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Just another untrustworthy atheist
It’s a normal weekday afternoon. I’m kicking back in the computer chair, relaxing after a long day at school. I open up my amazingly speedy internet browser (Firefox, of course) and initiate my daily visit to Facebook. I glance at my news feed long enough to notice someone’s reposted chain message. It’s one I’ve seen before. It says something along the lines of “I am proud to call Jesus Christ my savior. 97% of facebook users will not repost this, but I am not ashamed of God. Repost this if you feel the same way.”
I frown. Where do people come up with these bizarre statistics, I wonder. Clearly, most Facebook users won’t even see this post, so this is irrelevant anyway.
Slightly annoyed, I proceed to my message inbox; a rare event has occurred! I’ve gotten a new message! My frown deepens as I open the message and read an angry proclamation that I have allowed the devil to overtake my life and that the sender is very disappointed that I do not see God the way she does – the way I SHOULD. So, I do what anyone else would do: I click on the sender’s profile link so I can glare at her profile. But alas! She has deleted me from her friend list, so there is no profile available for me to glare at!
While I hastily type a rational explanation of my religious beliefs to the de-friender, I sigh in exasperation, but deep inside, I’m hurting. Am I not worth talking to because of my religious beliefs? Would Jesus have deleted me like that?
Every day, atheists in the USA face scenarios like this one. Recent studies have shown atheists to be the least trusted people in the country, with more than half of people questioned in one survey proclaiming that they would flatly refuse to vote for an atheist presidential candidate (never mind that candidate’s policies – atheism is a clear indicator of a crooked politician).
Such statistics, as well as the remaining presence of God’s name in the USA’s motto and Pledge of Allegiance, as well as on its currency (and even federal weaponry, as recently revealed) show that despite its alleged separation of church and state, the US still has a ways to go in the way of secularism and religious tolerance. The US, according to yet more studies, has one of the highest rates of theism, as far as developed countries go.
Other counties, such as Sweden and the Czech Republic, have much higher rates of atheism, with a majority of citizens in both countries claiming to have no religion. Despite the apparent lack of trustworthiness among the people there, I really haven’t heard of any horrible riots or violent outbreaks or mass terrorism in those countries.
Theists have asked me what my purpose is in life and why I feel any obligation to remain moral. Apparently, since I don’t believe in an invisible, all-loving deity that will promptly throw me into hell for all eternity if I don’t life a sinless, conservative lifestyle, I must be a purposeless animal of no morals. There is absolutely nothing stopping me from stealing and killing right now. Since I’m an atheist, I must be too stupid to care about humans laws and too unfeeling to care about humans themselves. Regardless of the fact that every atheist I know, myself included, believes all humans have potential, dignity, and worth, I am moral-less, crude, and unfeeling.
I’ve also heard people complain that atheists are too adamant about their beliefs. They are intolerant of theists and they are completely arrogant. They shove their beliefs down the throats of theists. While I have definitely met some adamant and arrogant atheists, I can certainly say that I have never been approached by an atheist with threats of hell accompanied by a cordial invitation to the church that will save me from these fires. And when I was a Christian (which I was, meaning I have given theism a chance), I was never rejected as a friend by an atheist due to my theism.
One could also argue that every single person is born atheistic, before being instilled with religious dogma and beliefs by others, or, as a Christian might put it, “receiving the Good News.”
Finally, I can say that if I’m wrong and that the Christian God really is up there (and there’s a chance that he is), then I’m sure I’ll be going to heaven anyway. See, if God exists, he loves me and he has a plan for me. And since atheism is clearly part of his plan for me, I must be doing the will of God. Since he’s all merciful, he won’t condemn me to hell for my lack of belief, especially since he didn’t offer any actual evidence of his existence. Yup, I’m certain that if God exists, he’s saving a nice seat for me up in heaven.