Friday, February 13, 2009

The Alternative

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.


  1. I'm sorry you feel alone. I may not know the feeling as far as religious aspects go, but I do know what it's like to have mental issues that have made me feel utterly alone at times. I think people just sometimes care about something so much that when someone else has different beliefs they want to share it with them. I'm sure you've had crazy experiences with people who are way too intense and forward about thier beliefs, but I know a lot of them have good intentions. It would almost be hypocritical for them to claim they love something so much and not say something to someone who doesn't feel the same. I do understand people are nuts sometimes though. I guess just know that no matter what there are always people that think the same way you do, even if they are hard pressed to find :)

  2. Bailey is smart. I like what she said. I can empathize (to some degree at least) what you are saying. I have been in countless situations similar to yours. I found that most of the time, the driving issue that I felt was creating the most separation was the one I was thinking about the most and chose to single it out. I was thinking about it more than anyone else was, thus allowing it to be a separating factor. I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life- I am definitely not qualified to do that. I just found this interesting in my life.

  3. I don't know if this will make you feel any better but I like that you don't believe that a God would allow people to die or murder and be murdered. I don't feel that way either. After my grandpa died people would try to comfort me by saying it was his time, but that only made me angrier! It wasn't him time, it was a fluke AND IT SUCKED.

    The God I believe in allows people to make choices and those choices lead to consequences good or bad. What would life's purpose be if everything was hunky-dory and nothing bad happened? That is how we learn! Unfortunately things like accidents do happen that aren't necessarily the result of someone's choice. And unfortunately somethings I just don't think we aren't meant to know or fully understand.

    But stick to your guns. There is nothing more honorable then someone who believes in something so fervently and stands by it no matter what.