Howdy from a disabled Texas atheist
Howdy, my name is Jonathan Clements. I'm 21 years old, living in the southwest suburbs of Houston, Texas. I was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I was diagnosed at the age of ten months. My family was told that I would not live beyond my eighth birthday. I'm still alive by the grace of the big man upstairs. By which I mean my primary doctor, who has an office on the third floor of his building. He isn't actually a large man, I lied to make that funnier.
I live with my mother, a Christian. I have private duty nurses who care for me during the day. Five rotate, four Christian and one Jew. I'm entirely bedridden. I only leave my bed to bathe, and for a concert every two to four months. I have a trach, with a ventilator, and a feeding tube. I can only swallow liquids, generally coffee, tea, and sake, with the occasional beer. My muscles have atrophied to the point that all I can use are my thumbs and eyebrows. I can speak, though very softly and with a voice that resembles the lovechild of Darth Vader and Michael Jackson. Only my closest friends and family can understand a word I say.
I tell you this because I would like to give my stock answer to everyone who suggests that I must only be "questioning" or "angry at God." For a long time, I made a joke of it and said "yeah, Zeus was kind of a dick." Nobody ever understood my message through the humor, so now I'm more blunt. "I cannot be angry at something that doesn't exist." This hasn't helped, actually. Especially living in Texas. I have to pick and choose my fights, because not only am I an atheist, but also bisexual, far left wing politically, and I don't deny having previously had a vicodin addiction and now occasionally use marijuana. Texas is the wrong place for me to be, but I digress.
Growing up, I attended church every Sunday. The back room was where the children had what could vaguely be called Sunday school. Most of us just connected our Gameboy units to trade Pokemon, while Veggie Tails played on a 12 inch television in the corner. When a church member came to the back and actually tried to teach us something, it was only the standard excerpts. David and Goliath. The parting of the water. Noah's Ark. The birth of Jesus. When I was old enough to attend the "grown ups" sermon, something dawned on me. Noone was there to worship God. The entire purpose was for socializing. I'd already been doing that in the back.
When the pastor of the particular church moved, we stopped attending. I don't know if I ever actually believed in any God. I think I was mostly, not agnostic, but entirely indifferent. Around that time, my body was physically weakening. With only the use of my hands, computers became my escape. All I can really operate is a mouse, and I don't have anything else to do, so I've educated myself as well as possible. I don't think I need to further how this has made me an atheist, as I went into the issue of religion with an open, rational mind.
One last thing. I do not own a webcam and could not take part in the Blasphemy Challenge. Also, as mentioned above, I'm self conscious about my voice and most people can't understand it anyway. But I'd like to take part here, as part of my first post.
I am Jonathan Clements and I deny the existence of the Holy Spirit. I deny Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, Apollo, Zeus, and Ra. I accept evolution by natural selection, abiogenesis, the use of condoms as contraceptives, photosynthesis, gravity, and thermodynamics.