‘Atheist’ is a Four-Letter Word

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.


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6 thoughts on “‘Atheist’ is a Four-Letter Word

  1. That’s the great thing about being exposed to other points of view: it creates empathy. When we simply demonize an entire group of people, we don’t see them as human beings with emotions capable of empathy. As many problems as I’ve had with specific individuals, which are well-documented, closing them out completely isn’t any better.

    I’m glad it’s no longer a four-letter word for you. The term gets some backlash. Essentially it’s the one-word label of not knowing all the answers. Religious groups claim they have all of them. Most of the atheists with whom I’m familiar are more comfortable when people are honest about what they don’t know. It’s how we learn from each other.

    Nice girl, that podcaster though…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome to the dark side. Kidding. I’m now a born again atheist having left the fold in the nineties because of wanting to believe in a “higher power.” You can see how that worked out – my education got in the way so – I’m back!

    The Atheist Agenda you posted is quite funny. If we don’t believe in a god, why would whoever put it together think we believe in satan who is supposed to be one of god’s fallen angels? That is so their – whoever they are – problem. And why, for the dark lord’s sake, would we “believe” in a dark lord if we don’t believe there is a lord? Pray, do tell who put that list together.

    The one thing we all need to remember is that so long as one’s belief(s) aren’t being forced on anyone else, then let us alone to believe in the manner in which we choose. What harm is my belief doing anyone else? It’s like what “they” said about same-sex marriage – it would harm opposite-sex marriage. Well, it didn’t and hasn’t.

    Being an atheist has its rewards. It is so liberating.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I relate to having a hard time coughing up the word atheist, because I have to remind myself that it simply means “non-believer in God,” not “evil baby-eater.” Hopefully one day you will be comfortable using it to describe yourself (granted that you do, in fact, not believe in God). I just recently started to get used to saying “I am an atheist,” and while it feels weird, it is really freeing and empowering. Best of luck! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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