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Atheists on the board, raise your hand!

Ellsworth Toohey

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*raises hand*


My parents never took me to church or really discussed/explained religion to me. 


They both considered themselves to be Presbyterians but never took part in it.  Instead my father took me to the planetarium and had me watch Carl Sagan documentaries, so when my maternal grandfather died when I was 8 and all of a sudden my mother started dragging us to church every Sunday, hearing this guy on the pulpit talk about how the Earth was only 2,000 years old and about Noah's Ark, which I knew from PBS and National Geographic documentaries to be completely inaccurate, made me leery of religion. 


When I was 14 I was sent to a Bible Camp which, unbeknowest to my parents, was run by Evangelicals and exposed me to nutcases who believed that only a chosen few Christians would ascend in something called "the Rapture" and showed me just how hateful and prejudiced "loving" Christians could be. 


When I got to college, I began dabbling in left-wing socialism and was exposed to Christopher Hitchens for the first time and from there began reading Richard Dawkins, James Randi and Sam Harris.  At the same time I took history classes that focused on the real-life history of the Middle East and the actual origins of the Abrahamic religions, and how much of Christianity was based around early myths and religions. 


That was when I finally began to realize that religions were the invention of ancient peoples to explain why the Sun rose and set everyday and to explain how the world worked.


The 13 years since then have certainly been an interesting journey.  My father remarried to a woman who I hardly speak to, due to her fanatical obsession with New Age mysticism (she's heavily into "energy healing") and I no longer speak to two of my closest friends from high school due to their insistence on Judaism being a "race" of people while I advocate David Cross's view that Judaism is simply a religion that people can adopt or abandon at will and shouldn't be defined by (but then I believe in post-racialism: "I don't see a black man in front of me, I just see a man").


Politically, I don't really call myself a socialist anymore, though I do believe that the government does have a role to play in people's lives (people on food stamps should NOT be allowed to use them to buy junk food, only healthy food, and the WIC program should be abandoned entirely.  If you are so poor you're on food stamps to begin with, you should not be having children. You're just making the problem worse by birthing children into poverty).

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