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article imageOp-Ed: Godless America

By Christopher Wager     Dec 9, 2012 in World
Atheism, the position of not believing in a God or the acknowledgment that in fact there never was God? Either way the topic is creating a back lash of controversy among religious leaders and followers alike.
Atheism, when people hear the word it stirs many thoughts and emotions, especially in those who hold a belief in God perhaps introduced to them when they were a child through whichever religion their family supported. Most often these thoughts and emotions are negative.
As if it were an instinctual reaction, people go on the defense of their beliefs. Each side, believers and non-believers, take up logical and intellectual arms to do battle. Again and again in the name of religion. These two definitions below make interesting points to which version of atheism non-believers subscribe to.
Atheism: unbeliever in God or deities: somebody who does not believe in God or deities.
Atheism: Belief in no God, or no belief in God.
To be clear (yes, I do think it is okay to start a sentence with an infinitive) does the average run of the mill atheist understand the difference? Are they standing on the principle of not believing in a God? Which would validate in the minds of the atheists the existence of a God. Or, do they stand on the principle there is no God to not believe in? There is a stark difference.
If people are going to present themselves as true blue non-believers, they should be clear on what they stand for and believe in, before tempting to ridicule others for having a belief in a God of their choosing.
To any educated American there is hardly a need to remind them; this country was founded on the profound principle of religious freedom and tolerance. Most importantly free from religious persecution.
Which given this last year seems to be making a comeback. People need to be reminded although we may not agree on certain points of ceremony, prayer, and traditions; we must always respect another person’s beliefs. However, there are stipulations to this umbrella of tolerance. As long as your beliefs do not bring harm to yourself or others, I think it’s good. Secondly, persons must have the freedom of choice to either stay or go. Holding people prisoner in order to maintain numbers doesn’t sound like a religion to me. If a “religion” is willing to ask its followers to drink the Kool Aid, it’s not following any doctrine I have ever heard of.
In addition, I think it is important to point out as of lately, being a big religious season for many religions, there seems to be a building movement from Atheists to see those with a belief pay for it dearly. The shear disrespect of representations for religious events from various religions are under attack. Defacing, vandalizing, destroying, and even outlawing these representations doesn’t detour or bring in question the resolve of believers, it only represents the poor judgment of those doing the deeds.
Time and time again the so called non-believers demonstrate the inability to police their own behavior. By their own definition being an atheist must mean a person without religion has the freedom of conscious to berate others, and participate in the destruction of private property. Furthermore, they seem to have the talent to tell blatant lies in order to smear others. Yes, I think they got it right. Being an atheist, as they are portrayed in the media, does look like a group of undisciplined, angry, people willing and eager to engage in whatever bad behavior pleases them.
But where does all this anger come from? Are they angry because when they were a child and prayed for a new red bike, then God didn’t deliver? Was such an event the pivot point in their lives? Being so angry over the bike, they decided there was no God? Many people follow the premise God lets bad things happen to good people in the world. Forgetting all about free will and the important part it plays in the grand scheme of things. Of course, God doesn’t let or want bad things to happen. But we can’t have it both ways. Sometimes, we fall victim to the free will of others, but we cannot allow these painful events to turn us away from the only true source of love and strength in the universe.
For whatever reason atheists don’t believe either in God or that there ever was a God, one thing is clear. They’re not content to just not believe. They are compelled to try and turn others away from their beliefs. For myself, I have no great need or compulsion to convince anyone of anything. Not my political, or religious beliefs. Nor do I feel the need to convince anyone I am right or rather my position is right. I am completely at peace with what I believe and respect the beliefs of others. I don’t get that sense of serenity from what is being demonstrated by the atheists. This begs the question, who are they trying to convince - others or themselves? For a group who reject God they spend a lot of time and energy to deface and disprove something they don’t even believe exists. Lastly, if atheists are buying the whole God thing? Who or what are they putting their faith in? No person is an island, they are putting the faith and belief somewhere? Is it man? Or government? It has been proven those with some type of religious discipline, (I use that word because it is in fact a discipline - a discipline of behavior, of thought, and action.), exhibit a behavior of a greater moral person. Which would you rather follow?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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