I wouldn’t call myself an atheist per se, however I would classify myself as one before I classified myself as religious. I enjoy secular tv, I am in a secular homeschool group, I like to read secular blogs, etc. I consider myself secular because I really let religion have zero impact on my day to day life. It is not a thing to me. I am noticing more and more that “secular” groups are leaning towards mocking of religions. That is NOT being secular. If you were truly “secular” religion would not need to come up in your conversation daily. You would not have to talk regularly about how it doesn’t exist. You wouldn’t need to talk about how “crazy” religious people are. You wouldn’t need to openly mock religion to make yourself feel better about who you are.
Let’s start with tv. I watch shows like The Walking Dead, True Blood, Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Blacklist, etc. Even when religion is a “part” of the show it isn’t what the show is about. They may be in a church, they may face off against a zealot, they may even decide to be baptized and saved…then they go back to blowing stuff up. I am ok with that. However the other day I saw “The Atheist Channel” on the Roku lineup. I figured what the hell, let’s give it a look. Only it wasn’t Atheist, because everything that was on it was mocking religion. If you are a true Atheist, religion will play ZERO part in your life. If you live day to day just to mock christians, you are closer to a satanist than you are an atheist. A true Atheist would not let religion affect them either way.
Moving on to books. My absolute favorite read was Sleepers by Jacqueline Druga. I explain it to people as “The Walking Dead meets The Rapture”. One of the characters is an unapologetic Atheist, and another is a priest. Some of the scenes play out in a church. I’m ok with that. It wasn’t trying to sell me one way or the other.
Now on to my biggest pet peeve. The homeschool group. They call themselves free thinkers but they are far from it. Here are the first 3 rules from a list of about 10-12:
1. No proselytizing.
You may not promote any religion. Asking and answering questions about religions is permitted, but religious members should be extremely careful not to cross the line into endorsement and probably shouldn’t say much about “well, I believe…”.
2. Homeschooling Freethinkers is a SECULAR group. That means that we do not educate using Bible- or creationism-based materials. While most members are atheists, agnostics, or non-believers, we do allow members of any religion as long as they can abide by the Freethinker philosophy and rules as set by admin.
3. Religion bashing is permitted. That means that ANY religion may be mocked freely. If you cannot handle that, this is probably not the group for you.
I get it’s meant to be a secular group which is why I joined it! However, 80% of their posts in that group aren’t based around homeschooling, rather “anti-religious hate”. The point of me joining secular groups is so that I don’t have to deal with religious zealots. Just as much as I don’t want the local mormons knocking on my door, I don’t want to hear about how much you hate catholicism every day. If every day I wake up to 30 posts about “how stupid religion is” I’m not achieving my goal of avoiding religion in my day to day life.
There is a MASSIVE divide between secular and anti-religion, as well as atheism and agnostics. The small minded people who live to bash religions are definitely on the opposite side from where I want to be. Everyone has religious freedoms in this country, and everyone has the right to speak their mind. Unfortunately with both of those come the right to be a complete and total fucking idiot.
Stop claiming to be “secular” when you are actually the furthest thing from it. Oh yeah, and religious folks…you’re not off the hook just yet, I have a great piece coming your way about religion, the bible, racism, homophobia, and more! It’s exciting right?!