With my recent immersion into the field of biology and the beauty of the natural world, I have a newfound reinforcement of my belief that there is no god. With this greater comfort and acceptance of my own atheism, I have opened my eyes to the general opinion of people sharing my stance on life and death. The biggest thing I have noticed about my fellow atheists? Man, are they angry.
Honestly, it’s hard not be angry. I’m not here to tell a sad story about how hard it is to be an atheist in a predominantly christian or (at the very least) deist society, there are people facing much bigger problems in the world. No, I just want to give some insight as to why there is so much passion behind the shaking fist of an atheist. Below are what I believe to be three very popular opinions of atheists. Some are more extremist opinions.. but I’ve heard them all in my lifetime.
1. Atheists are evil
Rejection of god does not immediately equate to acceptance of the devil. I’m not some involuntary pawn of satan on an anti-god mission. You don’t see atheists burning down churches or even picketing outside of them condemning creationism. You don’t see atheists screaming outside of the city hall protesting the marriage of a same-sex couple. You don’t see atheists killing doctors who perform abortions or assassinating gay politicians. You don’t see atheists disturbing funerals and spewing hate while a family is mourning the loss of their son. You don’t see atheists going out on suicide missions and killing innocent people by the hundreds and thousands. No those are all actions of people who believe in god. I realize, that the majority of religious people do not do these things but before you go calling atheists evil you might wanna, you know, read some history.. or the news.
2. Atheists are un-American
“One Nation, Under God.” Ok, we should all know by now that this country was founded on freedom of religion. Our founding fathers created the establishment clause for this reason. We are all entitled to believe whatever we want, whether you’re Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, Puritan whatever. Atheists aren’t excluded from that group. If anything, the mere fact that I can be an atheist in this country is a testament to our wonderful freedoms and is in fact, VERY American of me. As for atheists pushing to remove “in god we trust” from currency and what-not, well that’s a whole different issue all-together. Personally, I think we should get rid of it, but I’m not gonna lose any sleep over it either.
3. Atheists are pretentious assholes
Ok, this one.. does have some truth to it. But the asshole thing is what I’m attempting to explain with this post, and the pretentiousness, well, religious people are pretentious too. Also I would like to add that atheism is not an excuse to be pretentious. I am not a scientist (yet), I am not so smart that I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there is no god. I can figure with the evidence scattered around me that it is highly improbable, and I would at least like people to respect that I have done my research and atheism is the conclusion I am most comfortable with. Just as each christian denomination is 100% confident that their church is the true church, I am 100% confident that I don’t need no stinkin church at all. I don’t think that anyone who disagrees with atheism is dumber or lesser than myself; it is difficult for me to understand how, especially when presented with the evidence supporting evolution and the big bang theory that someone could reject it, but we all think differently and I accept that.
So, considering the above, I think the anger just comes from frustration. Frustration because atheists aren’t out to do anyone harm, yet atheism is still a dirty word. A lot of us are simply peaceful observers of nature who wish to be governed free of religious bias. I understand that at this point, that’s still a lot to ask. I don’t deserve be viewed in a negative light simply because I don’t believe in god. So for me, any assholishness towards christianity is a knee-jerk defensive reaction, and also I want my voice to be heard. I’m not gonna go out on the offensive with some sort of political agenda but I’m not gonna be a doormat either.