In A Positive Light
I am so happy, relieved actually, to find a web site that portrays atheism in a positive light! I was raised in a "Christian" home and am having some problems dealing with "coming out" as far as my belief system. I have known that I am an atheist for quite a while but somehow, whether it is the ingrained belief system or whatever, I sort of have this deep-down "fear" that something horrible is going to happen to myself or my family because of my going against what I was raised to believe. It seems that people automatically think if you don't believe in God that you must be a devil worshipper and that is not true -- at least for me! My parents seem to feel that I have these thoughts because of some bad experience with the church - okay, I guess they are right because I really think the whole church experience is such a bunch of malarkey (sp). Why, at 42, do you think that it is hard for me to just step forward and not beat around the bush with stuff like, "I don't believe in organized religion...etc, etc.". I want to be able to be proud and confident to step forward and tell the world that, "yes, yes, yes...I am an atheist!" Everything that is in my heart tells me that I am correct in this matter. Any suggestions? Is this pretty common in this so-called "Christian" world that we live in to feel like the outsider? It has gotten to the point where I just want to scream when someone goes on about their religion and how it is the only way to believe and that if something horrible happens in my life I will certainly be the first one to find God again...blah, blah, blah! Please help!
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 7:31 PM
Get used to the "A" word. It's not evil. I tell people that atheist are people who simply lack a god belief for whatever reason. This knocks the wind out of any argument that says you have to know everything or scour the universe to be able to say there is no god. Tell them that people making an existential claim ("There is a _____.") are the ones responsible for proving their claim. Those listening to those claims have every right to demand proof for those claims. Study the Clues section of our website to learn the wiles of argumentative chicanery and how to sidestep false logic when it is hurled your way.
Are you an American? I am! Because I am proud to be an American, every time I spend currency, I take out my pen and cross out the word "GOD" on the back of the bill. Then I write "Religion OFF!" on the bill. I do this right in front of the cashier. Later, I developed the nerve to write "Atheist Money" on the bill. This exercise worked wonders with me.
If anybody asks if it's illegal, tell them that it's illegal only to deface coins or to make bills appear to be a different value than they are. Tell them you'd like to be the test case where your right to speak out against what your government does is pitted against the government's right to keep you from defacing currency.
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
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