The Irony!

Ha! So right after I post my xmas strategy entry, my blog finally gets added to the outcampaign.org website and twitter. Oh, the irony. For those who don’t know or haven’t clicked on the scarlett A in my blog it is a link to Richard Dawkin’s Out Campaign.

The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism

The campaign is a great initiative in my opinion – it encourages atheists to “come out” about their stance on religion/god/gods. I have never been quiet about where I stand on this spectrum. I was raised Roman Catholic in an Eastern European household, however we were never very religious – church on Sundays when I was kid that eventually became just xmas and easter, and then just easter and then never. I attended catholic elementary and high school. I have no beef with that as (looking back) I realized that I went to a very progressive school – yes, I had religion class every year, but it NEVER interferred with any other aspect of our studies. In science we still disected animals of various sizes and evolution was a HUGE part of our education. I even remember a field trip to the back rooms of the ROM to view skeletons of human ancestors. I know I am very fortunate to have experienced what I did – not many catholic schools are as liberal as mine was.

It was actually my first year of high school – in grade 9 religion – that I realized I didn’t believe in the christian god. Or in any god for that matter. Or really organized religion in any sense. I believe they (as in all religions) have caused more harm than good in the world over the course of history. I never had a crisis of faith – probably because looking back I never had faith. I approached the bible stories the same way I approached other mythology – as stories and fables that were meant to teach, not to be taken literally or to imply/state that there is an omnipotent sentient being who created all this. I have never been embarassed or quiet about where I stand on the spectrum – I am an atheist. I am not an agnostic, I am not a lapsed-catholic. I do not believe in the Christian, Jewish, or Muslim god (by the way – they’re all the same god if you haven’t noticed – it’s the prophets that change). I do not believe in any deities. I DO believe that you do not need religion to be a good person. If fact, some of the nicest, most giving and empathetic people I know are atheists.

I do, however, celebrate xmas. Though you’d be hard pressed to see me write it as christmas anywhere. I’ll be honest, I actually LOVE this time of year. The movies, the carols, the decorations etc. I’m a total sucker for it all. I spend a week baking xmas cookies and finding the right presents for the people I care about. BUT I do not celebrate the holiday as the birth of any deity or even the pagan festivals it is based on. I celebrate it as a time of the year when one connects and shares with those who mean the most to them: be that family or friends or both.  I love this time of year because it brings people together. Ultimately a good life is about good people and good memories.

I think we need a man as outspoken as Richard Dawkins, because he’s right – atheists are A LOT more numerous than we think and it’s high-time we spoke up.

If you’re interested in the pagan origin’s of christmas, the wikipedia page isn’t too bad with more links to the various winter festivals it borrows heavily from. Or you can always google “christmas’ pagan orgins”.

Here are some of my curent favourite links about atheism. Check them out if you’re interested.

Christmas Message from Bill Maher

Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m an Atheist

Cyanide & Happiness (Comic Strip)

NYTimes: Atheists Outdo Believers in Survey on Religion

Stephen Hawking: God was not Needed to Create Universe

This is all I’ll say of religion on this blog. I’m not interested in having an argument on this blog about your stance because the reality is you can’t convince me and I probably can’t convince you. If you post something racist/homophobic/or down-right cruel in response to this I will delete it.

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4 thoughts on “The Irony!

  1. I’m out, thanks to you and Richard Dawkins and other great writers. I was indoctrinated into fundamentalist christianity from birth. After I got to college, I spent most of my time studying on my own – everything I could find about other ideas and the real origins of christianity. I was voracious, and my interest made me realize the indoctrination didn’t stick with me, remembering all the questions and doubts I had buried deep for a long time. I know great people who are christian and great people who are atheist. But I know more atheists ready to accept you as you are and work for a better, more ethical world right here and right now. Once your eyes are opened, and you get past the fear of how you will be judged by others for lack of religious faith, you’ll find the truth really does set you free.

  2. Religion is not something I typically discuss with people outside my family. Most of my extended family and friends are Christian and I have found that most are not very “Christian” in accepting the views of others. I always find that ironic. 🙂

    I guess I’m still sort of in the closet and am currently trying to figure out what to teach my kids about religion, when they are surrounded by those who will possibly discriminate against them based on their (my) atheist beliefs. Your post gave me something to think about, though! Thanks for sharing the links.

    • I do not envy your position. I am fortunate that most people in my circle, both family and friends, either have similar views to my own, or we agree to disagree without any discrimination.

      I almost want to urge you to discuss religion more openly as you’ll often be surprised how many people think similarly. But you know your situation better than I do – and I’m also one who firmly believes that both religion and politics make for the best conversations! (I missed that lesson growing up :p)

      I’m just glad it got you thinking. Thinking is good! All the best for the New Year! 🙂

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