By Brian McKay
I am a little bummed tonight. Apparently I am part of the most hated group in America. Yes, I became an atheist along the way. Fuck it. I might as well admit it. Certainly this will be read by family members that shake their heads in dismay. They probably knew anyway. The black sheep is always the one you suspect of complete deviation from the norm.
So yeah, we atheists aren’t cool. We don’t get a lot of dates, that is for sure. How the fuck did I become this supposedly horrific person in the first place?
Growing up Mormon was interesting, to say the least. At eight you were supposed to know the difference between right and wrong and be ready to be baptized. At eight I knew I liked sugary cereal at six A.M. on Saturday mornings while watching The Justice League and Captain Caveman. That’s all I knew.
By 12 I was kind of figuring out that telling the rest of the world I was right and they were wrong seemed kind of fucked up. At 13 you are spending hours praying to God for figuring out that masturbation felt really good but it was evil and you’d have to tell the Bishop about it in an interview. I prayed for an entire two hours once to stop. Yeah, that is the whole reason that sexual dysfunction is often bread in those that refuse to acknowledge that we are human and, as such, sexual beings. Thank you Ann Landers for confirming it was human in an article of yours I read at sixteen. Whew.
The death of my sister at age 17 was really the lynch pin. When people come up and say it was all part of God's plan, resisting the urge to say, "Go fuck yourself.", is incredibly hard.
Ok, so you know how the story goes. Eventually boy gets laid, drinks, smokes repents and repeats the whole process over again. Boy refuses to go on a mission and tell people he knows the truth at the fragile and, usually, fucked up age of 18. Then he rejects the guilt, heads off to a Catholic University, catches hell and over the course of many years moves back and forth between positions of belief and non-belief, trying to figure it all out. There is always that present fear of letting go of the entire way you were socialized and possibly being wrong and condemned to the Hell (or outer darkness as we called it) that was used to scare the shit out of you your whole life. Eventually, you develop logic, science and philosophy and let go of it all, but it takes years. Eventually, it doesn’t matter anymore. I finally just don’t believe and could never possibly do so again.
The most important thing I ever heard in that time of discovery was that agnosticism was for the weak and non-committal. Choose a side. So I chose.
Can God create a rock so heavy that even God cannot lift it?
That is the problem. Logic. None of it can fit any logical formula whatsoever. One must suspend logic to believe and I just can’t do that. There isn’t a single scientific formula that exists or a logical precept that can support belief, no matter how much any religious person tries. It just comes down to faith. I don’t have any faith, and so I am stuck saying that we head to “the big sleep”. I am cool with that.
There is a big problem I have with being an atheist though. It is my fellow atheists. Many of them are douche bags. I thought we left sanctimonious bullshit for the Ted Cruz’s of the world, not us, supposedly, logical people. Honestly, if you have no belief than why do you care so much about the people that do? If an atheist has to go out and protest for their “rights” and complain about the believers, they aren’t an atheist, they are a moron that needs reaffirmation of what is just a “belief” for them. A true atheist has no belief, needs no reaffirmation and doesn’t care what anyone else needs to justify their existence. A true atheist knows that life is too short for that and that they better live the shit of it.
There is no problem with people having belief. Ever. Many of us need it to survive and I respect that. We need purpose and to feel that we matter in the universe. I need that too but find it in different ways. That is it. We are defined by how we find purpose.
No longer do I give a shit if religion started wars in the past and I don’t care what anyone else wants to believe. The only time I care is when it infringes on the liberties of others and when it distorts reality to our collective detriment. You can go home and bury yourself in any religious text all day for all I care, just don’t come to the bar and fuck with my whiskey sour time with religious arguments.
So why am I bummed? It is hard to be an atheist. We suck. We’re the party poopers of meaning. The chance of finding a date in this world when you are an atheist is about nil. I may not care what you believe but usually you really care what I believe because it is really disruptive when I say there is “nothing”. One of the worst things in the world is developing a crush on a girl and then have to admit that you are one of those non-believer assholes. Yeah, you’ll never hear back after that.
It was once alluded that Tea Partiers had eclipsed us atheists as the most hated group in America. I rejoiced for a bit but then rejected that survey. More families in America say that they would absolutely not approve of their child marrying an atheist than any other segment of society.
Overall, it’s okay. It isn’t belief for me. It is logical certainty. I can’t change that. My rebelliousness growing up always left me on the outside looking in, but atheism is even more so. You wish you could believe but you know you just can’t. It doesn’t take anyone else of similar belief to validate logic and so there is no need to go find other atheists. People of similar belief are only there to validate the ego. Why would anyone care about the ego? All your ego ever did is screw you.
So no. God cannot create that rock and still be God. God can’t save you from a traffic accident and still give you free will. If those tenants could be violated than logic doesn't exist. If logic doesn't exist than nothing exists and this is all just a nonsensical dream.
But that is for me to know and not care if anyone else ever does. I lost my religion, but am always so happy for those that never lose theirs. At rare moments, I wish I could be them too.
Brian McKay is a co-founder of zenruption. He honestly never thought he would write such a thing, but fuck it. The fact that no alcohol was consumed before writing this is pretty spectacular as well. Oh the existentialism of it all.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license