There is a lot about Christianity that I don’t understand, from giving up your life in exchange for being spared eternal punishment, to LGBTQ+ discrimination, to not eating meat on Fridays during Lent, to Noah’s Ark. But one of the greatest mysteries to me is prayer. As people grow older, their prayers typically evolve from asking God for what you want to thanking God for what you have and asking him to guide you in the right direction. While the latter appears to be more selfless and appropriate, I can’t help but see it all as just silly.
A few months ago, some of my classmates got into a discussion about whether my college is really all that Christian. I’ve talked before about how I go to an oppressively Christian school that teaches Christian values, has mandatory chapel services, requires a letter of recommendation from a pastor for the undergrad application, and looks down on atheists and those of other beliefs. During this conversation, my Christian friends mentioned that it really wouldn’t be a big deal for a non-Christian student to attend. After all, other than attending chapel, we aren’t required to fast, read the bible, or go to bible study or church. “How bad can it be?” says the Christian student attending the Christian college.
I’m not going to be able to have this conversation with you until two years from now, but every day I wish I could tell you now. Whenever I see people and their parents, I’m jealous that they aren’t separated by a secret that if one of them knew, the other wouldn’t even know how to look at them anymore. You don’t know it, but every time I look at you, I feel guilt wash over me. You pay for me to go to college. You love me. You pray for me. And I feel as though I deserve none of it, because I don’t believe that you would love me in the same way if you knew who I really was.
Most of the time, when I hear the word “autonomy”, it’s being referred to as a negative thing. Almost everyone I know has a pretty steadfast “Jesus take the wheel” mindset. They let go of their worries, send up some prayers, and let God take care of the rest. It’s not their problem anymore, nor should it be. If something doesn’t work out, they simply say that it wasn’t in God’s plan for them and that when he closes one door, he opens another.
The idea of autonomy gives many Christians the impression that if they don’t give control to God, then they are playing god in their own lives. They have taken over the god-role and are assuming that they have that omnipotent amount of control and the freedom to do whatever they want. And putting yourself in God’s place is a way of idolizing yourself and your power, which of course goes against God’s very own ten commandments.
This, however, is not how I see autonomy. Continue reading “The Freedom of Autonomy”
We’ve all had those “talks” with our parents where they tell us to have a good attitude and be kind to others even when we don’t want to. Whenever I would have that talk with my mother, she would tell me to “act Christian.” I know that a large part of her reason for saying this is because, frankly, she believes that Christians are morally superior to non-Christians, but I like to think that there is another, better meaning behind this piece of advice. If the people I interact with know (or think they know) that I’m a Christian, then the way that I act will influence their perceptions of Christians and how Christians treat others.
About a year ago, when atheism was new to me, I tried watching the debate between scientist and evolutionist Bill Nye and young-earth creationist Ken Ham about whether or not creation is a viable model of origins. After no more than thirty minutes in, I was totally lost and had no idea what they were talking about. This week, however, I gave it another go. This time, I made it all the way through, and I was able to better understand the topics, although there were many claims made by Ken Ham that I found extremely underwhelming, extraordinary, and not convincing in the least. Whenever Ham would say something completely unfounded and outlandish, Nye would do his best to stay polite, referring to these as “extraordinary claims.” I’d like to point out some of these crazy statements that Ham made and give my thoughts on them. Continue reading “The Great Nye-Ham Debate”
Since it is almost Valentine’s Day, I have a very special post this Sunday. I’ve been blogging for almost three months, and I have mentioned my amazing boyfriend a couple of times, but I haven’t yet formally “introduced” him yet. He is an atheist like me, and this week I asked him to share his own story of his journey to atheism. Enjoy! 🙂
This week, The Closet Atheist has asked me, her boyfriend, to share with you my experience in becoming an atheist. Continue reading “Meet My Valentine”
I suppose that this was bound to happen sometime. From the moment I started this blog, it has gotten harder and harder for me to keep my big secret a secret. I feel as though I’ve spoiled myself by being open about my atheism with my roommates and through writing.
When I’m home or with my family, there’s no question that it’s nowhere near the time for me to come out with them. I still rely on them, and those relationships are too vital for me to possibly ruin them. When I’m at college, it’s a different story. I’ve always been unfathomably frustrated at having a secret this huge that I can’t tell to anyone, but as time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to keep private, for a variety of reasons. Continue reading “The Next Step”
This weekend, my brother-in-law is taking some teens from his church on a field trip to Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Like most atheists, I can’t stand Ken Ham and what he teaches, and he especially bothers me when he attempts to indoctrinate children and impressionable people with attractions like the Creation Museum and his new 100 million dollar Ark Encounter attraction. In honor of these teens’ trip, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on the errancy of the Noah’s Ark story and the ways that Christians try to justify it. Continue reading “Answers in Genesis?”
It’s a shame how often I read that deep down, atheists secretly believe in God, but are afraid to face his wrath and want to escape moral responsibility. One of my professors last semester held (and taught) the mindset that secular communities have no moral code and nothing to keep them from getting completely out of line as opposed to religious communities which have much better cooperation and cohesion. Of course, these ideas were unfounded and unsupported, but were received without question because it’s simply a common belief that atheists are morally inferior.
I’m not going to get into why Christians do not have any more inherent morality than atheists do, but if you want to read my thoughts on that, you can do so here. Continue reading “Atheism: Not for the Faint of Heart”