Archive for October, 2012

I’d like to write this post on a topic that I feel is undermentioned: the rise of evangelical atheists.


Now, first of all, while I know I will make many atheists angry at this characterization, I believe that atheism is a religion.  I don’t think rituals or even God are necessary for something to be a religion (Buddhism lacks a strong deistic view).  I think religion is a belief about the spiritual nature of the universe.  Atheists believe that there isn’t a spiritual part of the universe.  That is a belief.


The interesting thing is despite atheism’s desire to be described as a religion, they are beginning to adopt many of the trapping and habits of religion.  There are now atheist/secular campus groups.  There are atheist/secular chaplains.  And there is now evangelical atheism.


I tend to define evangelical atheism as the belief that a) traditionally religious people are wrong in their belief of God and b) the need to express that belief and try to convert them.  This is a loose definition.  I am more trying to refer to an attitude rather than an actual act.


Atheists who desperately are trying to convince people of traditional religious faith that they are wrong, that there is no possible way their beliefs can be correct, are proselytizing.  They are no different from Christian who argue that the only way to heaven is through Jesus and it’s necessary for you to accept him as your savior now.  Many atheists (and people of other religions), understandably get bothered when the next piece is how if you don’t believe those things, you’re going to hell.  But now it is common to hear atheists saying that only stupid, ignorant people still believe in religion or the Bible.  I don’t really see how this is less offensive.


I don’t object to atheism.  It might not be something I share or even appreciate, but it’s something that I understand and I respect their rights to their beliefs.  I have many friends who are atheists, live-and-let-live atheists.  But what scares me is the rise of a type of evangelical, militant atheist.  A form of atheism that not only doesn’t acknowledge the possibility of a God…but believes that it is necessary that other people realize the error of their ways and think the same way (much like evangelical Christians who want the world to convert to Christianity).   It is a form of atheism that is not simply a belief, but that thinks that that belief needs to be spread.  It sees traditional religions as some sort of threat, as antiquated artifacts of a more primitive time that we need to throw away.  It is a form of atheism that does not leave room for other faiths.


I know many of us snort when people talk of how religion is “under attack” in America.  We all know that religious freedom is generally well-protected.  We also know that in the vast majority of America (which does not include where I live, in Massachusetts), religion is still a very dominant piece of life, perhaps even to the point where it can isolate or exclude people.  However, the attitude has been around for some time, and I feel it is growing, where atheism believes that there is no room for traditional religion, no room for deeply religious people.


I am a Christian who deeply believes in God and her faith.  I am not irrational or illogical.  I have actually thought very deeply about this.  I am not ignorant, narrow-minded, or backward.  I don’t think I need fixing any more than atheists think they need saving.


I respect your right to your own beliefs without judgment on you as a person.  Please do the same for me.


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Though I should be doing a multitude of other things, I felt the need to put key to screen and speak some thoughts that have been irking me during this period of campaigning.  For better or worse, much of the election has become about women, and namely, which of the two men who were on the stage last night, likes women more.  It’s quite pathetic to see the two of them trying to wrestle for this title.  While it hasn’t been a lightning rod in the past couple news cycles, the issue of birth control continues to lurk under the surface.  And so I have something I’d like to say to both the Democrats and Republicans of our great nation.

To the Republicans who think that birth control shouldn’t be covered by health insurance…you’re morons.

To the Democrats who think that birth control should be free under health insurance…you’re also morons.

As a young, moderate woman in today’s society, I find the number of misconceptions and irrational views on both sides of the aisle to just be, simply put, annoying.

To the conservatives

1) Birth control needs to be covered in some capacity under health care plans because the same drug that is used to help control pregnancy is also used for purely medical reasons.  For instance, it is used to treat ovarian cysts.  You know what ovarian cysts can lead to?  Infertility.  Ironically, birth control is needed at times to facilitate pregnancy, not just prevent it.  It works both ways, guys.

2) I think it is a very misguided notion that our archetype for the woman who needs birth control is a young, liberal woman in her 20s who likes to have one-night stands.  It turns out that married couples use birth control quite a lot too.  In fact, 79% of married women use birth control as opposed to 39% of non-married women.

3) Birth control isn’t okay…but Viagra is?

4) Yes, you have a right to your religious beliefs.  Yes, you have a right to not want your money and your taxes to go to something that is against your religious belief.  I understand exactly how you feel…because I have to pay my taxes which go to fund military spending, which happens to be against my religious beliefs (along with oil subsidies and a bunch of other stuff).  It turns out, we all have to pay for things that we don’t agree with, so suck it up.  However, if you agree that my money only has to go to things that I think are morally acceptable, I’ll totally back you up.

To the liberals

1)      Contrary to what you think, birth control actually isn’t a right.  Or if it is, it’s a lot less important than some other rights.  Right now, there are thousands of Americans who can’t pay for their treatments for cancer, AIDS, or any other number of diseases.  Those medicines and procedures are not always, and rarely fully, covered under health care plans.  Some people can’t even get any insurance.  Surely someone has a right to live before they have a right to not get pregnant?   I think birth control should be subsidized like any other medication, it should be easy to get and it should be affordable.  But there is nothing else that we say is free in this country in the same way that people are arguing birth control should be.  The government doesn’t pay for my food, my college education, or the medications and procedures that allow me to be a functioning member of society.  Birth control isn’t more of a right than any of those other things.


So, now we understand, right?  You’re both wrong.


See, you have more in common than you thought…    

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