I’ve long been a fan of Richard Dawkins. He is arguably a bit strident about the New Atheism but he makes some valid points.
Now an article in Wired of all places examines the path of the Brights as atheists are wont to call themselves these days.
I’ve never had a belief in a god of any sort. That awakening happened sometime between my first communion and my confirmation. I think that seeing what the Roman Catholic church was all about helped considerably.
For example, I was there when Father David told my father that since my family hadn’t tithed enough to the church, he might not be able to give my mother a Catholic mass and burial. I’ll never forget the surprised look on the face of that priest when my father wrapped his hands around his neck and started choking him, while uttering a string of obscenities at the priest.
Of course the priest changed his tune after that. Father David was always a son of a bitch anyhow.
Then of course there’s my confirmation. By this point I was a sophomore at a Catholic high school. I highly recommend Catholic schools, because while they may have that religious education component, they also teach you to think. And if you apply thinking to the religious education you clearly see that it’s bullshit.
Anyhow, back to the confirmation. In essence I had to be bribed to make my confirmation in order to keep peace in the family. Keeping peace meant appeasment of my grandfather.
I’m not at all ashamed of being an atheist. Even when my father, now a holy roller himself accuses me of not having a belief in God, I’ll admit it freely and openly. I’m sure this causes my father no end of grief that only he and his pastor can reconcile.
It’s funny – I’m ultra-left liberal. I often wondered where that came from. I know it certainly wasn’t from my father. Having lost my mom at 13 I wasn’t sure where I got it from. While talking to my aunt I found out was that it was my mother that was the free thinker in the family. So thanks mom for giving me what I needed to know.