Am I missing something?

This billboard has made an appearance in the city where I work, and is causing a stir.  Granted, I live in a very "religious" area - there is a church on every corner, and we have at least five religious colleges here.  However, I'm not gonna get too worked up over this.

First, we live in a country with free speech, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  You wanna put up a billboard touting atheism - go ahead.  (You wanna put up a billboard that bashes particular religious beliefs....then we got a problem....)

Second, I went to this website.  I think I must be missing something.  One of their "course offerings" is designed to help people confront the challenges of living a non-theistic/secular lifestyle in a world dominated by religious belief and pseudoscience.  Huh?  We're living in a world dominated by religious belief?  Where? 

Let's see.  Maybe that religious domination in obvious in our culture.  We could watch MTV's VMAs for proof.  Uh, no, not there.

Maybe we could look to politics.  Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney - those folks are NEVER ridiculed for their religious beliefs.  Uh, nope, that's not it.

One million young people gathered in Spain to celebrate their Catholic faith.  The press wouldn't concentrate on a small group of protesters, right - 'cause we live in a world dominated by religious beliefs.  Suuuuure.....

Look, if you want to try and live your life "without God", go ahead.  I think it's silly, and dangerous, and rather muddle-headed.  It's like saying you're going to try and live without air, because there is air pollution.  Yes, people have done bad things in the name of religion.  People have been hurt and scarred by folks claiming to know the will of God.  Yet, God is good, even when people aren't, and He exists.  Better than that, He loves all of us, even wrong-thinking atheists who believe that "free thinking" means that humans somehow weren't made, they just 'are', and that we invented "good". 

One of their course offerings is described this way: 
What Is the Meaning of Life? If there is no supreme meaning or design for everything, people
can still live meaningful, ethical, and satisfying lives.

Bull feathers, as my mom would say.  If there is no supreme meaning, then what the heck am I doing?  Why should I bother watching out for anyone but myself?  Why bother at all? 

Okay, I said I'm not gonna get worked up, and I'm not.  Mostly I'm just sad.  Show me a happy atheist, who looks forward to death with joyful hope, and I'll get worked up.  Until then, I'm gonna keep plodding along my religious path.

3 comments:

  1. I am a huge fan of your blog and am nonreliguous. I am interested in religion mostly due to my daughters interest in it. I am one of those people who is not an atheist or agnostic. I just do not believe in a particular God. I am a caring person, raised catholic but now non religious. I live without religion but with ethics. I love live, hope and care and do so in the absence of God. I dont know what happens when we die or why we are here but here we are and well I suppose its good to make the world as nice a place for ourselves and others as we can. I hope there is some kind of after life, it would be such a shame if there was not.
    I attach an extract from the relevent website that perhaps explains what it is about:

    There are some common myths about the nonreligious—atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists. One popular myth is that the nonreligious are immoral, or at least that they can’t be relied upon to be as good as those with religious beliefs. If you know any nonreligious people (and almost everyone does—see below), you already know this is not true. Human decency does not depend on religious belief. There are good believers and good nonbelievers; there are wicked believers and wicked nonbelievers. You can’t predict a person’s moral character just from knowing his or her metaphysical beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jane, thanks so much for your input! I also don't believe you can predict a person's moral character by what religion they choose to follow - or not. I do believe that civil discourse is good though - we need to talk about these things. Honestly, I don't know what I would do without my faith, but I also understand that some people, for a variety of reasons, choose to live without faith. I can't, and I think it's dangerous to try. But we have to keep talking!

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I love comments, even if you don't agree, but please don't leave anonymous posts. A well-mannered reader leaves a name!

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