When I started dating my husband, all I told my family was that his religion wasn’t traditional. I didn’t want them to judge him prematurely for not being Christian of any flavor or variety. How does one tell their Mormon family that your boyfriend is pagan?
But the first thing one of my sisters said to me was, “Mom said he’s an atheist.”
At the time, that scared me, and I assured them that he had religion. It just isn’t…typical. I’m still not sure why that term has such a stigma about it.
Yes, during the Cold War, we portrayed the Communists as “godless” and the country became obsessed with inserting god into government on all levels. Therefore anyone who doesn’t believe in some form of a higher power must be satanic baby-eaters.
When preparing for the wedding this past spring, when looking for a videographer, I came in contact with the person that would prove to be the catalyst for changing my opinions on the many things I grew up believing. I started listening to her podcast, and from there I branched to others.
I learned from them and saw the hypocrisy that were the building blocks of my life. I laugh at their irreverent jokes about religion and agree with most things they say. The ideas that athiests are a blight on humanity couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are some wonderful secular charities that I learned about and donated to because of them. (Doctors Without Borders and Modest Needs being two of many.)
While I still can’t bring myself to use the word to describe myself, Atheist is no longer a four-letter word to me.