I am currently in graduate school and was taking a class called "Wellness in Counseling". As part of the class we had to take a Wellness Inventory to see where our wellness was. Along with Social Well Being, Physical Well Being, Spirituality is measured. My professor explained that you do not have to be religious to be spiritual (so I took her word for it).

So I took this inventory and was astounded by the questions they asked about spirituality and what makes one well in regards to spirituality. On a Lickert scale from Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree, they wanted to know if you believed in "god" or a higher power. Obviously being an Atheist, this would be Strongly Disagree. Along with this question there were many others that implied religion as part of spirituality. So I disagreed with this inventory. I was given an average wellness of 78.9 our of 100. My spirituality was 35.

In the next class we discussed about what we thought about this inventory. People were raving about it, and I spoke up about how I thought that this inventory assumed that those that were taking it were religious and that having religion means being more well. I stated that I am an atheist and the questions that regarded a higher power, prayer, etc do not apply to me, but I do not see it as being unwell. I had made a valid point, but looking around the room, I was given glares of death. I was an atheist and to many of the people in the class, that was completely wrong, and my point did not apply to them, so it was disregarded.

I don't talk much about being an atheist and I don't parade around to everyone I met saying "Hi my name is Leslie and I am an atheist", but based on the reactions I received, I can see how many are afraid to state their non-belief. I have decided that I need to stand up and say things like I did in this class because other atheists may be afraid to say anything, but people also need to realize that not everyone believes in religion.

Views: 5

Tags: atheist, classroom, judgement, wellness

Comment by Robert Karp on June 17, 2011 at 1:11pm
Great 1st post! Check the article by Sam Harris that addresses this very topic!  http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/new-article-by-sam-harris
Comment by Apple on June 17, 2011 at 1:57pm

The test is faulty.  Is a cultural Christian who only attends church on Christmas and Easter and has some vague ideas about God actually more "spiritual" than a Buddhist monk who has renounced material consumerism and lives a simple life in quiet contemplation?  There are many very "spiritual" people who do not believe in a power coming from outside their own mind, and Sam Harris is one of them. I would say that rather than just saying the test doesn't work because you're an atheist, I would show them how the test is broken by how it would dish out low scores to many people who live very "spiritual" lives.

Comment by Lindsey on June 17, 2011 at 2:29pm
I'm sorry people gave you death glares :(  I've found most of my classrooms to be generally accepting when I've spoken up about my nonbelief, even if there are a couple hostile people. I can't imagine having the whole room staring at me like I just strangled a puppy. But good for you for speaking up. As more atheists speak up, other people will realize that there are alot more of us than they thought, and that we are just ordinary people and not murderous sociopaths.
Comment by Doug Reardon on June 17, 2011 at 2:35pm
Don't live in the bible belt, I assume, Lindsey?
Comment by Dogly on June 17, 2011 at 5:15pm
What? Are we atheists bragging about how "spiritual" we are?  I have no spirit in me.  I'm just a body, including a rudimentary brain. In medicine, being delusional is a sign of mental illness, not health!
Comment by Philip Jarrett on June 17, 2011 at 8:23pm

The spirituality hogwash is just another con game like religion.  It is designed to take money from people by plying to their vanity and their fantasies.  I was a Charismatic Christian for about ten years in my life.  I saw how the con works.  If you can call a con when the marks are so eager to buy into it.  The subtle...and often, not so subtle...manipulation.  Two Charimatics meet on the street and the first thing they do is compare testimonies.  How many diseases have you been cured of?  How many miracles have you seen?  How many demons have you had cast out?  The more you lay claim to, the higher your status in the power structure of the church.  Church...spirituality... is all about power.  As such, the person who is willing to tell the most outlandish lies and tell them without consideration or remorse...what we've come to call a sociopath...rises to the higher levels in the church with the biggest mega-churches and media ministries and the most influence over the governent of this theocratic state in which we live. 

Some people are worried about Michelle Bachman and the Tea Party establishing a theocracy in this country.  Idiots.  When any candidate who runs for public office must make an open statement of his faith...and it had better be Christian, becuase they know all about this 'spirituality' nonsense...Satanic Counterfiets, they called them back in the day.  When an atheist can't be elected to office.  Hell, when the Founding Fathers couldn't even get elected.  Then we are living in a theocracy.  The only question is which demigod will finally end up with the power.

Spirituality?  I spent another ten years of my life in Neo-Paganism. Long story, but the point to this article is the same kind of con games and mindfucking went on in the covens.  I've done it all, spells, OBEs...I made my own set of runes and did the Psychic Fair circuit as a runecaster for a couple of years. 

New Age?  Have you seen the pictures of these people on the covers of their books?  Are they spiritual or do they just have a great hairdresser and makeup person.  And the cost of these spiritual seminars?  Bottom line is a rich person can afford to be spiritual while a poor person has to settle for being religious. What a crocka-locka. 

I'm old school, last time I saw Ram Dass was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the early Nineties. Silliness.  I went to hear a Tibetan Mystic at a local college...my wife was into Buddhism at the time.  At the end of the lecture filled with all kinds of miraculous bullshit that only happened in the Himalayans  with oxygen starved brains for a witness and couldn't be done at sea level in front of cameras they had the audience stand up and walk forward to this guy in his rugs to get their 'blessing'.  I walked out and stood in the hall.  One of the little Guru Groupies came up and asked if I was going to go forward and get my blessing.

I told her I don't bow down before any man.

She was rather non-plussed by my answer.

Nope.  It's all smoke and mirrors.  Spirituality is just another superstition that has to be gotten rid of just like God or Patriotism.  Grow up, become an adult.  It isn't nearly as bad as you think it is. 

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