “googled”) the constitution, federal and state law, and Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who was once considered “the most hated woman in America” due to her open atheist beliefs and active approach of Separation of Church and State. She was murdered along with her Son and adopted Granddaughter.
How do we protect our children from religious predators?
Few things in life anger me as much as an aggressive evangelical christian targeting my children for “salvation”. It happens all the time and we just don’t see it. I grew up in a church where it was a tactic to invite friends over for sleepovers, with the intention of taking them to church on Sunday. My family was awesome. On Saturday nights I wasn’t allowed to leave, but why would I? They’d lure kids of all ages to our home with pizza, movies, games, late bed times, etc. I didn’t see the harm as a preteen christian. Sunday morning rolls around and we all load up in the church van and make our way to one of the most destructive environments I’ve ever witnessed. Hell fire, brimstone, believe it or burn, corporal punishment, and KJV bibles. (NIV’s not allowed.)
This church was interracial, (a big deal in smalltown, AL), and had few members, and most of them were my family. My grandfather was in charge of music. My Uncle is now the pastor. It is a beautiful church. I remember some Sundays you can fit everyone there in the first pew. Sometimes on Easter or Christmas we had 20-30 people in attendance. Similar to Westboro Baptist though not so bold.
How do I protect my children from the poisonous doctrine of not just Christianity, but all the other active faith-spreaders in society?
I want to put together a pamphlet so spread to my atheist friends but I need more advice from others who’ve dealt with this within their family. Here’s some of my experiences.
I love my mother and father. They’re good people. Accepting and loving though they don’t agree with my ways- the rest of my family not so much. I usually visit my hometown once every few years. Everyone knows to avoid debate with me as most don’t recover from my verbal beatings and I have yet to install a filter in my brain. My mother once asked me if she could take my kids to church. I let her as they were too young to be persuaded of anything negative and it gives her an opportunity to spend time with her grand kids. Now that my kids are older, there is NO WAY they are going to any church of any kind.
When I think they are old enough to make the decision to go, maybe. I won’t like it but I am trying to stay on the road of religious tolerance, even though I come off as the “destroy religion!” type.
Secondly, how do we ensure they aren’t being manipulated in the public education system? It’s not like I can go and watch everyday to ensure my kids aren’t targeted by pre-teen, brainwashed “children of god”. I have to get a jumpstart on my young ones education and ensure he is prepared to defend himself from religious bullying. I’m more concerned about high school, the age which kids are most susceptible to religious paraphernalia and doctrine. Chick tracks are a sensitive issue with me. They are small comic books of stories ending with the salvation prayer, designed to target teens… or morons who can’t read.
One thing I’ve learned. KNOW THE LAW. Public schools are required by law to avoid certain things, as well as ensure others. This site will prepare you and your kids for battle with the school system. I guarantee that you walk into a school prepared with a binder of printed of laws and legislation, they will ensure that your concerns are shared. It will also remind them that this is NOT a christian nation. www.athiest.org
I had starting seeing that the anger in my life was caused not by the religiously intolerant, but my own actions towards the religiously intolerant. The best way in my opinion to move towards the future is find out why we aren’t moving faster. What was religion using against us to maintain it’s control over the American populace? Majority. What caused the majority to move against atheism? Lies. Lies that atheists are immoral and untrustworthy. So I wrote what I considered a masterpiece.
I am late in this game. I wish I was the first. The intellectual equivalent of O’Haire. I could have fought harder though I doubt anyone could out-do her. Thankfully we have many that are stepping out of the atheists closet and it’s exactly what we need.
The Good Father
My name is Michael. I’m a loving, faithful father. I’m in love with the woman of my dreams and we’ve been married for 8 years. I’m a law abiding citizen- clean, respectful to my neighbors, and a yard-work-aholic. I’m polite when it counts, loyal, confident, and successful. I’m a drug-free, heart healthy 27 year-old professional. I have two children under 6. I guide them with a loving, experienced hand though firm when necessary. I’m active politically, speak honestly, and listen to the opinions of others with an open mind. I’m not perfect- don’t take this rant the wrong way. I’ve done my share of bad deeds and have been held accountable for the worst of them.
I’ve been saved by Christianity, gotten people saved, and preached the word of god.. but hat was before I knew better. Smile for me as you read this line, life is good. Be thankful for what you have because it doesn’t last long. By the time you’re done with this article, if you can even finish it, you’ll most likely be upset with me. I thought that first paragraph was necessary and now you’ll see why.
My name is Michael, and I am an atheist. Not only do I NOT believe in a higher power, I actively teach those close to me that most organized religion is a crime on humanity, and truly believe it a detriment to society.
So if I hadn’t have put that first paragraph up, what would I look like in your mind? It’s so easy to label someone you read in a book, or follow on the internet because based on their personality you picture what you love, or hate the most. We need to break the stereotype that religious organizations have brought to the table in the war against atheism. We aren’t evil or morally bankrupt any more than the hypocritical, aggressive Christians.
I could tell you whats going to happen in the future, but I’d rather tell you what we are capable of, not necessarily what we are going to do so don’t take this the wrong way, either. Christianity, I’ll speak to you more than any religion- but this goes to all who think themselves members of organized theistic society. You started a war a long time ago, and now you’ll fall to the sword you sharpened with the blood of innocents over the past, (time of human thought – present).
Just like you- we can use tactics, business, and the internet to effect our own brand of change on this planet. We can start a local social group and expect others not to interfere in weekly meetings. Create our own websites to spread our belief and strengthen our numbers while you watch helplessly from the sidelines. Write small comic books, advertising to the younger generation that it’s okay to NOT be religious. I can put stickers on my car, depicting my beliefs and be proud while you stare and you follow me down the street. I could target your children at the age in which they are most susceptible to my paraphernalia- but I wouldn’t, that would make me everything I despise about religion. I will be supportive as I discuss philosophy, books, and history to my bloodline and friends. History in which I will ACCURATELY portrait religions roles in.
I didn’t want it to come to this. I’ve tried to live in harmony with you, religion. I really have. You created me. You shoved, pushed, pressed, rushed and forced your beliefs down my throat for so long that it sickens me now. I used to have complete religious tolerance- now I find myself teetering on the edge. You lied to me, and I’ll tell you like I tell my kids. The punishment for lying to me will be much worse than the one for telling the truth about your wrong-doings.
America. We’re standing with our heads held high. Too long have you held your knife to the throat of a freethinking lifestyle. No more. The more we Atheists band together and shout out our freedoms we hold so dear in this country- the faster your decline. All we have to do is be active and wait for our numbers to grow. I told you you’d be upset.