On the controversy of atheism
In my own life, I have always sought out issues that are controversial. It’s no secret I’m a highly opinionated individual; I’ve chosen to take a stand on issues I consider to be of fundamental importance. I know there are many out there, even some of my fans, who consider the issue of a person’s religion to be a private affair. One fan accused me of being insensitive by ‘outing’ my sister on my radio show, believing her marriage was now in trouble for me doing so (it isn’t, so everyone can relax).
It’s reminded me that there are many who feel the issue of a person’s belief should remain entirely private, specifically because of the turmoil it can cause. This, in my opinion, is exactly WHY it cannot remain only personal. Religion does not exist in a bubble. It infects every part of a person’s life. It makes them hate gays, distrust evolution, demand stem cell research be halted, and worst of all, tries to infect the minds of other human beings. If religion were a drug, the warning label would read as follows:
WARNING: when ingested, religion may cause feelings of euphoria, delusion, hallucinations, irritability, intolerance, violent behavior, inflexibility, oppression, irrationality, and will impair your ability to formulate logical thought.
It’s important to try and look at the bigger picture when considering what it means to actually be an atheist. I’m aware most people would love nothing more than the opportunity to be left alone about this issue, but in truth this is impossible so long as religion still plays a role in dictating the lives of other human beings who in turn affect our lives. Perhaps some of you who are non-believers have taken a passive attitude towards the whole affair. But religion is a slow poison infecting everything it touches, and passivity is not the way to fight it.
Atheism is controversial, and I can see why so many people are covert about it. I find this to be a shame; if you don’t believe in the afterlife, than why spend your only life living in fear and hiding your true feelings and beliefs from others, merely for the convenience? Perhaps some of you think admitting your godlessness would only create a rift in your relationship with your family and loved ones. But ask yourself this question: who would be the one creating that rift? What does that tell you about the danger or religion?
There are places in the world where atheism is a death sentence. I think about this every time I talk about it. As I contribute to the dialog about living life without God, I feel in some way I am helping pave the way for others to ‘come out godless‘ and to finally have the chance to talk about their non-belief. I cannot sit idly by and watch religion destroy the lives of those who chose not to buy into the hype. I hope that as these issues grow in visibility and importance, more people will feel compelled to take part in that dialog rather than retreat to the safety of having no opinion on the subject.