So, it is my first day on ThinkAtheist and I am really excited. It has been a very long time since I felt any acceptance for my beliefs or at least wasn't rejected straight away because of them. Here is a little about me and my journey. Would love to here how some of you got here.
I am born and raised atheist. I never experienced any religious indoctrination or influence in my childhood (outside of the occasional trip to Grandma's, then it was just something to sit through till lunch time). I can't say for certain that I was shielded from religion by my parents but I can tell you that any bit of belief in Jesus or God was out of me well before I stopped waiting for Santa to show up.
I never really thought anything of it until high school or so. I never had any problem being an atheist because religion didn't seem to matter at all, it never really does to in the sandbox. Not much does, that's what makes childhood good. High school was a mind field of course. Football coaches that prayed for wins and christian student organizations that kept taking pledges to prevent them from acting like teenagers. I found it kinda silly when I started to notice; grown men asking Skinny-Santa to grant me the strength to push some other kid to the ground. "Why did I lift all those weights if you had this in your back pocket coach? And while you were at it why didn't you ask Allah, Yahweh, Odin and Zeus, Coach? Don't you want to win?"
But that was and still is my reality and it is an odd place for me. People kneeling about hoping an imagined person heels a disease in spite of the fact that they won't allow science the freedom to try. Artists thanking the power of god or Jesus for allowing their hit "Bitch Smacker" to win a grammy. I saw online somewhere the other day (one of those 'repost this message if' things on Facebook maybe) where I should pray for no more earthquakes. Are the earthquakes allergic? I don't get the connection between wishing and plate tectonics. It really is absurd to me. I was once told by an acquaintance that miracles proved God existed. At the time we were in a upper level math class. I told him he should spend more time with his books and not The Book.
In my 20's (oh god I am 30 now) I worked mostly in non-profits and doing volunteer work around the country. I've worked in Hospice and built houses for the poor and am constantly looked down on by others for believing in only the natural world. People think being a christian makes you an intolerable person, being an Atheist makes you rage filled, amoral, and arrogant, and being a Muslim makes you crazy probably hiding a bomb under that jacket. Maybe sometimes true for all three but not as a universal rule, by any means.
I always tell people I don't believe in Santa, Jesus or ghosts and I don't need the assurance that no one will ever know and you won't be punished to not steal things. I like to help people because service to others builds character and I think that I am better than everyone and no one in pretty much every way.
I'll end there, basketball is on and my eyes are sore from excessive glancing. Drop me a line sometime and tell me how you got here.