I was at a dedication ceremony recently when I ran into Christine, a refreshingly liberal friend of mine who teaches at the college here. The event marked the installation of a “Peace Pole” at the courthouse, and Christine made a short speech. She talked about diversity and tolerance, and mentioned that there were blacks, whites, gays and straights in the audience, and that our diversity was valuable.
After we were done and the guests dispersed, I pulled her aside and told her that I felt like I was standing on the final frontier in our little town in our little state, Atheism.
I talked about how people in this community pray to Jesus all the time. She added, “That must be hard for you.” It is, but maybe not for the reason she was implying (my rights.) Though there may be situations in which my rights are being violated, that’s not what makes it difficult to hear. What is really hard to hear is that the prayers are factually incorrect. They call to a being that doesn’t exist. The truth is being assaulted by these attitudes and beliefs, which are held in earnest by people who honestly have no interest in the truth.
Why am I saying this? It’s been said and said again. Why does it nag at me that so many people are so willing to believe the absurdity of theism? I’m not going to change any minds. If anything, talking about my atheism is either masturbation or an invitation into a mutual admiration society.
Then again, I Googled “Why are so many people becoming atheists?”…
Every contrary reply to that summary contained at least half a dozen glaringly obvious factual errors. None were able to refute it. None.
But it’s somehow more than an affront to the truth. It’s personal. It angers and hurts me to hear tomes like, “I don’t care what anybody says, I believe…”, in spite of the fact that what they’re being told is the truth.
Someone comment with some real wisdom, please.