Does the title freak you out a little bit? Does it give you the sudden mindset that I am doing something wrong for my children and myself? It shouldn’t.
The only difference between an atheist and a Catholic or an atheist and a Christian is that these religions believe in one more God than I do. There are thousands of recognized “Gods” among all of the different religions and everyone believes that theirs in the only one. In my lifetime I have seen debates, fights and wars stem from religious intolerance. I have heard of technology and medicine development being slowed down because of religious beliefs. I have found a lot of flaws in what organized religion does vs. what it claims. Honestly, I am not aiming to offend anyone when I say that I do not believe in the pie in the sky.
My parents are religious, at least my father is, we never really discussed religion growing up. My father was raised Christian and my mother was a flower child, she used to walk us through the woods on Easter and tell us that the woods were our church. We said grace at the dinner table and occasionally attended church if we slept over at our Aunt and Uncle’s house, but religion was never pushed on me. I was twelve when I stopped believing.
Not only did I stop believing that there was anyone to pray to, I also stopped believing in organized religion as a whole. It seems like just another way to separate ourselves from each other. How will this decision impact my children?
If either of my boys ever decides to look into religion, I have no plans to stop them, it’s their choice. Something about forcing your kids to participate in something that you believe in doesn’t seem fair to me regardless of which way you lean on the matter. For the time being I have plans to educate my boys on respecting the environment because in my eyes that is the only thing truly responsible for our lives. The water cycle brings us something to drink, the ground brings us food to eat, the plants give us air to breathe. Religion? Religion gives us a reason to distinguish ourselves from other people and hands all of the credit to an intangible man. It breeds an idea that no matter what we do, everything is God’s will.
Then there’s the morals aspect of things. People hear atheist and they automatically assume you have no morals because you don’t read the same book that they do. I never needed a bunch of written out words to tell me the difference between what is right and wrong. There is no one judging my actions at the end of the day but myself and the people who love me and for that reason I always strive to be the best version of myself.
When times get tough? A lot of people turn to religion, they read scripture and pray. When I have troubles I look to family and friends for guidance and understanding. It is my hope that if my sons ever have troubles they will turn to me or their dad for help and acceptance.
Atheism isn’t angry people stomping around and raining on the religious parade. Atheism is just people who think that the world would be a happier and safer place if religion didn’t exist. In my household I will not push atheism the same way that I will not push religion, but I know that the outside world will not be able to help itself from trying to get inside. Kids who attend church with their parents will inform my kids about God, people will show up on my doorstop with pamphlets, churches will remain on every corner in my small town. And I will remain silent waiting for the day that my kids come home and ask me why we don’t go to church like everyone else…