From Not My God
Happy Blasphemy Day, everyone! Why celebrate blasphemy, you ask? It's important to put into to practice the concept that we shouldn't respect religion just because it's religion. It is not exempt from criticism the way so many people seem to think it is. Don't bow down to religion when it treads on you in the name of "respect." Respect has to be earned.
Speaking of blasphemy, it was great to see Dawkins on Colbert, talking about his new book, The Greatest Show on Earth. I'll be sure to read it, even if Colbert doesn't like to read.
Another personal aspect of atheism. Pride may be a deadly sin, but while I'm not proud of many things about myself (for those of you who know me, you understand), I am very proud to be an atheist and think all atheists should be proud of themselves.
Like many people, at least like many people in the U.S., I was surrounded by religion from birth and I don't think not having a religion was ever presented to me as an option. Like many of you, it was drilled into me that religion was good and a "moral compass." Many of you suffered great personal costs for open atheism as it resulted in people hating you or families disowning you. While this wasn't as extreme in my case, I did know that I would socially be punished for being an out atheist. Other atheists may have been in the closet, but resented this in their own way.
We knew these things. Yet, there was something inside of us that was strong and smart enough to say, "I'm not going to buy this." For many of us, there was something strong and smart enough to say, "Religion does a lot of harm and I'm not going to let it off the hook."
I feel that I have, in a sense, beaten the odds. I have broken free of the chains, to use a cliche, of socialization and religion which everyone seemed to want to impose on me. How we did this in the first place, for many of us who were never offered the option, is a mystery. Why us and not others? As in, why us and not more people?
I wouldn't obey. I broke free, even at my own personal cost.