For the first “x” years of my life I was under the expectation of following a certain religion. I hated it! I wanted freedom of my own conscious, I wanted to explore my own thoughts and be the person I wanted to be. I did not want to conform to the expectation of others.

and so.. I labeled myself an atheist. Recently I have been talking about labels (I am not Vegan) and although I am by definition an Atheist, I just want to be myself. I have found that all atheists do not think alike. Similarly in life, you will find individuals who are good, bad, indifferent, happy and sad. Atheism also gets a bad wrap due to individual preconceived notions. Certainly there are those who are activists for their cause. They are looking for their own elbow room in a country full of religious people who (for example) are trying to change laws and base them on their religious beliefs. Whenever I hear people say religion is being oppressed in this country, I feel they really ought to spend a year in the shoes of someone who is Atheist.

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I am not writing this today to pit Atheists against Theists or visa versa but in hopes we can drop some of the labels. Why can’t we all simply be humans and stop being judgmental? Learn about the other persons beliefs and accept that the other person has different beliefs than you. Is it really religious to butt heads with other people?

We brought my son up to be non-religious but along the way we have given him the different religious perspectives. We wanted him to be able to have the freedom of conscious, enable him to figure things out on his own and if he ever decided to pursue religion, that is his choice. The one thing I did want him to have exposure on is the world religions. I learned as an atheist, once someone finds out you are atheist, they attempt to challenge you as to why you do not belief the same thing they do. ( I mean, How could you NOT? ) It comes in handy knowing the background and history of their religion in those debates. Strangely enough, some atheists are more knowledgeable about religion than the people who attempt to debate them!

We are all individuals in our thoughts but we are all the same as human beings. Why not stop using labels and accept that while we have our differences, we are really all the same?

I am….David

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