I’ve had to tell myself this several times over the past week.
I am kind.
I am smart.
I am Important.
I’ve felt none of the above at one point or the other recently.
I’ve put off reading The Help and watching the movie because I figured at this point in my life it might be an emotional read. It was to an extent. As I watched I felt the pain Aibleen, Minny and all those other women who were looked down upon must have felt. How they were treated by the whites in their community and how most of the world at that time agreed segregating the two races and having one server the other was the best way to go.
I’m so very glad we have made strides to change that. Of course we are not there yet. Racism is alive. There are still groups that think whites are the superior race.
I guess it touched me so because I feel something similar is going on with the religious and non religious. Those of us who no longer believe or never believed are, to some degree, fighting for equal rights. It’s been said time and again how atheist are the least trusted group in America. What does that mean? Are they afraid we will steal their fine silverware, like in the movie? Are they afraid they are going to catch something from us? Would they like for there to be segregation of those who believe and those who don’t?
I don’t want to take anything away from what has been accomplished by African Americans by comparing it to religious and non religious but similarities are there. I have gotten a small glimpse into what any minority group feels like and I don’t like it. It has made me appreciate much more the strides that the groups have made just to be treated equally.
I sometimes fall prey to the pity party and feel like I’m too stupid to be an atheist. I mean really, that’s a statement I’ve said before. Too stupid to be atheist. Instead of I’m too smart to believe in fairy tales anymore, I chose to believe that I was too stupid. That in and of itself is stupid if you ask me. Instead of recognizing that I have used my brain to work through some pretty serious and life changing views, I chose to think I was too stupid. I do at times feel I’m unimportant that my opinions and views don’t matter. I suspect at times we all feel that way, but none the less I felt unimportant to everyone.
Along with stupid and unimportant I felt like I must be unkind in someway. Unkind for not giving into what others want me to be. Maybe I’m being selfish and that is most certainly something I don’t want to do too often, getting lost in me, me me. With that said I realize that being happy with myself is what will make me a better person. I’ve been guilty of not being happy with myself occasionally.
Here’s a little secret. Not a day goes by that I don’t think, at some point during the day that I am different. That I don’t believe in god anymore and how sometimes that just still seems weird to me. Don’t get me wrong, I happy that I don’t. I can’t imagine once again believing in the things I once did. Judging people and condemning them to hell, if only in my head, for what they did, how they were born, for who they loved or didn’t. For proclaiming their beliefs and standing by them. I do NOT miss all the hate, hate, hate that surrounds most evangelical Christians, though they would probably use a different word than hate. Hate and love seemed to be confused in the evangelical christian circle sometimes.
I read somewhere once and I don’t remember where it was that leaving your religion was usually a three year process or so. I fall into that. It’s been about three years since I realized i no longer believed as I once did and then shortly there after until I didn’t believe at all. It is a prosess. There is no other word for it. Most often times it’s painful and usually at some point you just try to ignore the whole thing. However, it’s there at the back of your brain nagging you. Urging you to think about it, figure it out.
As times moves forward I do feel more comfortable in how I am today. What I think and believe. Often times the subject doesn’t come up at all between the AH and I, but I always think about something to do with it everyday. It’s only when I interact with the world that I realize just how different I am.
For example, I went into the feed store to buy some baby chicks a few days ago. The old gentleman was helping two ladies who were buying baby ducks. One asked something the old guy didn’t know the answer to and he said “I don’t know, I guess that’s the way God decided to do it. ” I can’t even buy a chicken without hearing about God.