By Carolyn Lueders Burica
What saddens me is the idea that atheists need to “come out” of the closet and profess their non beliefs. This is comparable to homosexuals needing to remain silent about who they are, out of fear or threat of ridicule, violence and discrimination.
I’ve been struggling with this topic for years and have always deferred my true feelings based on the need to “belong” to some group. Admittedly, I had seen atheism as something only angry, agitated, cynical people belonged to. Listening to my brother curse the Catholic church for its horrifying antics (before I investigated his claims and found them to be truthful and honestly deserved) I certainly wasn’t one of those people, therefore I certainly couldn’t call myself atheist…or could I?
After reading and learning as much as I can about atheism, and what it is/is not, I have realized that it puts my true, authentic thoughts and feelings into something concrete. And everything that I thought about atheists was completely wrong. Ever since I started having short little Facebook and tweet chats with some very smart people, I’ve realized how much more alive, deliberate, nonjudgmental, accepting and happy atheists tend to be. And those things are exactly what I am looking for in my life.
- I am an atheist.
- I do not believe in the existence of God or Satan.
- I do not believe in the afterlife reward of heaven, or the punishment of hell.
- I do not believe Jesus died, then came back to life three days later.
- I do not believe in the bible.
- I believe in science.
- I believe in evolution.
- I believe that this life is the only life we get and it should be lived to the fullest, without fear of punishment after we’re dead.
- I believe in treating ALL others with respect, dignity and acceptance of who they are.
- I believe in being a moral person, and that morality is based on genuine human behavior, not coming from an imaginary being or a 2,000 year old book of myths, which promotes rape, genocide, misogyny, incest, infanticide, and so many other abhorrent, immoral things.
- I believe in letting others believe what they want, regardless of whether I agree or not.
Lastly, I want to reach out to all the atheists who have helped me find myself during this journey: my sister, my now-deceased brother and my many, new Facebook and Twitter friends who have made me feel comfortable in expressing my true self. Thank you for helping me gain clarity!
Carolyn is a new member of the Atheism Alliance and brings her writing talents to our group, where she will be regularly posting here. A series of personal, traumatic life events several years ago forced her to re-evaluate her religious beliefs, which were centered around the Catholic church. She has since abandoned all organized religious dogma and instead chooses to embrace science, the universe and freedom from religion. Carolyn lives somewhere in the Midwest, with her husband, two children, a fat, happy beagle and a temperamental cat. Her favorite philosophical belief is:
“We are all made from stardust. Once we die, we will be released back into the universe as energy, and may some day end up on another planet, in another galaxy, riding time until our energy is used by someone or something else. That’s a lot more romantic than being stuck in a boring place, or a fiery pit, for all of eternity, isn’t it?”