Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Year of Atheism

Well, it's official. I have been referring to myself as an atheist for an entire year.

On August 12th, 2009, I stopped calling myself an agnostic theist and fully embraced the term atheist.

This past year has been amazing. I have learned so much about science, religion, myself, Earth, who my true friends are and how much I love life.

From finding the atheist forum on where I found irreligious humor that really got me thinking, to following Mr. Hemant Mehta and his Friendly Atheist website which got me talking. I have changed so much this past year.

As shocking as it may sound, once I admitted my atheism, I wasn't overwhelmed with the urge to start killing babies, raping sheep or lying whenever I got the chance. I didn't start being a horrible mother, a person with no morals or a disloyal friend. I was the same shy, dorky girl I had always been. A funny thing started to happen though. The more I educated myself on religion and science, the more confidence I gained. I started growing a back bone, I started being able to find logic and reasoning in my arguments and I began to be able to back up what I believed with proof.

I had never been part of a group who so willingly shared their points of view, even if they were unpopular. My fellow atheists gave me links and things to look up on my own to support what they had said. Everything was open and on the table. No question that I asked was taboo and no one ever told me that I shouldn't be asking so many questions.

It was a year of firsts. I first started calling myself an atheist. I first started calling my children freethinkers. I first told my husband that I didn't believe in god. I had my first Christmas and Easter without a half baked belief in a supernatural being. I wrote my first letter to the Mormon church, and after they took their sweet ass time I received the confirmation letter of my resignation from their organization. I celebrated my first birthday (the big 3-0) as an atheist. It was my first year as an atheist mother.

I have gained so much this past year. I have learned so much, that I know I would have never been open to learning if I were still Mormon. I have gained a true joy of living. I have started to be genuinely thankful for the little things. I have been able to stop using heaven as an excuse to be a shrew, as an excuse to put important things off, as an excuse to live irresponsibly towards Earth and as an excuse to judge everyone for everything.

I have found that it's not true, what many god believing people say about atheists, how we don't have joy and how we don't believe in anything. At least in my situation. I still have many beliefs, some new beliefs, and many things that I hold so very dear to my heart. It's just now I can back my beliefs up with facts.

I believe in the power of love, the calming sense of peace, and Earthly beauty. I believe that kindness can be contagious, and so can knowledge. I believe in humanity. I believe in equal rights, freedom and honesty. I believe in science.

I have fallen deeper in love with my husband and my children, and I haven't been restricted by an obligated love of a deity. Without years and years of guilt to weigh me down, I have been able to look at myself in a more honest light. I have begun to finally love myself, which has allowed me to speak my mind.

I love how Penn Jillette put it, "Believing there is no god gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that makes this life the best life I will ever have."

My girls as faeries on my big 3-0 at the Faerie Festival.