Why Don't You Believe?
I probably won't be able to blog much tomorrow, so this is premature Sunday Atheism blogging. But if you are a non-believer, why is that? What made you decide to shed your faith, or why haven't you ever adopted one? We've done this kind of posting here at Corrente before, but I'm trying to be a viral-slut here, and pick up some of the confessory energy of the IGB project. It's time to Come Out, atheists. Over and over again, if necessary. Just as there are too many gay teens contemplating suicide, there are too many non-believers who are willing to stay closeted for a little comfort, at the expense of great freedom. Tell your story, please.
In my case, it was good parenting. My agnostic folks exposed me to the basics of "world religions," and let my grandparents force me into a church membership, knowing how turned off I would be by that experience. They let me go with my neighbors to their church, which bored me to tears (white people don't sing!) and they made sure I had Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Russian Orthodox and Hindu schoolmates growing up. A friend of mine and fellow Correntian likes to joke about me and my writing, "your kind is so obsessed with religion because to you, it's so kinky. You can't understand why anyone would subject the mind to such weird crap." He's not wrong.
To me, religion has and always will be politics by another name and with better ritual. I've never liked "opiate of the masses" formulation because it's classist and insulting, but then again I'm perfectly willing to insult superstition and those who tell me I have to "respect" it. At the same time, I can totally understand the appeal of mass hypnosis during times of uncertainty and doubt and crisis; hypnosis which can bring a calming certainty in an uncertain world. Still, I'm a snob and if I ever have to turn to that to deal with a problem in my life, well. I might as well start drinking pure grain alcohol at 9am every morning. Of late, I'm mostly fascinated by the intersec(/x)tion of religion and queer identity. Everything that is happening to America (and not the global political scene, but specifically America) has to do with the way they relate right now. If I could take a time machine trip to the future 300 years from now, I know the first book I'd write would be about this. "How religion and closeted queer sexuality destroyed the great experiment in democracy once know as 'The USA: Leader of the Free World(tm)'."
[I hope lambert can forgive me for being such a one trick ass these days, but this is why i don't blog anymore so much. i just can't bring myself to talk about the Kabuki and i'm back in my Theoretical and Analytic mode, because it's a comfort food of the mind for me. the theocrats won't let us talk when we're in the concentration camps, so let's do it now while we still can.]