I grew up in the Catholic Church and have to admit, even though I am an atheist, it wasn’t a bad experience. I remember our church community and met some fine upstanding people that I have the utmost respect for. I have very fond memories of growing up with the community I had and it’s one of the reasons I seek out “communities” in the activities I participate in today. While the community was great, my issue was with the theology claims. Even today, experiencing the wide array of theists beliefs, it’s just getting more and more far fetched for me. People are literally making up their own beliefs based on their own biases and for the sake of sanity, I just reject them all.
The irony it seems is that religious beliefs seem to be moving towards the political realm. For the Liberal Catholic, they believe the Pope is doing an excellent job in bringing people back into the fold. Conservative Catholics sit in disbelief that he is going off script. That atheists, members of the LGBT community do not belong in the church as they are committing sins. I don’t want to paint this picture with such a wide stroke, I’m sure there are Liberals and Conservatives that do not agree with their counterparts.
I attended a service a few years ago with my son, when I was teaching him about world religions. The priest during this mass actually brought up the LGBT community and retrospectively asked “Who am I to say who can or cannot come through these doors?”, even though I am an atheist, I thought this priest rocked! “Sign me up! This guy speaks of openness, this is the place…(had I not been an atheist) that I’d like to go!”
It was two years earlier, I attended my Grandmothers funeral mass and I didn’t get the warm fuzzies about attending my own Grandmother’s funeral! What happened, the priest out of the blue, started talking about the existence of “God” and rhetorically asked “What does the Atheist know?”. As if atheists needed to be omniscient to come to the conclusion that there is no god. My sister glanced over to me and I gave her a nod that I was not really bothered by someone who doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on reality. But to use my Grandmothers funeral to address this… it was uncouth.
The priest was equally guilty in his claim, “What does an atheist know?”. Would it make sense that if an atheist needs to be omniscient to claim “There is no god”, that the very argument can be used on theists? One would need to be omniscient to know a god exists!
…and his claim that atheists claim “There is no God”… I don’t know many atheists who come out directly saying that, especially without further explanation. It’s not like someone grabs “There is no god” out of a vacuum. The theist makes a claim of a god, they tell us stories, they give us what they consider proof and their beliefs. The “Atheist” just evaluates those claims and ends up rejecting them.
I don’t think many Atheists are closed to finding the truth, I for one will always evaluate claims and evidence on most every topic. Some atheists are skeptics by nature. We have a thirst for knowledge. Just color me unimpressed with logical claims, cosmological arguments, recommendations that I should read the Bible or some book or that some beautiful wave of light came from the heavens… If you have been an atheist for any period of time, you have heard various claims and arguments and it’s just not worth the time and effort to argue them again.
…Just something to think about…
We do wind up fighting the same battles over and over. The church’s ability to ignore evidence and just carry on is astounding. I see it in the internet apologists as well, censoring comments that expose the ridiculousness of some of the claims. Then on to the next sermon like it never happened.
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If you successfully refutentheir claims, they delete your post.
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The response below this one was meant for you two. My iPad is a bit funky…
Whether I was a theist or atheist, I always wanted to have the knowledge about the topic at hand. If someone corrected me, I would add that piece of knowledge to my collection 🙂 I see the same bloggers posting the same claims despite their “understanding” that you have corrected them. I sometimes wonder if they just keep posting the same crap to get a rise out of the atheists!
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My Catholic upbringing was completely fine, too. In Australia, religion is really kept as a private affair. You don’t talk about it with your friends, and you most certainly don’t drag it into politics. Because of this, I feel sorry for Americans who have to really struggle against social pressures that just don’t exist in other developed nations.
I don’t remember politics and religion spilling into each other much when I was younger but now it seems to be a political divide. Politics is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US.. or so it seems. It’s a shame everything has to be so divided and people have to take sides. 😦
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division, sadly, is easy and cheap.