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You Gotta Be Yoking

Is this what Christians seek? Inclusion through exclusion?Whoever said, “Better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not,” obviously wasn’t an atheist looking for a relationship in a world full of people who think atheists are the worst scum of the earth.

In Chapter 6 of Second Corinthians, beginning with Verse 14, Paul says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

Thanks a ton, Paul, for creating such a vivid dichotomy 2000 years ago that continues to fuck over nice people like myself in the real world. Let’s see, what could a nonbeliever like myself possibly have in common with a Christian girl? How about mutual respect for humanity? How about a love of politics, nature, and law? Nope! None of those things matter. The fact that she believes in a supreme being and I don’t is enough to dissolve those connections.

It truly saddens me that in what I believe to be a pretty educated and reasonable age, people still put so much stock in the tall tales of men who walked the earth two millennia ago.

I don’t dislike the girls who hold these beliefs; I dislike the institution that ingrains antiquated notions of good and evil into decent people’s minds.

Why Atheism?

Though the title sounds like one of an informational pamphlet, I intend to provide you with my personal reasons for being an atheist. I’m sure everyone has a different story, and I would love for you to comment with your personal reasons for not believing in the beyond.

I was raised in a household devoid of politics, sports, and religion. For that, I am infinitely thankful as it allowed me to grow in each area without any internal pressure from my family. It will be very hard to raise my children the same way since I am undoubtedly more active in all areas, but if I had to choose one to allow my children to grow in personally, it would be religion. After all, sports teams rise and fall in popularity, politics changes with the times, but religion deals with long-term issues.

I never prayed as a child. Bedtime prayers were never part of my nightly routine. Mealtime blessings were also absent from my day. The only time I was exposed to religion was when I would occasionally attend a vacation bible school with a friend from school. I don’t remember praying there either, but I do remember being incredibly bored. Coloring pictures of arks and watching puppet shows about Abraham were not sources of interest to me at that age, nor are they today. Throughout my entire youth, I can say I probably only ever attended church a dozen or so times. Some say had I attended church regularly, my views on the almighty might be different. I’m sure they might be. If I attended Klan meetings every week, I’m sure I would loathe everything that wasn’t white and Christian. That’s the power of weekly indoctrination.

For the majority of my youth, I never sought a higher being. That changed briefly in high school. I started my sophomore year of high school in Tennessee. A church on every other street corner, a bible thumper screaming of doomsday on the rest, and billboards with quotes from God himself were all warning signs that I was not in Illinois anymore. I didn’t have any pressure from my friends to come to church, because none of them knew that I found the idea of God laughable.

Girlfriends were the source of contention. One attended a pentecostal church which I attended ONCE. That night was one of the scariest of my life. I sat there shifting my eyes back and forth for signs of anyone carrying in a box of snakes. I had my exits chosen. One song that was sung that night involved seven different verses each with a different day of the week. You were supposed to stand up on the day of the week on which you were saved. I thought I had escaped this one by just not raising my hand. Oh no. They were watching. They noticed that my hand didn’t go up at all. I was approached after the service by the preacher. She asked me if I was saved. I told her that I was not. She then asked if she could pray for me. I said yes. After all, at this point in my life, I had come to think that there was something wrong with me for not believing in God. I thought that I had missed some important milestone in my life. So as that woman and a handful of members of the congregation stood around me and asked God to reveal himself to me in the way he knew was best for me, I closed my eyes, forgot the creepiness of the night, and opened my heart to whatever may come. Nothing came.

I don’t remember what day of the week it was; I can’t really pin the date down at all. I gave up on God. If he existed, he would have revealed himself to me by now, but the truth was that I knew what I had always thought. God was a fairy tale. The proverbial “opiate of the masses” created by the ruling class thousands of years ago with the sole purpose of keeping the uneducated lower class in check. What a fantastic document to go along with it as well. The Bible, chock full of miracles, magic, and mayhem has become the only multi-author, ancient text to be quoted in almost every conversation in the South.

I kept quiet about my beliefs. After what I had heard some of my friends say about atheism, I knew that it would be socially detrimental for me to make known my disbelief in the figure that almost everyone I knew held so dear. I grew accustomed to my closet. It was lonely, but it was safe. I remained socially accepted, and my views were not challenged. Even to this day, I have to keep quiet about this subject in certain social circles. Living in a highly conservative and largely unaccepting area of the Deep South, I have to withhold certain things in the interest of success.

I used to keep it quiet so that I wouldn’t alienate my friends, but then I said “Bump that!” No true friend would shun me for being an atheist. Though it has cost me a few relationships and a friends along the way, the friends I have are open-minded and great conversation partners.

If you are holding back your beliefs from friends, family, acquaintances, etc., please find a way that is comfortable for you, and share your thoughts. Someone will always be there to support you. I’m here. Comment. I’ll listen.

Prayer… WTF?

Random Christian prays for X.
X happens.
Answered prayer!

