I am a proud atheist. I don’t try to hide that fact, but I also don’t bring it up unless asked. I don’t preach to my religious friends of the “error of their ways”, and indeed I don’t have a big problem with people having faith in general. I do have a problem when faith is wielded like a weapon or used to cast judgments on others. I have much stronger feelings on organized religions themselves, much more negative. I firmly believe that the earliest religions were a mechanism for a chosen few to gain and retain power over a large mass of people, and I don’t think much has changed over the millenia.
I read a story a while back that said, of all differing minorities in this country, including different racial groups, gays, and religions, atheists were least likely to get elected according to the polls that were taken. I find it odd that a group of people would be singled out like that, as opposed to organizations that murder others in their god’s name, or conducted sham trials and tortured those that did not believe as they did. Somehow, people view a lack of belief in a nebulous and unknowable entity, that cares deeply for some reason about human beings, as a lack of morality. Christians especially seem to be in firm belief that morality did not exist before Christ.
It’s completely absurd, of course. The Golden Rule existed long before Christ was born. Somehow, men and women managed to survive and thrive in areas, like, say, China, for centuries before Christian “morals” sprang into being. I detest smugness in all of its forms, and religious smugness is one of the most vile expressions of it. Talk of “saving” people, of “opening their eyes” and that kind of shit really gets under my skin.
Morality is a state of being well separated from religious dogma and teachings. I do not, nor will I ever, believe in an invisible being allegedly responsible for intervening in peoples’ everyday lives. If someone wishes their faith to give them personal comfort, great. Don’t tell me about it, and don’t judge me through the lens of your own misguided beliefs.