Note: This has been altered slightly to protect identities.
I am confused. I do not hate you because you believe in God, but many of you seem to hate me because I refuse to. I could remark on the irony of that, but it hardly needs pointing out.
It is true that I am an atheist. In fact, I’m proud of my atheism. I came to this belief myself. No one told me to believe this way, no one told me what this book or that book means. I read and determined for myself what it meant. I acknowledge no savior or eye-in-the-sky diety, watching my every move, just waiting for a slip-up. I do not worship a capriciously malevolent bully who punishes thoughtcrime even as he not only condones but commands slavery, genocide and the murder of one’s own children. I find such things repugnant. Why don’t you? Perhaps you have previously encountered only timid atheists, ashamed to admit to their friends and families that they just don’t buy all that superstitious nonsense.
Now, you may be offended by my beliefs. I am equally offended by yours. I get accused of being cruel, insensitive and self-righteous. My experience with most believers has shown you to be a closed-minded, sanctimonious, prejudiced bunch.
I often post controversial statements in my status update to engender debate. These are serious issues, and it’s long past time that we discussed them in the open.
This may surprise you, but I was raised by devoutly religious parents who took both the religion and the heritage seriously. I attended religious school for ten years. My studies included not only the religion I happened to be born into, Judaism, but also a comparative survey of major world religions. I continued my studies on into college and beyond, and still read the Bible and other religious texts regularly. I enjoy the stories, the characters, and most of the all the mythology. But I don’t believe for a second that the laws of physics, biology, mathematics, geology and meteorology were suspended for a while two thousand years ago.
I do not begrudge anyone their faith, but I do insist that if you’re going to make public policy based upon your faith, you back it up with rationality and evidence.
I would love to discuss this issue further with you, and I hope you have the spiritual fortitude to engage in such debate. In my personal experience, it is only those whose faith is weak who wish to avoid the discussion altogether.
Is a serious, well-thought challenge to your core beliefs so beyond your measure?
Let’s talk – really talk – about these issues that inflame so many passions.