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Last post I talked a little bit about the habits of religion and what “withdrawal” symptoms I had. I’d like to say I just got a little sick to my stomach and found myself praying accidentally, but it was a little more than that, honestly.
Losing my faith gave me a new found perspective on life that I hadn’t anticipated. Atheists are often believed to be the brooding, angry type, but after my conversion I just don’t believe that to be true. My world didn’t collapse or get smaller when I converted- it got infinitely bigger.
As a Christian, my focus was on doing good things for others in the name of Christianity and making sure I prayed correctly to get into heaven. Stupid as it sounds now, I got saved about a dozen times. I never felt whatever it was that you are supposed to feel for long (the filling of the holy spirit?) so I wanted to be sure. However, there’s a big problem to that narrow scope of concerns. If my worries were about when Jesus was coming back for the rapture and what my god thought of my deeds, then I wasn’t thinking about the future. Of course I thought about my future, but I wasn’t looking much further than that.
Think about the thousands of pamphlets that are printed on paper for religious people to pass out. Those pamphlets are destroying a limited resource. Religious texts, buildings that need heating and cooling, the fuel that millions of people waste every Sunday for church- all of that comes from resources that we will be running out of. You don’t worry about that so much if you think the rapture will happen any day now, but now I have my concerns.
Sure, maybe the environment is not everyone’s first concern, but maybe it should be more important.
And as the quote above states, we are wasting our energy as a society on religion. Beyond our natural, irreplaceable resources, we are wasting time and effort fidgeting in pews rather than helping others, because going to church makes people feel good about themselves. That one hour appointment people set each week makes many of them feel exempt from the charitable deeds that could actually change the world. Imagine if the money that people funneled through the church system (that pays for clergy workers, building maintenance, and equipment first) was redirected to the homeless or the hungry. On a larger scope, think of the hours of labor accumulated in cash dollars by the church every single week. It makes my stomach turn.
So even if there was no tithing to the church, there is still the expense of church to the environment and the opportunity cost of going to church (versus whatever else you could be doing).
As a Christian, I never saw this broader scale because I, like many others, operated on the delusion that “god knows what’s best”. I knew about climate change, sure, but I figured that nobody would be around for the large scale repercussions. Denouncing my faith gained me a universal insight that I hadn’t be aware of; one of connectivity and responsibility.
Do you really want to know what atheists are angry about? It’s not “god”. It’s the fact that we can see all the harm that religion does and know that it’s beyond our ability to conquer at this time. We are not upset at someone we know doesn’t exist; we are angry that an idea can slowly ruin the world and that the only people concerned with it are the very people who don’t prescribe to that destructive idea.
We are not angry that you believe in a god. We are angry that you don’t believe in the future of our children and our planet.