Have you seen this article on CNN?
Are you appalled? I’m appalled.
No, it’s not the content. This is seriously an awesome article. The author has managed to articulate, clearly and concisely, exactly what’s in my own head and heart. Actually, what’s in a lot of people’s heads and hearts. More than you probably realize.
So, what’s so appalling? That readers are flagging it as “inappropriate,” that’s what.
I’m so tired of this – this notion that so many religious folks have that we non-believers should just keep our non-belief to ourselves. There is nothing – absolutely nothing – inappropriate about that article. No profanity, no sexual content, no hate language, no threats or intimidation, no promotion of violence or illicit activity. It merely explains, in plain terms, why this mother is raising her children without god, without religion. Why is that “inappropriate”?
I’ve experienced this too many times myself, being told that my outspokenness about my non-belief is disrespectful of those who are Believers, that my views are unwelcome. Only recently a commenter here said, “(The Whole God) issue is like a beaten horse. We all know how you feel, don’t you think it is time to tap into something else?”
Why is it that it’s perfectly acceptable – commendable and encouraged even! – for Believers to proclaim their beliefs, to issue forth their faith, to quote bible verses and loudly thank Jesus for every little thing – in life, on Facebook, on blogs – their own and other people’s – at every turn, but if an atheist is open about his or her non-belief, they are admonished?
I’ll tell you something: probably the number one reason I talk about my views on faith as often and openly as I do is because I am inundated with Christianity all the time. (I’m starting to think that I live in the “Bible Belt” of California.) The Christians in my life – both real and cyber – have no qualms about sharing their faith, whether invited to or not – all the time. I want equal air time, it’s as simple as that. I talk about it because you talk about it; I talk about it to counteract what I’m surrounded by. I doubt I would have much to say on the topic if Christianity weren’t so woven into the culture and community of which I am a part.
If a parent somewhere submitted a similar article to CNN titled “Why I Raise My Children With God” instead of “without,” it’s highly unlikely that anyone – not even an atheist – would have the gall to flag it as “inappropriate.”
I commend the author of that article for putting her thoughts out there. Fortunately, she’s getting a lot of support, but she’s also getting flak. I think what she wrote scares people. What if everything she says is true? They must think that, at least for a second or two.