8/03/2011 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Steelblood
I've written before, about my trek to the monastery and back, and my return to atheism... Today, however, I'm writing about last weekend. It was the first time I saw my entire family in one place since my irrevocable deconversion in 2009. Frankly, it was disturbing to the point of being perverse.
- My sister, who kept forcibly referring to "the blessed mother" (the family isn't Catholic--she was barking up the wrong papal tree with that one.)
- My brother, who decided to "humor me" by telling me he's an atheist. (he's vacillated between southern baptist, fundamentalist, and possibly every other bible belt variation thereof over the last thirty years; dependent upon his needs at the time.)
- My nephew, who in response to my niece asking the very reasonable question, "Do you think the Jesus story could have really happened that way?" said, "Oh, you're just not educated. How else could it have happened?" (The particularly disturbing part is that he's simultaneously pursuing two Ph.D's right now. I was rather disappointed in him!)
I could go on, but you get the idea. I found myself wavering between utter disgust from being related to these people, and utter disbelief that I'm related to them. I couldn't believe I share a gene pool with people that so brazenly choose ignorance.
I found myself wondering if belief provided them with that profound of a comfort factor, or if belief simply validated their absurd self-righteous tendencies. Wouldn't a stuffed animal be equally comforting but less damaging to those around them?
My apologies if I seem to be waxing poetic, but I've been finding more and more since my deconversion that I have a visceral desire to follow ignorance to the ends of the earth--in order to destroy it. I want to defy that weak mental construct called "hope". I want to refute all tenets of "belief". I want to reject all those who place desire [of belief] above fact. I want to caveman-scream (and maybe beat my chest while I'm at it) from the rooftops of New York that I detest the non-existent god whom so many individuals have ruined the lives of so many peoples in the name of.
One of the most powerful things I learned in my piano lessons many years ago is that the only way to end a bad habit is to replace it with a new (good) one. In that same vein, I want nothing more than to be part of the religion solution. Replace fairy tales with the beauty of fact. Humanity doesn't need a detestable god. Humanity simply needs to see something as beautiful as Yellowstone National Park to behold something "divine".
Or, to see what mankind has done with himself--behold the Brandenburg gate. What is more profound than a seraph wearing a military cap riding a chariot.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the biblicists...but that imagery, more profound than anything in the bible, is simply the work of man.
So, I say to them, "Stop looking towards the sky, where you'll find no one--look at your brothers in humanity and the mysteries that you seek will be revealed to you!"
As I'd said, sorry for waxing poetic, but if I had my choice between bible god and a mortal man with sound mind and sound body, I'd side with the mortal any day, and every day that remains of my life.