Essay: Is it just me?

I thought I had been open about my skepticism and conclusions regarding the unlikely existence of any gods. I openly declared my atheism not many years ago. It felt great and I was happy to be freely expressing my honest opinion, one I’d held for years prior to admitting, “Yes. I am an atheist.” My doubts became my story.

After I let people with access to my Facebook posts know I did not believe in god, I noticed that some things changed. I also discovered that while some folks decided not to continue initiating communication with me, they would respond. Okay, that’s fine. I expected believers to take a step back or just end any relationship we had. As far as I can tell, no one chose the latter. The limited reaction was less than expected.

Then, last week I announced my pending hospital incarceration following a significant medical procedure. I’m home now and fine. I also knew their thoughts, prayers, and healing energy would be offered. Also, fine. One person said she would pray and didn’t care what I thought of it. I clicked like for her comment and I said, thank you. Not a problem. I am an atheist, not an ass hole.

One man said he would be thinking about me, but that he was “not much of a church goer” (i.e., excuse me if I do not offer to pray for you), but he wished me good luck. As I typed my response, I noticed that I was reluctant to tell him that “this atheist” appreciated his kind words, concern, and would rather he not  pray for me. I realized my reluctance to tell him I am atheist. Why is that? It’s not a secret. I thought I wanted people to know.

I am not in any closet. Yet, I stopped to consider the consequences of telling the truth. Others would see it. Others would judge.

Last week “someone” posted here that I was a fool for not believing in god, that I would meet god face-to-face, but it would then be too late. We all know what he or she (“someone” is how WP listed the name) was implying by too late.

Some people are fond of informing me that I shall burn for an eternity in Hell because I choose not to believe what I seem unable to believe. I need to keep in mind that the antipathy of many believers toward atheists (and vice-versa) is seeded with fear. But either I am out, open, and honest, or I am not.

It’s not only me, is it?

Bill

13 thoughts on “Essay: Is it just me?

  1. Hello Bill. How are you? I hope this message meets you well. I recently ran into this post from you here on WordPress. I am a strong believer in God, and I truly understand that everybody has a different perspective on God. However, I also find that there are many people who do not believe because they have unsettled questions about God. In the case that you have any questions about God, any questions about God’s existence, feel free to reach out to ask me.

    I leave you with the words of Psalm 19:1
    The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    ” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.

    I know you do not currently believe, but I just thought those verses are awesome given the context of this discussion. Feel free to reach out anytime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, I am well and hope you are too.

      Somewhere in the blogosphere is my story. This essay is just a snippet (one of many) of my experience.

      I have no questions about the existence (or not) of any of the thousands of gods claimed by people to have existed. If you have any questions about the wonder, value, and truth of atheism, feel free to ask.

      I leave you with words of wisdom:

      “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” (Hitchens)

      “There are no gods.” (Me and many others)

      I’m not reaching out. I am responding in kind.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not only you, of course. I’m Other and I experience similar issues and will be burning in the Hell neither of us believe in.
    Loved “I am an atheist, not an asshole.”
    Glad you’re home and fine, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fortunately (I guess), religion and religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) rarely come up in the (infrequent) face-to-face conversations I have. My family (children, grandchildren) all live elsewhere and since they know where I stand, the topic simply isn’t discussed — in person or on Facebook.

    I would say most of my “religious discussions” take place on the internet. Fortunately, I haven’t had “godly condemnations” thrown at me. Yet.

    I’m happy to hear you’re “home and fine now” — even without any prayers. 😈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am stunned that you haven’t had “godly condemnations” thrown at you – as overt as you are. I’m even lower keyed than Bill, and I’ve had several, including one repeater who first threw Pascal’s Wager at me, and recently said that, WHEN I go to stand in judgement before God, I’d better hope that He hadn’t read any of my Atheist posts.
      He seemed stunned when I reminded him that his omniscient God knows all and sees all, and had obviously read them, and possibly even ‘liked’ some of them. I cribbed from Matt Dillahunty, and told him that, if God gave me an intelligent and inquiring mind, He couldn’t be too surprised or disappointed when I use it. 😳

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Perhaps it’s because I take a low-key approach? — in contrast to some who feel the way to “discuss” religion/Christianity is to throw insults, along with accusations that anyone who “believes” is an idiot, which then, of course, engenders similar retorts — and literally nothing changes on either side.

        Having “been there, done that,” I do understand where believers are coming from and I try to reach them where they are. IMO, the core principle is to get them to T.H.I.N.K.!

        I would tend to agree with your last statement. 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And I am in complete agreement with you, to the point that one of my blog categories is ‘Think! Damn It!’ I gave up using it several years ago, when it became obvious that almost no-one was obeying that directive – from Religion, to Politics, to English usage. 😯

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It’s hard for me to imagine nowadays, but when I started blogging, I avoided religion and politics. My spouse/editor is a grammar nazi , so I have that weakness covered, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am very glad to hear you are fine following a significant procedure. Love the term “incarceration”. It does feel like prison when our bodies must be tended to outside of our own ministrations.
    Welcome back to the world is the healthy (er).

    Like

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