Sunday, November 3, 2013

From the Mind of an Atheist Parent

I want to start off by saying I know I can’t speak for all Christians but only the majority of those I’ve come in contact with throughout my life. There are those people whom I believe had a good heart. I do not call them good Christians, or atheists or Buddhists or wiccans. I call them good people with good hearts. What they believe has no bearing on who they are as a person.
I just need to share my experience and my reasoning for raising my children with open minds.
The other day I was in Wal-Mart and there was a young mom with a newborn in a carseat. The newborn was crying hysterically and she was blissfully ignoring his cries. My heart was breaking as I knew this baby needed, not wanted, but needed his mom’s attention. I politely mentioned quietly to her that he was probably hungry since baby’s bellies are so tiny at that age. I offered to help her with anything and if she was nursing I would be happy to help her because I am a breastfeeding counselor. She calmly responds that he is not hungry, he is spoiled. I was a little shocked by her response but I kept my cool. I tried to turn my mind back to the organic tomatoes in front of me but my conscience was screaming at me, and I knew if I didn’t say SOMETHING, ANYTHING, I wouldn’t sleep at night. I calmly explained that babies that young really can’t be spoiled, and a quick synopsis on cortisol levels and primal instincts. She glared at me and over her newborn’s screams she tells me that her son IS spoiled and that she is raising him to be GOD FEARING and this is good for him. She turns away from me and begins to hum happily to herself as her newborn screamed louder. My breasts ached to nurse him. My arms longed to hold him and comfort him. I stood there, helpless, face red, and began looking at the few other people standing in the aisle with us. Their faces were sad, a thousand words exchanged between us with one look. We stood there helpless as she prayed aloud while smiling then resumed humming and pushing her cart along. I stood shaking, tears falling from my heated cheeks.
God fearing.
 Her words repeated in my mind like a broken record.  I was as helpless as that baby, and I raced home to hug my sons. Pouring all the love in my heart into my arms. They will fear no god. They will never be denied love or affection.
I wish I could say that this was an isolated incident, but the truth is incidents like this cemented my atheism and the way I parent.
 I used to believe in “god” I used to believe everything was a part of some grand plan. Thinking back, I realize that was a cop out. A way of relinquishing responsibility. If I made a mistake, I feared the wrath of god, rather than feeling guilt for the mistake. When something went wrong, I would pray about it, I would trust that this was god’s plan. I floated through life without responsibility of my own actions. I subconsciously judged those who “didn’t believe”. I grieved for those poor children who were raised without god in their life, how could they ever turn out to be productive members of society? As time passed and I began to question what I had been taught…. A religion founded in hate, fear, and judgment. A book that teaches us to hate those who don’t follow the rules, turn away from those who may be diverse or eccentric. If it’s different, it’s wrong. Then on the same tongue, say that some things written in their bible is “outdated” so we can just “do away” or “read over” those parts. As a Christian they can judge someone for being gay, but Christians maintain an EIGHTY PERCENT divorce rate.
 “So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6 & Mark 10:9).
“Whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matthew 5:32, 19:9 & Luke 16:18).
"...whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her" (Mark 10:11 & Luke 16:18), which applies to women as well (Mark 10:12).

We all know not ALL marriages are ended with affairs as the cause. Aplenty have been the result of irreconcilable differences. Hypocrisy. Blatant hypocrisy.

What about "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" (l Corinthians 11:14). I know I can think of one LONG HAIRED MAN that all Christians adore….JESUS.

What about tattoos? How many Christians do you know that wear their ink or piercings proudly? You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you.  I am the Lord”--Leviticus 19:28). I suppose you just get the tattoo and then ask to be forgiven? I’m a bit confused on this….

Let’s not forget judgment. How many Christians do you know that judge atheists? I can’t tell you how many times a Christian has tried to “punish me” or “turn away from me” or smite me by telling me my bad luck, or bad fortune is a result of my disbelief. The smug look on their face when they tell me that god is punishing me for my blasphemy. Or my favorite of all……… “you will be sorry one day.” Really I will? What about….
“If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?”  -- 1 Corinthians 6:1 NIV
“Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1) and “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged, condemn not and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

You get the point.

