The first amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America decrees, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (1)
Is it not true that the colonists who landed at Plymouth Rock were escaping religious persecution?
Is this not a free country?
Then why do I feel like I'm going to be persecuted for my beliefs if I make them known?
I am an atheist. I do not believe that there is a god. It's as simple as that. I favor the facts of science over "facts" of faith.
However, this does not mean that I am going to think that all people of faith are uneducated or are naive. The majority of my friends are Christian. My parents are Christian. I don't think that any of them are stupid. I respect their beliefs.
All I want is the same in return.
However, I don't get that luxury. I know that if I ever told some of my friends that I am an atheist they would immediately start an argument with me and tell me that I'm wrong.
Normally, I just kind of let this stuff just pass on by without getting too annoyed. Lately, however, I find that I keep getting more and more pissed off whenever someone starts preaching about God and Christianity to me.
It really started getting to me earlier this year at the start of my freshman year at Tennessee Technological University. Within the very first day, I was getting pamphlets and cards all asking me to join [insert religious organization here]. There were fliers posted up in the hallway of my dorm promoting bible studies and church services. In fact, there still are. And then, in my English class, there was a girl who I had the misfortune to sit next to. Every single day she would spout off some sort of promotion for the Methodist organization on campus. Every. Single. Fucking. Day.
And if that wasn't bad enough, my English professor himself started incorporating God into the lessons. He would read religious poetry or use religious articles for sources. All this time I was just thinking to myself, since when did I sign up to go to a private, church affiliated school?
This is a public college. There are people of many different nationalities, cultures, and religions here. In what way is it acceptable to be forcing a Christian agenda upon these students?
I've found myself so desperately wanting to ask my teacher to lay off the God talk. And I would. If I didn't think that it would make even the few acquaintances that I've made in the class treat me like a pariah. I suppose that if I had a stable group of friends here, then I would be more likely to express my opinion of such matters. But I don't. I don't have a single friend here at college, and let me tell you. There's no more lonely feeling that to be too hesitant and too anxious to actually talk to somebody.
But my point is that since I don't have any friends here, I feel like I need to be as agreeable as possible so that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to make some sort of human connection.
And there lies the problem. It seems to me that every single person I've encountered so far follows some sort of religion. And then there's me. The atheist. You see, there's no atheist club for me to go to.
And all the time, I see politicians (mainly republicans, but some democrats as well) bringing God and Christianity into our government. To put it simply, it pisses me off. I have no desire to live in a country that regulates religion, and it's looking more and more like that's where this country is heading.
George Bush Sr. reportedly said in an interview, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." That frightens me to be honest. While we may have Obama right now, I highly doubt that he will be getting a second term, and I think that there's going to be a fairly good chance that Sarah Palin is going to be running for president.
I honestly believe that if she becomes president, and if the senate and house are of a Christian majority, this country has a pretty good chance of becoming a theocracy.
The fact of the matter is, I'm tired of feeling like my beliefs don't matter. That just because I'm not of the popular opinion, I must be wrong. I know that not all Christians are quite so voracious, but I believe that the sensible Christians are far outweighed by the...I'm just going to say it...religious nut jobs.
Is that really what we want to be teaching our children?
It's disgusting, really. I'm just glad that Cookeville finally got rid of this billboard.
I flipped it off every time I drove past it.
But really, I'm just tired of all this bullshit.