I know how you feel. Since I don’t remember a time – even through over eight years of Catholic education – when I didn’t doubt the existence of a deity, I probably still have more in common with you, than with any deist. Truth be told, I seriously have doubts on a daily basis, especially when I end up with a screwed up McD’s order, the slowest cashier on the planet in the grocery store, and somehow manage to hurt myself just by opening the mail and walking across the street – all in one day. I get where your frustration comes from, over the fact that there are so many people wandering around out there that overtly show some form of faith in a higher being – how that can grate on your nerves, to the point where you’d rather be locked in a dungeon somewhere with an evil villain scratching a chalkboard.
That annoyance is what fuels your disdain, and your legal campaigns against religions of all kinds. Yes, I get that. However, there is one thing that I really don’t get, and perhaps you could enlighten me on this.
If you don’t believe in the existence of God, even if people that do annoy you, why do you find it necessary to attack those that choose to believe?
Case in point: I despise this time of year. I don’t like Christmas, for various reasons. Because of that, I’ve been known to lose my temper, and have to back away from doing all the various tasks adults have to do in preparation for the holiday. I have to resist the urge to tear down decorations, and throw the tree to the curb before December 25th. I wrap gifts almost immediately after I buy them, so I am not as tempted to return them and play Scrooge for the year. While it might give me some measure of enjoyment to reveal to young children that there isn’t a Santa Claus, I don’t do it. Why? Because I know how to behave like an adult.
I did bring up Christmas for a very good reason, by the way. I’m old enough to know that “Santa Claus” really is the respective parents of all the little darlings out there that still believe. While you might be tempted to compare a childish belief in Santa Claus to adults’ belief in God, I am here to warn you that might not be such a great idea. You see, the fact that anyone believes in Santa Claus does no harm to anyone that doesn’t believe (except maybe the pocketbooks of the parents of said believers.) While you run around complaining about people showing their religious beliefs publicly, you don’t show the same animosity toward the secular figures for religious holidays. I also haven’t noticed any complaints from your ranks about the Tooth Fairy, Cupid, or leprechauns.
Yes, I am suggesting that you need to put God in the category you reserve for legendary figures associated with our holidays, if only because you don’t believe. Seriously, you really are making fools of yourselves by not doing that. Either you believe or you don’t. If you don’t believe, then what anyone that believes does shouldn’t bother you in the least. Sorry, but your argument that your precious offspring might get confused about all of this “God stuff” isn’t convincing anyone. If you’re attempting to raise your children in a godless bubble, you need to get together and start a commune away from everyone else. Otherwise, your children will be socially stunted if they don’t learn at least something about the religious beliefs of their neighbors. And let’s be honest. You don’t seem to have a problem with them learning about Islam for that very reason, so your complaints against Judeo-Christian faiths are at best, ignorant.
No, we’re not buying that you are for a society of “secular tolerance,” whatever that might be. You see, your petty lawsuits, and general attacks against deists in social media for one just prove that you are anything but tolerant. While you might preach that you are opposed to religion, some of you are starting your own. Ironically enough, your “churches” seem to be remarkably similar to Christian ones – you just don’t pray to a deity there.
We’re coming up on a new year, and resolutions are still considered a secular tradition. How about you all resolving to stop berating people that don’t agree with you? It really does defy the logic that you claim you live by that you all are getting upset over people believing in imaginary beings. That is what God is to you, right? God is no more real to you than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, so why don’t you start acting like you should be acting toward children that believe in those creatures? Remember, there have been times when believers have stepped up to fight for their beliefs. It never ends well, by the way, especially not for the ones that don’t have any particular beliefs to defend. Just think about that the next time you get tempted to pick on a believer.
A former atheist