Friday, May 30, 2008

Breaking the News to the Parentals

So it's not like I was ever deeply religious. I always had an aversion to attending church and/or Sunday school as a child. But the guilt that comes with Christianity had definitely been instilled in me. Even though we didn't regularly attend church, my mother always told me to pray. On Christmas Eve she would tell me to thank God for His only son. You get the picture. If I didn't pray, ask God for forgiveness, and believe in God, I was going to hell.

As you can imagine, I have been trying to figure out ways to break the atheism news to my mother. Even before I was atheist, I greatly disliked Christianity, and made it a point to say so when the topic came up at home. My mother's response was usually, "You aren't atheist, are you?!?" At the time, I could honestly say, no, I wasn't. Now, however, I was imagining the conversation going something like:

Mom: You aren't atheist, are you?!
Me: Yes.
Mom: No! You don't want to go to hell!
Me: Well, I'm pretty sure as a Christian I was going to hell anyways. Now I don't believe in hell so surely I can't go there.

In reality, the conversation was much less thrilling. My mom thinks I'm crazy and hell bound, and I'm not even sure I blatantly admitted my atheism, just implied it. But in my family we sweep things under the rug and pretend they never happened. So... All's well that ends well.

See you in hell :-D (I'm pretty sure all the cool people are there anyways)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Atheists UNITE!

Welcome to The Atheist's Log. The goal of this blog is to become a repository for personal stories and thoughts about day to day life as an atheist. The idea (and the name) came from a blog some of my friends started called My Vegan's Log. If you haven't got the pun in the webaddress yet, you'd better head on over to their first post, where they talk about its punny glory. The other inspiration for the blog came from the following experience:

I'm working as an intern at an Air Force base over the summer, and on my second day we're getting our government driver's licenses. The man who is showing us around asks us, out of the blue, whether we have accepted Jesus as our lord and savior. The other intern, a Christian, says yes, leaving me in the awkward position of expressing my unbelief to two people I've just met. Thankfully, I've recently decided that I'm just going to be completely open about my atheism to everyone. I say something along the lines of, "Uhhh, actually I'm a total atheist, hehehe..."

He replies something like "Hopefully you'll change your tune" soon enough. As he goes on to talk about how Jesus came to him and changed his life, I'm standing there thinking "This is a federal government facility and we are all government workers on the job... shouldn't I be safe here?" Apparently not. The guy was actually really nice, and after we got our licenses he told me how much he respected that I was straight with him about my Atheism. As a strategy to avoid further preaching, I simply started talking about anything and everything, from my experiences with Hinduism in India to those with Catholicism in Mexico. I felt a mixture of empathy, dread, awkwardness and anger after the experience, and wished there was a place to share it.

How many other people have a story like this? Lets get blogging!