12:12 PM Skyshock
Thanks to the awesome comments on the last entry, Gambling For Salvation, it came to me that i had to give out an explanation of what atheism and being and atheist means to me, of course the word atheism means "without gods" and any atheist is considered someone who rejects the idea of a creator god. But it isn't a religion or an organization, it doesn't have a set of rules, you don't need to go somewhere once a week to reinforce your atheism, there are no atheist pastors that guide you whenever you are having problems.
To me being an atheist doesn't just mean i don't believe in god, it is much more than that, even though the correct term would be a critical thinker, i rather say that i'm atheist, its a stronger word, stigmatized maybe by popular misconceptions, hell, atheists are the least trusted people in america. Whenever i say i'm an atheist, i mean i don't believe in god, demons, ghosts, exorcisms, homeopathy, and pretty much every other unfounded belief in the world, a true skeptic, a doubter, a non-believer, a naturalist, a rationalist. Anyone that spends more than 30 minutes with me during the day can easily notice it, i'm the guy that doesn't go with the flow whenever someone makes an unbelievable claim, of course to be like that you need a bit of a sense of humor so you don't come out as a complete ass, people are very touchy when you call them out on their bullshit.
For the past few years of my life atheism has got me interested in science, biology, astronomy, it keeps me thinking, it makes me read books and watch documentaries, i stopped being so self centered, i realized that my life isn't that important to the rest of the world that an omnipotent being would change time and events just to benefit me. Instead, it taught me how to better appreciate my life and the lives of those around me, unlike Jesus that turned water into wine, atheism made me realize that alcohol was one of the most dangerous drugs out there, it kills people by the thousands every day, ruins families and keeps the poor, well, poor.
I always wanted to make a blog, i always felt like i could use a scapegoat to express myself, to ventilate the thoughts dwelling inside the deepest caves of my mind, the thoughts that kept me up at night thinking, today, i'm proud to say that The Incredible Blog was featured on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science twitter as a new member of the OUT campaign and its just another incentive to keep on writing.
Atheism has changed me a lot, i remember when i was a kid, around 7 or 8 years old, my fundie grandmother in cooperation with my mother told me that if i kept telling lies, satan was coming to get me, it's stupid now, but you have to understand, at that age, if both your authority figures, grown people, tell you that the "enemy" as they would call it, the king of darkness, the master of torture, the most evil being in the universe, was coming to take you away because of your lies, well, that was enough to keep me alert at nights to say the least. Eventually i got so worried about it, and remember i was brought up in a christian family, that i had to go tell my mother how hard it was for me to sleep because satan was coming for me, my mother probably noticed that i was genuinely worried, so she prayed for me and told me that i was protected.
Church wasn't fun back then, we used to go to my grandma's church but the family, except for my grandma, got kicked out from it, why?, well, my mother and uncles were all friends with the pastor's nephew, really good friends, one day the pastor found out one of his daughters was pregnant, the father?, his nephew, our buddy, an incestuous relation is the last thing you need in a small church, so they told us to cut any relations with the guy, we didn't, so we got banned from church.
My mother, a single mother, didn't mind that all of this had happened under the nose of god, so she took me to a different church, a methodist church, i remember bible class there was hell, people couldn't be any more pretentious, kids didn't like me very much either because the first few days one our the teachers held a little contest, if you knew the sermon of the mount, you could win a tape with christian children songs on it, they've been getting ready for this for a couple of weeks now, of course i won the thing and i still have the tape to prove it, so from then on i had absolutely zero friends my age, just a kid i knew from school.
Rejection is probably what got me interested in reading the bible cover to cover at about 12 years of age, i had nothing to do in church and i always had a bible with me, so i started reading, now, i have to admit i didn't really understand much of it, but i now i do and i'm glad i did read it back then. My favorite book was definitely Revelations, it was the lord of the rings on steroids, fire, dragons, beasts, hydra-whores, trumpets, branding, chains, darkness, destruction, corruption and suffering, lots and lots of suffering, i remember picturing everything in my head as i was reading it, the kind of imagery you want your 12yr old to be thinking about every night. After i was done reading the bible i started to really fear god, and i mean really fear the guy, he was remorseless, relentless, and he was going to destroy the world.
That's around the time i had the most spiritual moment in my life, i remember sitting in my room, looking up at the ceiling, wondering if god was going to end the world in my lifetime, i figured i would live the rapture, everyone was talking about how 9/11 was predicted by the bible, how it was a sign of the end of times, so i prayed to god, i asked him to please let me live my life fully, to finish school, get a job, find a wife, i wanted to have a chance of experiencing life. I lived in fear, fear of god, fear of demons, fear of ghosts, nothing can take away fear, you fear what you don't know, ignorance is fear.
Nobody should allow their children to go through that, from my own experience it is abusive, it's psychologically harmful, you are an adult, it all sounds harmless to you, but to a kid its real, its very real, just a few days ago i was reading on a cousin's facebook page how proud she was that her 8yr old son got scared shitless when she told her how people suffer in hell for being bad persons in life, she thought it was cute for his son to cry and tell her that he wouldn't be "bad" anymore, i told her it was abusive and she laughed at it, she didn't take it seriously, she thinks its all good, and i'm afraid this is something that goes on everyday on a lot of families.
The fact that some of my oldest memories are mostly about stuff that was said to me in church, or silly religious threats by my own family has to say a lot about how religion affects children's minds, of course i have happy memories too, but the bad ones are still there for some reason, and most of them have to do with religion.