Same Christian prays for Y.
Y does not happen.
Y was not in God’s plan.

I guess I am just gifted with too much logic, but how does that not reveal to the entire praying population that what they are doing is pointless? Some would argue that it’s the good feelings that you have that can make a difference for yourself. That’s fine. Think good thoughts. Don’t try to say those thoughts aloud to a classroom though.

Time and time again, prayer has been clinically shown to have no connection to the recovery process. What was the response I read to this? “God stepped in on this one. He won’t stand by while you tear him down ‘fact by fact’.”

Christians are so absorbed in their mythology that they will do or say absolutely anything to remain in their comfortable bubble. Try speaking your mind to a state full of these mindless folks. It’s not easy.

One of my friends knows that I am an atheist. She knows a child that is very ill. Instead of asking me to pray for him, she said, “Please keep him in your thoughts.” I respect not only her acceptance of my beliefs, but the profound amount of logic that this course of action displays over prayer. Keeping someone “in my thoughts” will not beam magic healing beams to them, but it will serve as a way for me to keep those less fortunate in the forefront of my mind. It will keep me in closer touch with his condition, and ultimately have much more beneficial results than looking upward with hands clasped and jibbering to the sky.

Why do people even bother to pray before meals anymore? It’s a waste of time. Whenever I find myself eating out with a group of Christians, I find myself waiting for every last one of them to be seated and words to be jibbered before I can tie into my food. Of course, I could just start eating, but I wish to respect their practice, pointless as it is, just as some few respect mine. It’s not even like these prayers contain anything of substance either. Every blessing is the exact same.

“Dear Lord. Thank you for this meal. Please bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies so that we may live through you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

Give or take a few words, that is every single meal blessing you will likely ever hear. You think they could just print it on an index card, lay it on the table, and accept the minutes as read in true Robert’s Rules fashion. It would be a lot quicker and would display the same amount of creativity with each new prayer.

I think I remember praying a couple times when I was young. I even remember that time when I desperately sought Jesus Christ in my early-mid teens. None of those prayers was even remotely answered. If they had been, I wouldn’t be on this blog right now exposing the ludicrousness of the Christian faith.

I came to the conclusion that others are either to scared or stupid to take. I realized that I was pursuing the ultimate tooth fairy and that if anyone was going to lead my life in a positive direction, it would be me. Sure enough, trials and tribulations abound, I have pressed on to become a much more focused and goal-oriented person than I was last year. While my Christian counterparts might say “God was there with me through the hard times” or “I owe my successes to Him”, I say “While I didn’t do it on my own, I sure as hell didn’t enlist the help of the boogeyman.”

What Foxholes?

You’ve probably all heard it. “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Oh really? What foxholes? And why wouldn’t they be down there? Are foxholes lined with Holy Water or some atheist repellant? I understand what this message is trying to convey, but that doesn’t make it anymore based in fact. The fact that people keep repeating this drivel only continues to lend to its credibility.

If you haven’t heard this cocky Christian catchphrase before, it basically tries to purport that atheists, in a moment of emotional duress (aka “wit’s end”, death bed, foxhole) will turn to God (the Christian one, not the others) because all humans have an inherent inclination to succumb to the divine.

ARGUMENT FROM CATCH-PHRASE
(1) There are no Atheists in foxholes.
(2) [Atheist points out Atheists in foxholes.]
(3) They don’t count.
(4) Therefore, God exists.
from GodlessGeeks.com

I even had one of my coworkers try to lay this shit on me. His phrasing was even more holier-than-thou than that of the phrase itself. “Well can you explain this? Every human being, no matter what religion, when put in a life-threatening situation, turns to God.” ………

Yeah, he actually said that. I quickly retorted with, “Actually, I can provide first-hand evidence that that is not true. Last fall was one of the worst periods of my entire life. So much to not look forward to, yet I never let myself lose grip of my direction by surrendering to the imaginary. I took my life by the horns and guided myself to where I am today, and I am a much better person because of it.”

I don’t remember what he had to say in response to that, but it was preceded by a scoff.

Why are Christians so arrogant to think that their belief structure is genetically and spiritually ingrained in all people, and that those who have yet to see the light are just absolutely champing at the bit to be reborn? Let me break it down for you: I was born of the sperm of my father and the ovum of my mother. 8 months and 13 days after conception, I experienced the only birth I needed; that which released me from my mother’s womb.

This meaningless phrase is yet another attempt to discredit logic and reason and further an institution which blatantly denies the truth that man is born an atheist and dies alone. Religion was fabricated to fill in the gaps and answer the questions that curious man had, but did not yet possess the technology to solve. What started as a bedtime fairy tale to explain the origins of mankind has developed into a debilitating social structure that threatens the ability of our world to progress in the areas of science, industry, and education.

Whenever you hear someone spreading the seed of deceit with this sort of nonsense, state loudly and proudly that you do not require the crutch of religion to guide you through life.