“Open up the gates of the church and let me out of here
Too many people have lied in the name of Christ
For anyone to heed the call
So many people have died in the name of Christ
That I can't believe it all” – Graham Nash
In My Midnight Confession, When I Say All the Things That I Want To
I, nycityman, unknown and unrecognized political, social and satirical blogger, male-pattern baldness victim, rioja reserva quaffer, long-suffering New York Jet fan and born and bred resident of the most supreme metropolis on the face of a hoped for god’s own green Earth, am also a proudly, avowed Atheist. There, I’ve said it aloud. It’s not illegal, it’s not evil, and for the sake of familial harmony, we’ll just agree that neither of us will tell my mother.
I’m not wicked, immoral, a Satan worshipper (a character as fictional as the Lorax or a Tea Partier with a diploma.) I don’t lack love, humanity, care, concern, compassion, sympathy or empathy for others (can you just hear the sounds of the self-congratulatory pats upon the back?) I’m steadfastly tolerant, reserving my intolerance solely for the intolerant (find that quality in the average Christian Conservative.) My feelings and perceptions of morality and right and wrong, are derived not from a fear of an afterlife of eternal Hellfire (see previous Lorax/Tea Partier allusion) nor from the hopes and desires of a burly, man-hug greeting from St. Peter and some infinite reward frolicking amongst long-gone friends and family and possible heavenly encounters with Groucho, Harpo, Stan, Ollie and Marilyn Monroe, but rather from an intrinsic, and natural place of genuineness and sincerity.
Friends, an ethical atheist is a truly ethical person, for the non-devotional’s morality is driven only from the innate need to behave properly toward others, sans expectation of either recompense or punishment in a hereafter, of which there exists not a single shred of evidence. And, as far as the idea of life without end as incentive, I, personally, have never understood the appeal of that concept. Never ending life is an absolutely frightening notion. Do you really wish to live forever? Look how bored you are right now reading this blog. Forever is a concept that is basically impossible to grasp or imagine because, but for energy, it doesn’t exist in nature in any form, and it’s very likely that we are all better off for that reality.
Whatever Gets You Through the Night
If you, on the other hand, are a Christian, or a Jew, or a Sikh or a Muslim or a Druid, whichever the case may be, put down your armaments and stop despising each other for but this moment. Your decision to be faithful, and your choice of faith reflects wonderfully on the benefits of free thought and free societies, and if it fulfills a need or enriches your life, mores the better. As John Lennon warbled, “whatever gets you through the night it’s alright, it’s alright,”with one vital caveat in mind, that you don’t use your religious beliefs as justification to discriminate against others. And there’s the rub as, unfortunately, that far too frequently occurs. For example, should you reference your Christianity as a reason or an excuse to hate homosexuals, no matter how righteously you label yourself as such, you are not a Christian. Crack open the New Testament on occasion if you question that harsh judgement.
This part of the lecture is now over, feel free to re-raise your weapons and resume your killing in the name of your deity.
Then I Saw Her Face, Now I’m a Believer
I refute the designation of “non-believer” thrust upon us heathens among the population. I’m a believer. I believe in various and sundry things. What I reject is personal belief in Norman Greenbaum’s spirits in the sky. What I believe in is facts and science and history and evolution and climate change and equality and tolerance and unassailable truths, just for starters.
Never Been a Sinner, Never Sinned Redux
Like the late Mr. Greenbaum’s lyrics, I’ve “never been a sinner, never sinned.” Not because “I’ve got a friend in Jesus” but because sin is non-existent. Sin is but a man-made conceit contrived by the powerful to control what they unjustifiably perceive as unwanted and unruly behaviors by those seen as inferiors in society.
Now it’s Time to Say Goodnight. Goodnight, Sleep Tight
A growing number of us don’t want or don’t need promises of an infinite tomorrow to sustain happiness or hope. The undertaking of a satisfying and gratifying life today is more than sufficient impetus to propel us toward proper and honorable conduct. And rather than look to an external force as explanation or rationalization for our daily deeds, we are more than willing to accept full responsibility for our actions.
Atheists are not monsters, really. We are regular folk just like you, who happen to have been born with unsightly horns poking out of our foreheads. If you earnest people of faith will consider us with open minds, we will try to tone down our unfortunate attitudes of superiority.
We conclude with Crosby, Stills and Nash performing the classic “Cathedral.”
Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.