Atheist, the “A” word, comes with so much baggage. It is a loaded word that a lot of people misinterpret. Dictionary.com defines an Atheist very simply as follows:
I think back to when I was an evangelical Christian and remember being a bit scared of the idea of an Atheism. Somewhere in my mind I had the impression that an Atheist was influenced by the devil, someone who God hadn’t reached and was therefore deprived of the most beautiful and precious gift of Jesus. Through religion I learned that the bible, God, Jesus, and the holy spirit were truth. Anything that went against the teachings of the bible and that of God was of the devil. (It’s interesting that now I see those very teachings as contradictory.) I’m not sure anything specific about Atheism was taught but through religion a feeling about Atheism was often communicated.
Well, as you have probably gathered, I no longer believe in the teachings of the bible or a god of any sort. By putting my beliefs in a small box for so long, by not allowing myself to think freely and expand my mind, and by not asking questions, I really stunted my growth for so, so long. It is sad to me that I was not open to new ideas, instead I tried so hard to make the ideas of the bible work for me. But in the end, I could not reconcile the contradictory and opposing messages of the bible and realized I am an Atheist!
Every day I continue to transition out of religion. While I want to share with people about my paradigm shift, I also feel scared to share. I know that I am an Atheist and I am happy to call myself a godless unbeliever but I don’t think other people will share this sentiment. What it comes down to is that unfortunately I care a bit too much about what other people think.
Yesterday was the first day that I felt completely comfortable sharing with someone new that I am an Atheist. We were talking about Buddhism and she said, “What about you, what do you believe?” and I said, “Actually, I am an Atheist”. This is the first time that I felt proud to be an Atheist. I wasn’t worried what she thought of me but rather I was feeling rather confident in my viewpoint.
So, here’s to my future in being confident about who I am and standing up to be counted as a proud Atheist, hooray!