I have been an atheist for 100% of my adult life. I am not sure how to count my youth and teen years. I went to church fairly regularly and bible school in the summers from ages 6-10 or so. And then, my parents got busy with life and raising four kids, and my mom quit going on Sundays. I got a rejuvenation of sorts between the ages or 13-15, only to eventually do some research and decide the bible just had too many inconsistancies, and then it was over. I made up my mind that God doesn’t exist and moved on.
For the past 25 years or so, I have just lived my life, not really caring if others want to believe in God, Buddha, Allah, or whomever. Yet I did continue to have a passive interest in ancient history, and even took elective classes in college in the subject. And while I never advertised my beliefs, if someone wanted to have a good discussion I was always up for it. Along the way I am sure I lost a couple of promising relationships because of my beliefs, and then ironically, as regular readers know, I married possibly the most religious person I ever even dated. Even after marrying a devout theist, I still continued to live and let live–what’s the harm in using a book to teach children morals? Sure any child doing a little research can find problems with the Noah story as they do with the Santa story, but we tell them Noah did exist and the world did have a massive flood even though evidence shows different.
Then along comes the internet, and now you can research and find opinions of thousands of people about religion, atheism, and the bible. As some know, when I started this blog, it was just a blog about life in general, a diary of sorts. And then I did a post about my atheistic beliefs and did tag search and found hundreds of other bloggers with similar beliefs as mine. And gradually my belief system is changing. Not my belief (or non-belief if you prefer) in god, but in how religions should be perceived.
I now pay attention to religion, where before I didn’t really care. I find myself thinking about religion more than I ever have in my life. I read articles about it. I eavesdrop when I hear people discussing church. I marvel at the new million dollar churches in my neighborhood. I wonder what our local and national government is going to do to pander to the religious right. And this is someone who has on more than one occasion punched the Republican ticket in the booth!
So, what is the next step? To be honest, I am not sure. One thing is for certain, the more blogs that are out there discussing these things, then the more likely someone googling Noah’s Ark will come across one of us. And then they get to reading. Sure, if they are a indoctrined devout theist, nothing will probably change. But we can show the doubting holiday worshippers and agnostics that there are thousands of people out there just like them. And maybe 30 years from now I can look back at this blog and say I was in at the beginning. Or my kids can use this at the insanity hearings before they put me away.