Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
One reason I get so het up over the “fundamentalist” atheists, is that I find myself edging ever closer to atheism with every year, but not through their efforts, merely through a continuation of the thought processes that led me from Christianity to Paganism in the first place. And it’s the same impulse that makes me yell at the “fluffy bunny pagans.”
“YOU’RE MAKING US LOOK STUPID! STOP IT!”
Do I think I’ll ever be truly a “capital ‘A’ Atheist?” Probably not. Because I have seen or experienced things (at least in my perception) that lead me to reject the sterile realities of the science uber alles crowd. And while I am willing to concede the non-existence of God or Gods, I am not willing to concede that there is nothing “supernatural” out there. I mean seriously, today’s magic is tomorrow’s science after all, and science is only as good as the one practicing it. What is “supernatural” today, may be perfectly explainable in a year, decade or century. So I’m not willing to close my mind to certain things entirely just because you say so.
Also, I am unwilling to declare that teaching your children a religion or philosophy is, of itself, child abuse. Nor am I willing to declare that under-educating your children is child abuse, because quite frankly that would make millions of parents in under-privileged school districts guilty through no fault of their own (she says thinking “lovingly” of the 25 year old textbooks* of her youth). And I know that those of you declaring that “religion=child abuse” have your hearts in the right places, and the scars of your own religious upbringings fresh on your mind. But dictating no religion, A. Doesn’t work (see Soviet Russia) and B. is no better than dictating any religion.
For those of you screeching about how all religion is child abuse and we MUST STOP IT! you need to realize that not everyone’s experience of religion=child abuse. Some people, like Ogre, have fond memories of their youthful church attendance, but just could no longer believe in God. Seriously, ask him about Church Camp, or the little old ladies at his church. The stories are freaking hilarious.
I have no problem busting religions/the religious for abusive practices. I personally think that depriving children of medical care because “God said so” IS abuse. I also think that “beating the devil” out of a child or squashing them to death in an exorcism or any other “faith-based” death of a child should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and I do not believe that “it’s our faith” is an extenuating circumstance. This goes double for “honor killings.” We already have laws outlawing child abuse, we don’t need to add “thought crimes” to the already over-burdened CPS.
*And by 25 years old, I mean at the time, not now. Now they’d be in their 50s or worse. That Mr. Eisenhower, he was some guy.
…i’m afraid to ask ogre about little old ladies anymore. 😉
They got a new “hellfire and brimstone” female minister once, and the little old ladies rode her out of town on a rail.
You do not fuck with little old Methodist ladies.
Okay, now I need to ask Ogre about the Little Old Church Ladies.
Drive by thought during a crazy day at work, but I think sincere doubt is as much a part of any kind of faith as just stumbling along because it’s expected.
Yeah, I had a fairly nice religious upbringing, I just decided to choose my own doctrine (which, ironically, is the origin of the word ‘heresy’).
Between the choices of a bunch of Romanized 4th century Christians working by imperial edict, and my own experience (not to mention the benefit of being able to look back), I’d rather make my own mistakes, then follow the mistakes of others.
“I find myself edging ever closer to atheism with every year, but not through their efforts, merely through a continuation of the thought processes that led me from Christianity to Paganism in the first place.”
that’s a pretty common arc, the subject of a lot of discussion recently when the well-respected Deò of Deò’s Shadow podcast chose to retire the podcast due to becoming an atheist.
what is interesting to me, though, is that it is perfectly possible, even reasonable, to be an atheist pagan (or polytheist, my preferred term). this is because paganism/polytheism isn’t about “belief”, but about practice. that is, pagans/polytheists do what they do, but leave it up to each individual to decide on why, or what it means, or even to ignore the question entirely. this is unusual to a lot of people who are raised in the creedal environment created by the dominant religions in this society, but becomes more comprehensible as it is experienced.