Going to Hell in a bucket, babe, but at least I'll enjoy the ride.
Ok, because I'm an attention-whore, I cut and pasted this blog that I posted a couple nights ago on MySpace. Will anyone read it? I don't know. You tell me. Here it is:
Even though I've been openly Atheist for the past decade, I decided it was time to go public, by which I mean, posting it up on YouTube. I'm participating in the Rational Response Squad's "Blasphemy Challenge", where they send you a free movie if you say "I deny the Holy Spirit" and post it on YouTube. I've watched the movie, and I thought it was well-intentioned but poorly executed, deteriorating into one ex-Catholic using the medium to exorcise his own personal childhood demons. I felt it asked the wrong questions. Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether or not Jesus actually existed. Yes, it's always good to point out how most of the key events of Jesus' life were "borrowed" from other contemporary or past mythologies and try to educate people so they see that the mythos of Christianity is heavily influenced by everything else that came before it (and since). But trying to bash people over the head with "Religion dumb! Jesus not exist!" doesn't really make an honest attempt at dialogue that might sway hearts and minds.
But, that's not even the point of this blog. The point is to let people know about my video and make a simple case for why I think it's important that more of us Atheists "come out of the closet." Religion's had the monopoly on proselytizing for like, forever. I think it's high time the people who embrace thought and reason to have our turn.
It didn't hit me until sometime in college that people really, truly, deeply believe what they were taught in Sunday school. I was stunned when I realized that, because I never had believed. I used to go to church with my family every week. At some point in the service, they'd send all of us kiddies away to go upstairs to Sunday school. I remember learning about Noah's ark, and Jonah and the whale, and the Good Samaritan, and all of that. But it never occurred to me to take the stories literally. Like, for instance, the story of Jonah. I always assumed that if a whale ate you, you'd get chewed up and digested. (These were in the days before I knew about baleen and how some whales "graze"). I didn't believe Jonah for the same reason I didn't believe Little Red Riding Hood. I mean, did anyone ever (even at four or five years old) really think that a wolf could gobble up LRRH and her grannie, and then have a woodsman come along, cut open the wolf, and have the two of them pop out alive and whole? Barking mad (to borrow a phrase from Richard Dawkins). How is Jonah and the whale any different? Because one story was written longer ago? I guess magic used to happen a lot more often in olden times, because it wouldn't happen today.
Same for Noah's Ark. I never believed it could rain for 40 days. Nah-uh. And the whole two-by-two thing? Even as a kid, I wondered how that was going to work for the animal babies to be making more babies later on. Were they going to get busy with their brothers and sisters? Do animals have different rules about mating within the family? I don't think so.
"Ok, calm down, Kathi," I hear some of you saying. "That's not the point. Yes, some simple people out there really do believe that everything in the Bible literally happened, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff. But the vast majority of people simply see those stories as exaggerations and embellishment of actual events, and use the Bible as a guide for clean living." (Ignoring all the times God - for no good reason given - commanded his followers to slaughter innocents, sacrifice children, and commit genocide). I mean, that's an ok premise on the face of it, until you get people that start cherry-picking the Bible, latching onto the parts that can justify doing evil evil deeds to homosexuals, Jews, the poor, etc. Not to mention totally glossing over all the stupid shit that we now consider backwards and wrong (sacrificing two pigeons every month after you menstruate? yeah, let's go back to that). Why should one verse in Leviticus (18:22) be more valid than another (15:29)? (Go look 'em up, you'll see what I mean.)
Why take the time and effort to create a deity, ascribe a bunch of attributes to it, and then spend your life trying to interpret how to live your life the way it would want you to? I don't have time for that. Why not recognize that life is precious, fleeting, and finite? And spend your life living it the way you think you should? I bet what you come up with is at least as good (or better) than what God or church or (by the way) state comes up with. Stop being a baby. You know what's right or wrong, you don't need someone else telling you what to do, what to think, or how to play well with others.
I've been happily Atheist for about 11 years. (Before that, I'd classified myself as "agnostic" for about six years.) What have I been able to do without God? I graduated from high school and college, got married, and had two children. (Ok, not entirely in that order). I'm now going to one of the country's best law schools so I can fulfill my desire to save the world through lawyering. (Shut up, it's a good goal.) I don't want to "thank God" for my accomplishments. I did everything myself, with a little help from my husband, family, and friends. If anyone besides me is going to share in the credit for my life, it's them.
People keep wanting to say that Atheists are immoral, evil, misguided people. Let's look at that for a minute. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I've never committed adultery. I take good care of my children. I'm gainfully employed and self-sufficient. I'm going to school to better myself and my world, which even though I'll be departed from it in another 70 years (give or take), I feel deeply obligated to improve. Where exactly is the immorality in my life? I don't see it. I sincerely wish that all the people out there that are praying for my soul would cut it out. Spend that time and effort on improving your own life - I don't need you.
"People said I was dumb, but I proved them!"~Fry