Author urges knowledge and understanding of Atheism before fear, misconception

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I am an atheist, but not just any non-believer. I put my faith into science and dedicate my heart to rationality.

In order for me to believe in things, I require evidence or facts, and I much rather live with the painful truth than I would with a harmful misunderstanding.

Atheism, in layman’s terms, is the lack of belief in any god or gods.

It is not, and shouldn’t be, classified as a religion, but it can hold its own unique form of beliefs.

Much like anything else, it differs from person to person and there are many forms of atheism on this planet.

Unfortunately, atheism as a whole often comes under fire, even in a free-worshiping country such as the United States.

A recent study released by the University of Minnesota showed that 39.6 percent of the people interviewed thought that atheists did not share the same vision of American society with them.

That number topped the chart. Second to atheists, Muslims came in with 26.3 percent and homosexuals came in third with 22.6 percent.

Previous studies have shown similar conclusions. These studies are probably the cause of “New Atheism,” which is the dominate form of atheism in the country.

Unlike other forms, “New Atheism” is very open and critical about religion. This conjures up many misconceptions that atheists want to forcefully eliminate religious belief altogether.

We as atheists don’t want to force anyone into anything for any reason, we believe atheism is a rational process the human mind comes to with critical thought, in which atheism doesn’t need to force itself on others to grow.

Another reason people dislike atheism is because they are under the impression that for a person to be moral they must follow and be pressured by a higher being.

I would argue atheist individuals are more ethical than the rest because they don’t require a “Big Daddy” over their head to make good decisions. We all have morals, and though they are subjective, we tend to stick by them.

We are also hated for being sacrilegious, when our main goal isn’t to mock, but to be censorious.

We naturally like to debate and criticize ideas, the very same reason we feel the need to remove the word “God” from government run institutions.

We have come to realize this is not a Christian Nation, and it is wrong and disrespectful to glorify one belief system.

Not every state can be as liberal as California, in fact when a graduate from Bastrop High School in Louisiana spoke up against a ceremonial prayer during graduation, he was hit with social whiplash.

The student’s name was Damon Fowler, and he has received death threats, has been the victim of public humiliation, and was eventually kicked out of his house for taking a stand on the side of atheism.

His pain is felt by other oppressed atheists who made their home in the Bible-belt of America, and even here on the West Coast.

As an atheist, it’s hard to come out about your beliefs to family, friends and coworkers because the fear of rejection is so high.

We’re not baby-eating, heathenish, anti-American, unethical murderers. We’re just human.