For those who don’t know me well, let me tell you a little secret.
I am an Atheist.
That does not mean that I hate your God or Jesus.
It just means that despite all the research I haven’t been presented with sufficient and compelling evidence to conclude that either of them exists. The same goes for: Thor, Odin, Poseidon, Mithra, Ra, Shiva, Zeus, and all of the rest.
I don’t believe that the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, or any other religious text has much basis in fact. I am not saying that there are no moral lessons or guidelines that could be found in these texts, but it’s not the only places to find them. I am not convinced that God created the universe in 6 days, or that more than 6 million species fit on a boat built by one man. I don’t believe that there is a mighty, omnipotent and omniscient being who is perfectly willing to condemn me to an eternity of torment just because I refuse to worship him.
Frankly, I think religion is a load of crap.
It was invented by bronze-age cultures that didn’t have the slightest clue what was causing the things that were happening to them.
“Locusts? Floods? Droughts? Diseases? We must have pissed off somebody pretty powerful! If we suck up to him, maybe he’ll make things better.”
I could pepper this with a bazillion quotes from history, but here are two that hit the nail on the head:
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the powerful as useful.”
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence comes evil? If he is neither able nor willing, then why call him God?”
Someone asked, “Why are Atheists so angry?” And I will tell you why I, an Atheist, am angry.
I am angry that in 2012, a man in Singapore faces 2.5 years in prison for writing “God does not exist” on Facebook. There are six state-sanctioned religions. Atheism is not an option there, it’s a crime.
I am angry that there are people who want prayer brought back into schools; but not any prayer, just Christian prayer. I am angry that they want their Abrahamic creationist mythology taught with the same credence as evolutionary fact. I am angry that they want to perpetuate their methodology of indoctrination of children in a public and secular school system. Fuck that. Fuck your creationist museum that portrays Jesus riding a raptor.
I am angry that Islam has conditioned men to believe that women are livestock. There was a western journalist who was covering a situation in Egypt. She was mobbed, stripped, and groped by a crowd of Egyptian men. When she went to the police, she was treated with indifference. As in, “You must have been asking for it”. Fuck you, fuck your attitude toward women.
Then again, what can you expect from a religion founded by a man who married a six-year-old? Although, to Mohammed’s credit, he waited until she was nine to actually have sex with her.
I am angry that the Roman Catholic Church, the only religion with its own goddamned country, is so embroiled in money laundering that the scandalous nature of their finances boggles the mind. Nothing new here, folks.
I am angry that the same catholic church has engaged in a decades, perhaps centuries, long cover-up of the systematic sexual abuse of little boys. “Just a few bad apples,” they say. Fuck you, and your apples. If you’re an apple vendor, it’s up to you to find those bad apples and throw them out of the barrel. Don’t bury the bad apples at the bottom, and tell me that the barrel looks good when viewed from above.
But, I’m not completely angry.
I am grateful that I can identify as an Atheist in 2012, and not have to worry about being tortured, having my property confiscated, and having my books burned.
I am grateful that I will not be shunned, outcast, sent away from family, or lose my home and employment for being an Atheist.
I am grateful that even though I am an Atheist, I can find someone who will sell me food and clothing, and rent me a warm place to sleep.
I am grateful that I can YouTube video recordings of lectures by Dawkins without worry of the church kicking down my door and dragging me away.
I am happy, almost ecstatic, that I am present the time that humanity finally sheds the shackles of superstition.
I am delighted to see the consternation of the power structure of religion quaking in its boots as their membership and their finances dwindle.
It fills me with optimism as the youth of our race begin to turn their backs on centuries of oppressive mythology and instead embrace the precepts of knowledge and fact. Religion is an island of superstition, fear, and control. I smile as the tide of logical thought, knowledge, and fact rises to force it under the waves.
So I have to say that I am angry as I look out the side windows. I am angry as I look out the rear-view mirror. But, when I look forward and down the road, I am happy, because I see all religions eventually taking their rightful place amongst the discredited mythology of ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. When God and Allah dine with Zeus and Thor, it will be a glorious day.