I have never had so much peace about dying as I have since I believe there is no god – and by default, no afterlife. Even as a christian, one always has that nagging doubt about whether you have committed the unpardonable sin, or that god doesn’t really want you, or that you just are not good enough – that not even god can save someone so horrible.
I am in a new place now. I am in complete peace that when I die that is it. My life is over and nothing will happen afterwards. My new outlook prompts me to make the most of my life while I still breathe. This is a wonderful way to live.
Now I know the christians will come around and send me to hell, but the truth of the matter is that I do not believe hell exists so that game of fear no longer works on me. Sorry. :) - Stellar1
I have not always been so strongly affirming of women’s rights. In fact, I grew up in a very conservative religious home where, even though my mother was a single parent, the expectation to conform to the ideals of the church was very evident on a daily basis. I did rebel, though not in the way most would think. I didn’t go out to drink and party. I rebelled by my rejection of 1) the ideals and notions of the church concerning women (and many other points as well), and 2) the notion that everything the church had to say was truth. In fact, if I didn’t reject the infallibility of the church I would have never been able to reject its dogma.
So from a young age I rejected the social values set for me concerning traditional feminine roles. I wouldn’t accept that I was any less intelligent or capable than the males around me. It just simply was not part of my make up. I didn’t even entertain those ideas long enough to let them flourish. Instead, I would get upset each time an outward manifestation of these expectations was displayed. It would infuriate me when I was put down so that a male could be honored – simply because he was a male and I was not.
The shooting in Blacksburg, Virginia last week caused many of us to ponder the social ramifications of a violent culture, which even includes violent religious ideologies.
Last week a lone shooter chained the doors of the Science and Engineering building at Virginia Tech and went from classroom to classroom killing every person he could. One doctor said there was not one surviving patient who did not have at least three shot wounds – this young man meant to kill everybody.
In light of this incident and other such brutal attacks, some of which are done in the name of religion, I cannot help but wonder about what can possibly happen to a person in life to create such killers. Or to put it more precisely, why are our young men turning into mass murderers?
One of the primary roles of any good atheist is to dispel the many, many lies and misconceptions perpetrated by the patriarchal religious systems. Like the fact that women should be subject to men, are the weaker sex, and are not worthy of participating in religious leadership. There are many such untruths that ruled for thousands of years and still keep women in chains in various parts of the world. These ideas have convinced many women that they are second class citizens.
These lies and misconceptions have even spilled over into what we are taught of the origins of humans from a secular point of view. Therefore, when I come across information that can forever change the way women view themselves, I am obligated to share that information.
An article in the March 19 issue of Newsweek contained an interesting article on the origins of humankind entitled, “Beyond Stones and Bones.” The article had a very telling statement about how anthropologists are now changing their view of the means by which humans were able to thrive in the hostile prehistorical times.
Today I read a column by Paul Krugman of the New York Times entitled, “For God’s Sake,” in which the writer points out all of the many ways the Religious Right (RR) has infiltrated almost every part of the American government – thanks in large part to the fact that Bush is so indebted to many of these extremists.
Krugman said, “The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda — which is very different from simply being people of faith — is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It’s also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists.”
It’s scary to think these extremists are controlling the strings of our politicians – all the way to the top within Congress and the White House. So many Americans are naïve enough to think their politicians are looking out for the good of the people, when in reality our elected officials are too often obliged to men like Pat Buchanan and Jerry Fallwell who have their own selfish agenda.
In my previous blog, “Christianity and the Role of Women – A Woman’s Place,” I wrote on the phrase – “the woman’s place is in the home.” In it, I quoted a minister who used these two Bible verses to show that a mother should not work outside the home:
1 Timothy 5:14 “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
Titus 2:4-5 “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.”
These verses are also used to perpetuate the old adage mandating a good wife to be “barefoot and pregnant,” an even more humiliating phrase. It reduces women to nothing more than a tool used for producing a son to carry on the family name or for working in the field.
Where is my place? I grew up in a conservative Christian home, so that very familiar phrase rushes back to me like a crashing wave – “the woman’s place is in the home.” It washes over me and leaves me feeling small and ashamed that I was born a female. I can still see the many faces I’ve heard say it, even my own family. I can also still feel the gut-wrenching anger that would well up in my stomach each time I heard this stifling phrase.
In his booklet, “Should A Christian Mother Work Outside the Home?“, Pastor Art Kohl writes on two doctrinal passages from the Bible that define the role of women: