This is my first submission to a local "zine" that gave me an atheist section. Please tell me your thoughts.

Hi, my name is Erica and I am an atheist. If that bothers you or makes you angry, I would suggest flipping to a different page. An open mind is needed to continue.
With that said, it is not my intention to convert, ruffle feathers, step on toes or any other saying that means to “piss everyone off”. My intention, is to write a readable article for a “budding woman’s zine”. It just so happens that, to some, being an atheist is offensive enough so I don’t even have to try.
I’d first like to explain what an atheist is and isn’t.
So, what does atheist mean? Simply, it’s a lack of belief in a god or gods. It does NOT mean that I sacrifice cats, eat babies, worship the devil, or place curses on my neighbors for loudly thumping their bass as they drive down the street at 3am. I don’t hate everyone. Granted, there are a few people on this planet that I could do without, but generally I can deal with just about anyone. I don’t hate god. It’s impossible to hate something that I don’t think exists. Atheism is not a religion. Richard Dawkins is a very smart man, but he is not a god that we worship. I don’t hate Christians. I don’t agree with a lot about Christianity, but I by no means hate them. Atheists have morals despite not getting them from the bible. If there were no bible, would we be living in chaos? Is the only thing keeping you from killing on a daily basis the constant reminder that there’s a book that says it’s a no-no? Of course not, but if it is I suggest seeking professional help.
Why become an atheist? It’s difficult to take a real hard, close look at what you’ve been taught your entire life. It’s hard to think about the possibility that the way you view the world could be wrong. It’s scary to think about a world where there is no supernatural guidance or promise of afterlife. It is easier to place hope in god and release yourself from responsibility for the future. It makes the bad things in life a little easier. The thought of “everything happens for a reason” is a calming one. But, have you ever had the feeling that you were the only one in the room who didn’t get the punch line of the joke? Everyone around you is laughing but you just don’t get it? This very feeling is what started chipping away, bit by bit, at the façade of religious belief for me.
In order to stand by a belief one needs to understand it. One needs to be able to look at other views and decide what is true for them. Religion is especially tricky since there is no way to prove or disprove anything. Religion is kept alive by the perpetual motion of faith. (At a later date I will discuss my beef with faith. That topic gets its own article!)
An argument for the proof of Christianity might be the bible. However, the bible is one of the least historically accurate pieces of literature ever written. Some say it’s just a book of parables and suggestions on how to live a good life. If that’s the case, why is taking verses literally an acceptable argument when it comes to homosexuality? By that logic fathers can sell their daughters into slavery and women have to go to the outskirts of town once a month when “Aunt Flow” comes for a visit.
Religion doesn’t make sense to me. I am an atheist because it makes sense.
If you’ve read this far I’d like to congratulate you. I’ve only scratched the surface of this topic and hope that you’ll continue giving me a reason to write by continuing to read.

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Comment by Randy on June 15, 2009 at 10:38pm
You don't eat babies? Huh. Time to rethink my Saturdays. Anyway, aces for getting published!
Comment by Aric on June 15, 2009 at 10:47pm
Very good article.
Comment by Reggie on June 15, 2009 at 10:54pm
Good article. What kind of thoughts are you looking for?

I think it's great that you have an opportunity to write articles from an atheistic perspective. We all know that religion permeates all manner of print media. Open your local newspaper and there is a full section devoted to "worship". Is there a large readership for this "zine"? And what is a "zine", exactly? A web magazine?

Just remember not to puke on them!
Comment by db74 on June 15, 2009 at 11:30pm
Forth paragraph, you need a hard return after "life." to send the "It's" to the next line. LOL, I'm kidding, kinda, but nice intro column.
Comment by James on June 15, 2009 at 11:46pm
Sounds like a good start tome. Well written and should keep their attention. Congrats on getting published!
Comment by Erica on June 16, 2009 at 7:37am
Ok, folks. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to combine what I have here with one of my past blogs about the concept of a prayer chain.
The publication only comes out 4 times a year so I need to jump in and make a splash instead of trying to tiptoe into the topic.
Comment by Erica on June 16, 2009 at 7:38am
Oh yeah, and thanks for all the kind words! I'd kiss you all on the face if could!
Comment by Reggie on June 16, 2009 at 7:43am
I'd kiss you all on the face if could!

Careful, there. Some of us might hold you to that!
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on June 16, 2009 at 9:39am
I'd kiss you all on the face if could!

*takes a number*
Comment by Dave G on June 16, 2009 at 1:42pm
Looks like a good intro article, Erica. I expect that if you want to do a future article on feedback you get from the readers, you'll probably have a rich assortment to choose from. :)

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