I'm taking a world religions course. This isn't in an attempt to see if I can detach my retinas via eye-rolling but in a sincere effort to know the opposition. When someone asks how I can say no religion works for me I want to be able to give an answer.

I still live in Texas though, so every single religion touched upon is compared to Xtianity. The class is 90% Xtian, there are 3 atheists and a Buddhist, but the rest all smugly remark on the folly of n religion to their own. It's irritating.

Day 2 of the class was the worst though. After insisting that atheism was a religion the professor proceeded to attack the tendency for the non-religious to defend our faithlessness. Then that girl (Let's call her Virginia) said she thought it was stupid that we announce we do not believe in gods. Virginia said we should keep it to ourselves, after all, as adults we don't believe in Santa, but we don't go about declaring it constantly.

Except... that isn't really true at all. Do you remember when you stopped believing in Santa? You told your friends, or maybe one of your friends told you, and suddenly the truth swept over the playground. Some kids would argue that their parents insist that Santa was real, while the whistle-blowers would be chastised for revealing the truth before the other kids were ready to know it. Sometimes there was the threat of disbelief equaling a gift-less winter. Parents would try for another holiday of innocence with movies and stories that reinforce the obvious existence of the Jolly Watcher. Yes Virginia...

Fast-forward a year later and the fact was that lack of Santa-faith didn't end the songs gifts or family gatherings eased the reality. No Santa, but the holidays were still good.

The playground is a bigger place for us now, but the reaction is still the same. Anger, denial, accusations, threats of gift denial. No Virginia... 

Why are we compelled to tell others that we don't believe? What are we hoping to gain by wearing our faithlessness where others can see it?

For me, it's a throwback to those playground days. No, someone isn't watching every thing we do, but there is still good, there are still songs and happiness but those should be enjoyed without fear. The rewards and punishments come from real things, either our parents or civil authority or ourselves...but not the imaginary.

I share because I believe that the truth is good, it is freedom, it is a gift without a judge.

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