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You Can't Be Serious...Really?

By Joel H. ~

I was just about to leave my brother's wedding reception held at a local banquet/dance hall when one of his friends called me over to talk. He had been trying to convince the bartender to give me a shot of his choice all night and asked why I wouldn't "loosen up a bit." All I said was I just didn't want a drink and that was a good enough reason for me. Besides, I'm only 20 (even if I live in WI) and I've got better things to worry about than how much I can drink. Then quickly they changed the subject and asked me if I liked going to church since his family goes to the same one I do. To his surprise I said no I do not. After I said this, he called over one of my brother's friends and they tried to convince me why I was wrong. They told me I am a loner in need of a group and something to believe in bigger than myself. And this is why I should "like" church, believe in god, and return to Christianity.

First off, the reason I'm a loner to begin with is because I've changed so much since graduating high school I no longer fit in with my old friends anymore which is perfectly normal. I could go out and make new friends, but right now my main goal in life is to simply get out of the parent's house under my own terms. Although I've been keeping this to myself, "my plan" on achieving this is to go to the local technical college and study to become a mechanical designer. And if I wish to, I can continue on at a university to become a mechanical engineer. Along the way, I'm sure to make some friends and it doesn't take much effort on my part if I'm around people all the time then.

I'm not going to waste my time praying and worshipping a god I can't even see. There are more important things that need tending to. People are unemployed, starving, facing death due to civil war. We need to study the Earth's climate, fully develop all alternatives to fossil fuels, redesign education in our schools, you get the idea.Second, why do I need a group? Yeah it would be nice to meet up with other atheists, agnostics, and other irreligious people in my area, but that's not the point. My brother's friends were suggesting I need to be a part of a group because I need to be like everyone else. Like everyone else? So we should all have the same likes, dislikes, thoughts, opinions, etc.? Then when someone such as myself comes along and goes their own way they are a threat to the group you speak of? Why is it that the group hates critical thinkers like me? Because the group only works if people are obedient and closed minded. Those in charge of the group know once people think for themselves they will leave and their source of power to broadcast their opinions will collapse.

Third, I need to believe in something bigger than myself? Why do I need to convince myself there is a god and an afterlife just so the time I spend here on Earth will be filled with happiness? Why can't I live in the moment whether it be exciting or dull instead of fearing I won't use my time right? What could be so bad about living for only a short amount of time compared to how long the universe has been around? If you want to believe there is a god and an afterlife, that's your business not mine. But I'm not going to waste my time praying and worshipping a god I can't even see. There are more important things that need tending to. People are unemployed, starving, facing death due to civil war. We need to study the Earth's climate, fully develop all alternatives to fossil fuels, redesign education in our schools, you get the idea.

For me this is the choice I've made which no one should try and change. I know in the future I will still face criticism for being an atheist. But this is my life and this is the path I've chosen and I'm not hurting anyone by having done so. There will always be those who disapprove of my actions and all I can do is let their words go right past me. Yes, maybe I do need to "loosen up a bit", just not with an alcoholic beverage.


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