It’s no question that Christians pick and choose what they follow/practice and what they don’t. Also try to question a believer on why their god is the one true god. I mean there are after all, an estimated 4200 different religious groups on earth at this very moment.. not to forget the 102,000,000,000 religions that have been documented since recorded time. Every single believer claims their god is the one and only. That belief in that god guarantees them a spot in their heaven or afterlife. All others are wrong or mislead. I remember even as a child questioning this. A red flag flew up in my mind the day I asked my mother about this and was told our god was the true god. I had a friend who believed in her Allah. This meant my friend and her family, would be going to my hell. For what? I knew she was a good person. This wasn’t fair, nor right. I found a little question in my mind that meekly asked… “what if HER god is the TRUE god? Does that mean I go to HER hell?” I kept quiet and sat through my Sunday school with my head down. I felt shame for questioning god. It must be the devil putting such thoughts in my head. As time went on and I began to research different religions, I found that history repeated itself. That all Christian ideals had been repeated, right down to their Jesus. Better known as Horus… who’s myth had long been told before Jesus ever thought of “existing”. Some facts about the greek mythology of Horus?

Conceived by a virgin mother named Meri, and had a stepfather named Seb (Joseph)
Was born in a cave, his birth announced by an angel, heralded by a star and attended by shepherds
Attended a special rite of passage at the age of twelve and there is no data on the child
from the age of 12 to 30
Was baptized in a river at the age of 30, and his baptizer was later beheaded
Had 12 disciples
Performed miracles, exorcized demons, raised someone from the dead, walked on water
Was called “Iusa”, the “ever-becoming son” and the “Holy Child”
Delivered a “Sermon on the Mount”, and his followers recounted his sayings
Was transfigured on the Mount
Was crucified between two thieves, buried for three days in a tomb, and was resurrected
Called “Way”, “the Truth the Light”, “Messiah”, “God’s Anointed Son”, “Son of Man”, “Good Shepherd”, “Lamb of God”, “Word made flesh”, “Word of Truth”, “the KRST” or “Anointed One”
Was “the Fisher” and was associated with the Fish, Lamb and Lion.

Came to fulfill the Law, and was supposed to reign one thousand years

Sound familiar? That was the story of HORUS. LONGGGGG before it was ever the story of Jesus. Don’t take my word for it, research it for yourself.

That is when the gears really started turning in my mind. I realized that everything I was being taught was paraphrased from a book written by a bunch of old men who were recollecting on stories told to them as children and had been passed down. Which led another question to raise in my mind. Anyone ever played the game telephone in school? A game that teaches how gossip changes the story dramatically each time it is passed. Now play that game with old men who are losing their memories and you have the Christians’ bible. Hmm. Now thousands of years later, we pick and choose, judge and praise ideals from Greek mythology and paganism. Totally legit.

As a result of my nonbelief I have experienced a whole new outlook on life except Christians who can’t handle the thought of an atheist being happy. Even my own family has told me I will be sorry. I have been unfriended on social networks, unwelcomed at family events. I’ve had family go as far as try to design “bad luck” to bestow upon me so they could blame the “wrath of god” and feel that they were doing the “work of god”. My own flesh has turned against me for my beliefs. This makes me sad for I know nothing good comes from being spiteful. The one thing that atheism has taught me is how to be a better person.

When I accepted there was no god, I began listening to my own inner morals. My own instincts instead of what society cast as right or wrong. I no longer felt myself better than anyone, and came to love far more than I ever had as a Christian.
I began to teach my children to listen to their own hearts. To be good for the sake of being good. That everything in this world has it’s place. It’s reason for existing. To appreciate every living being. I watch with pride as my son lets a tiny spider crawl across his finger. He understands that this is the spider’s world just as much as his. He RESPECTS it. Nature is our church. When I help people I do it because I want to. I don’t care if they are homeless or an addict. I don’t care about the “sins” they’ve committed or if they are gay or a different race. I love everyone equally. I recycle because I love my earth. I don’t spank my children because I respect that they are just tiny humans. That violence is violence no matter how you spin it. My children will not be “god fearing” they will be full of love and compassion. They will never be denied love or affection. My son will breastfeed until he is ready to stop whenever that is. I will breastfeed in public, proudly. I will never stand outside my son’s room allowing him to cry himself to sleep. I will be there in his room, rocking away his fears. Making him secure and know that he is never alone in this world. Life is not about punishment. It is about living to the fullest.
Every day I now watch my son scurry away from me to play with his friends at daycare. He has never cried, or felt fear. My sons love… unconditionally LOVE all things on this earth. Without a god, they have the best morals, because their hearts are pure.

 I do not teach them morals, I practice them.

  They are aware of natural dangers like moving cars, or heights but they are helpers. They will give away their last possession. My sons will skip playtime to help their teachers clean the classroom. We do not fear death in our home. We respect the natural circle of life, and they understand everything has a time. They do not need a fantasy of a heaven because they are too busy building a life of love. I leave you with the words of John Lennon, “Imagine there's no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today .Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace.  You, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us and  the world will be as one.”

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