I have really strong opinions about some things. I just happen to be very passionate about what I believe, and I consider that passion to be a source of great strength for me. But at times it can get in my way. While my group was trying to select a topic for our presentation I kept hammering for a specific discrimination that I have been the target of in my life, but the topic isn’t really one that could easily be accomplished for this project. So I thought that I would talk about it here in my blog for this week.
When I was eighteen I had a real crisis of faith. I thought that I had found a profession that I would enjoy a great deal. I was going to be helping people as an EMT. But about halfway through the training, I was on a ride along with the city’s Emergency Services and the ambulance responded to a multiple vehicle car crash. The driver of an SUV had tried to avoid an accident on the express way by swerving into the median, but that had just flipped her car right over and into oncoming traffic. Six cars were involved and seeing how we were the first ambulance on the scene, it became the jobs of the EMTs and I to evaluate the severity of the injuries of the people that were involved, called triage.
The first person that I came up to was a nine year old girl had been hit in the head. Her hair was once blond but because of the blood, it was now a dark crimson color. Because she had not been in a car seat, she had been thrown around the vehicle like a rag doll. Blood was everywhere. The girl wasn’t breathing, she had no pulse; she was dead and I had to put a black tag on her forehead, to indicate that she was dead. I started throwing up and I don’t really remember anything else about that day.
I went to see my pastor the next day. I explained what had happened and asked her, “Why would God do such a terrible thing to her, and her family? What higher purpose would this little girl’s death serve? What did she do to deserve such a painful death?” The answer that I got from my pastor was one that made me cringe. She told me that everything that god does have a purpose, but that we may not be able to know it. I asked for help with dealing with what I had seen, but all she wanted to do was pray. I told her I needed an explanation but she didn’t have one for me.
This chain of event is what lead to my religious conversion to Atheism.
I like being an atheist. I have a view of the world that suits me. But when people learn that I am an atheist, they then tend to feel that it is their responsibility to convert me back to Christianity. I tell people that my philosophy on god is that in a world where god allows children to die when murderers live, I would much rather believe that there is no god. But I have never met someone who lets me live with my philosophy.
The devout religious just can’t deal with the fact that I don’t believe in god any more. They take it as a personal attack on their faith. I don’t really care what religion someone is, but when they take it upon themselves to attack my beliefs, I take it personally. I attack back with some of the more obvious contradictions within the Bible. Then I get called godless and immoral. But I end up being the bad guy? Is that how atheists got such a bad reputation? By arguing against faith with logic?
I see signs and religious symbols and icons advertized everywhere, but if I were to buy a billboard and put up some sort of pro-atheism message on it, there would be an up cry by the religious community. I would be forced to take the sign down, and I would probably not be able to find a job. I never tell the people that I work with that I am an atheist. I am too afraid of what they would try to do to me.
I feel that these two clips (the first is from the Paula Zahn show, the second is a personal testimonial of a Christian) the hatred that the mainstream media has for atheists.
It just makes me feel… alone.