Technically, it wasn’t after 6 years. More like 2 years, but it’s taken me 4 years to finally write this down.
So, prepare yourselves for this mind blowing truth bomb that comes with a heaping pile of anecdotal evidence gathered personally and through discussions with others.
The truth I’ve learned after 6 years of walking away from belief is that just about everyone requires belief in something bigger than themselves.
Less because of the validity of “god shaped holes in our hearts”, but because of plain old fashioned tribalism and fear.
Be it politics, science, social justice causes or straight up theism, everyone clings to their own dogmas.
Having personally been raised in a church and by conservative parents, I’d assumed once I left belief and walked into a new community of people, that I’d be awash in open minded free thinkers.
I was wrong.
It took some doing, but once the newness of weak atheism/agnosticism rubbed off, I felt like Saul in the book of Acts when the scales fell from his eyes and he could again see clearly.
These atheists I’d assumed would be less likely to blind spots in their thinking were every bit as emotionally tied to their beliefs as the christian fundamentalists they raged against seemingly without end.
This mostly seemed to take the form of political worship of the left in varying degrees of severity. To even entertain the idea of conservative thinking meant you were, by default, a racist homophobe that hates women.
The God of Government is the new deity and the only holy denomination is leftism.
I wonder what atheists would think of one of their heroes, Christopher Hitchens, if he were still alive today.
While many an atheist will send you endless YouTube clips of people getting “Hitchslapped” (see video below) by Christopher, those same people seem to forget that Hitchens was a pro-life conservative.
In today’s extreme political tribalism, I think even Hitchens, with all his oratory skill, could get swallowed alive by the gaping maw of the left.
You see, to be a conservative atheist puts you in a rather small section of an already small group, but to throw pro-life in there, too, well now you’re sitting at a corner table of a hot wedding tent next to the port-a-jons where nobody can see or hear your cries for fresh air.
Atheists, it seems, are a monolith of political leftists that worship the state.
And they all have iPhones. Weird.
Science is another thing people really get into when you leave religion.
Did you know that we’re all stardust?! DID YOU KNOW THAT?!
That means like, that we’re all stars and connected and part of a larger piece of the universe!
These people will post endless Neil deGrasse Tyson videos and talk about how glad they are that when they die, their essence goes back to the universe. An endless cycle of death and life!
These are also the people that like to point out how improbable something is in a sci-fi movie because it’s not realistic.
I know I’m taking the piss out of large groups of people, but this is how I see it.
Maybe it’s easy for me to poke fun at these groups because I’m so whatever about most everything.
My wife once, I believe, correctly summed former believers up so I’m going to paraphrase here and omit all her swears because she’s such a potty mouth:
“The type of believer someone was is probably the type of non-believer they’ll be. If you were On Fire for Christ, you’re probably obsessed with science now. If you were a hardcore Republican, you’ve probably flipped to Democrats.”
Based on what I’ve seen and learned. I think she nailed it.
Lucky for me I was a lukewarm Christian, so I’m a lukewarm weak atheist.
We live. We die. We should try to not be assholes during that period.
Avoid groupthink and ideologies where you can. If someone isn’t hurting another party, let them do their thing.
Let’s take everything with a nuanced approach and go from there.
Except iPhones. Those should go where Steve Jobs did.