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Why I’m An Atheist-but I Like Being One

I love the atheist movement, but I still think we have many, many, more important things that can be accomplished without that belief system. It’s only because I have a religious background that I think it’s important to have an open mind about what other people believe. Although this is an area, I have not given much thought to what other beliefs I may hold in order to make my life better.

I’m an atheist, but it didn’t really occur to me until recently that my lack of faith may also be holding me back. Since I was little, I have been raised Catholic, only abandoning it when I started college, and then returning to my family’s beliefs. I have no religious affiliation that I’m aware of. When I was a girl, I loved spending time with my family — my grandparents, aunt, uncle, grandfather, and all their friends — all of whom were devoutly religious. But as I got older it was harder to justify my time with my family in the face of the ever-increasing secularization of America as I grew up, and I ended up moving out of the country for awhile. When I came back to the U.S. I realized there were still plenty of religious people I felt comfortable with around — people who believed firmly in God, even though many of them didn’t believe in the Bible. I still feel comfortable around people who share that faith. But I’ve realized that this does not make it any less important for me to maintain the ability to believe in something that makes sense to me. I never thought of my beliefs as an impediment to being happy but now I see that they are in fact an opportunity that can lead to greater things.

What I’d like to do is to speak out against prejudice, to stand up for the rights of the atheists I love (who are far too often voiceless and oppressed), and to help my fellow atheists in my community. So as long as there are atheists who are not on the sidelines, I will stay in the spotlight and use my platform to speak up for them with compassion and eloquence. I’m also determined to get more young people involved in atheism, so that they will feel empowered enough to stand up for their values. To that end, I have been working with other young people in our group to build a network of atheists who are interested in talking to one another to support each other and become better activists. So far, these atheists were mainly from high school — but we’ve already started to organize and I’m certain they’ll be getting a lot out of this endeavor. I think I am in a unique position because I come from an educated family, and in the last five years that’s become easier. I can go to college and use my education to make a difference in the world and that inspires me to not just continue to give to charity, but to continue my activism that will hopefully lead to better results. (I know that my parents, the ones who supported the family when I was younger, will understand.) I love being an atheist, and I feel like with the help of the Atheist Alliance International, I can help the community become better for everyone involved in the movement.

One More Thing

I love my job. I love being a writer, and I LOVE that at the end of the day I’m still writing and enjoying stories. I think that’s the key to happiness. But that doesn’t mean atheism doesn’t hold an important place in my life. It does. Being an atheist is not a matter of if I will believe in something, but how I will react to it. The first time I told my wife about seeing a documentary about religion I was so scared I didn’t have my coffee. That moment solidified my belief that no one will ever understand me until I truly believe and the Atheist Alliance International has given me a reason to change that. I do not expect anyone to understand who I am or what my beliefs are. What I hope to see with the movement is that people will be encouraged to be true to themselves and to not be afraid to do so. I don’t know that this is what I’ll accomplish, but I’m hoping it is.