So I got home this evening and had this email on my Facebook. Recently I have become more vocal in my criticism of religion and promotion of Separation of Church and State. Apparently it didn't go over to well with my mom, which is weird because I am 31 and haven't lived at home in over 12 years.
Hey, bud -you might want to tone down your Atheistic and anti-religious comments. You definitely have a right to your own opinion and I'm not trying to interfere with your beliefs or to run your life. I am just concerned because of how often I have heard about employers, etc looking for social networks of tentative employees and I don't know if colleges do as well and I would not want to see your admission jeopardized -you have workedfar too hard and deserve this. I love you and hope you don't take this wrong. I'm actually looking out for you. Hope to talk to you soon.
Being the good son that I am I felt it was necessary to respond in a respectful, yet honest way. As I finished writing it dawned on me that this would be a great blog post-So here it is.
Mom: I appreciate your concern; however, I am going into the science field. I will be joining a large group of individuals that have an immense amount of respect for evidence. It is obvious that religion is based solely on faith and has no evidence to support their claims; because of this the majority of scientists are also atheists. I will have no problem securing a job because of my religious beliefs because they are shared by the majority of the scientific community. As far as William and Mary goes, I was accepted due to my scholastic aptitude and my lack of religious faith has no bearing on my academic success. Some of the most outspoken atheists in the country have earned degrees from the most reputable universities in the country. I have no need to worry about losing opportunities based on a discourse that is heavily grounded in reason and scientific inquiry. I understand that many Christians take offense to my comments, but I don't force them to listen to my posts. My criticism of religion is no different than seeing people posting their religious comments. When I make a comment I simply state my position and support it with logic reasoning. WhenI responded to your post I made valid points and waited patiently for responses that would contradict those points. Religion has been afforded unfair privileges and for some reason people feel that it lies outside the realm of critical analysis. People are allowed to hold their religious beliefs, but they should also be able to provide evidence as to why they hold those beliefs. The majority of people can't justify their position and when they see someone question their position they take offense. I feel I am more that qualified to criticize religion because of two reasons. First, I lived a committed life to Christ for four years and actually applied the principles in the bible with no verifiable results. This led me to the conclusion that perhaps the personal god that religion preaches about doesn't exist. Second, I have devoted myself to scientific inquiry over the past several years and found the explanations to be far more enlightening. These explanations can actually be tested and verified by anyone that takes the time to do this. Religion is not something that can be verified, in fact the very principles they are based on yield very inconsistent results. This leads me to two possible conclusions. First, that god is a very inconsistent being that rarely follows through with his promises. In this case he fails to be omnipotent and all powerful which makes him unworthy of adoration. Second, that god is simply a man made convention created to give people peace of mind. This conclusion seems much more rational and eliminates the need to question why god allows such horrible things to occur on this planet. I find that most people choose to believe in religion because it is the only thing they know. People have been indoctrinated to believe that faith lies outside the realm of physical proof and this is why they can look at insurmountable evidence against their beliefs and ignore them. This explains my side of the argument and thoughyou might not agree with my position you have to admit that my conclusions make much more sense than relying on a highly improbable creator. Now I will address my grievances about Christians fighting to keep religious proclamations in the public sector. The majority of Christians maintain a lifestyle in direct opposition to the lifestyle the bible commands. They fight to keep things such as: One Nation Under God, In God We Trust, and Christian prayer during publicly funded events in our government policy, but they don't live a life that is congruent with the proclamations of belief. Furthermore, they fight for THEIR freedom to have these privileges while they deny people of other belief systems their equal representation. If people want to pray they should do it privately like Jesus commanded in the book of Matthew instead of using it as an arrogant display of majority power. When I speak out against these injustices I do it because they spit in the faces of our forefathers that explicitly included Separation of Church and State into the first amendment. I provide valid arguments that can easily be supported, but Christians fail to provide me with any objective reasoning that defends their position other than wanting to maintain the status quo. Maintaining the status quo has never been a solidargument and throughout history it has been shown to stifle progress rather than to encourage it. I am not writing this with the intentions of being offensive or to argue. I am simply stating my reasoning in hopes of promoting an open dialogue. We are all free to hold our own beliefs, but it is far more important to know why we hold those beliefs. If those beliefs begin to fall apart upon critical analysis than it is necessary to reevaluate them. I am not an atheist because it is an alternative to religion; I am an atheist because I have outgrown my need for mystical explanations that don't stand up to empirical evidence. You are my mother and I will always love you. I just ask that you consider my position and think through yours logically before making a final verdict. Religious beliefs are at best highly unlikely and this is why it is important to limit their influence in our government policy. We are all Americans, but we are not all Christians and it is divisive to allow them to have special privileges that aren't allotted to everyone else.