I recently turned 63 years old. Yikes! With that goal being reached (not really but what is there to say about being 63, really?) and in light of Obama's nod to atheists in his inauguration speech, I have some things to say.
of all, it's too bad the word "atheist" carries such a negative load.
My husband isn't crazy about me using it (he's still hanging on to
Christianity which is fine by me) because it seems to freak people out.
Sometimes I describe myself as "not religious."
grew up in a wonderful church - Sunday school, choir - the whole
enchilada. I have nothing but the warmest memories of those times but I
never really felt like I fit in. I've had many discussions with some
of my gay friends and we compared similar feelings. I bowed my head
with everyone else, I sang the hymns while standing in the alto section,
I got married by a clergyman but never felt what other people described
as "their love of god."
Does that make me a bad person? An uncaring person? I don't think so. I think I'm a damn fine person.
friend once used the "there are no atheists in foxholes" on me. Well,
I've been in a foxhole or two, including breast cancer, and didn't fall
to my knees. You know who I depend on? Myself first, family and
friends and then the experts in whatever field I need an answer in.
friend said he thought I sounded angry when I talked about religion.
No, I think religions are interesting. It's the people trying to
shove it down my throat that bug me. Assuming everyone is a christian -
that's annoying. Prayer at public school graduations, the Madonna and
child on a postage stamp and the ever-present, "so help you god" when
I'm sworn in as an interpreter in the courtroom. Those are the things
about religion that get under my skin.
glad I had a religious upbringing. It gave me the opportunity to make
an informed decision about my life. I love my life and look forward to
whatever time I have left helping people who need support during their
time of grief (I'm a hospice volunteer), other women who want to chat
with another breast cancer "thriver" and making grants to non-profit
organizations as a trustee for a family foundation.
I am an atheist.