Skip to main content

"I find your lack of faith disturbing."

It's Sunday. This is the day that many Americans attend church, praising their God in whatever denomination they've decided upon. Worship services run the gamut, from strict conservative to uber-liberal, from "primitive" to modern. There are Christians, Muslims, Wiccans and a whole host of others who worship on Sundays, and several other days of the week, and here in the U.S., it's a very small minority that does not believe in a god, or who lacks faith. I am among that minority.

It's not always easy, being an atheist/skeptic in a world of believers, but I manage. While it's true that there are plenty of religious folks who will try and smother others with their beliefs, up to and including attempts to immerse laws and government within their own religiosity, it should be noted that there are those of the secular persuasion who are just as rabid and rude as their spiritual brethren, often displaying intolerance to those of faith, and with a snarky comment to be made about someone's beliefs.

I've encountered such dispiriting (no pun intended) atheism on Twitter, of all places. When I joined the social network at the beginning of the summer, I tended to gravitate toward some of the people who tweeted a lot of atheist dogma (like-minds, and what not). While I still follow some of them, it has not escaped my attention that many of them are quite... intolerant... of religion. And not just religion, but its followers, whatever denomination they may be a part of. This unsettles me.

Yes, some religious people are intolerant. They hold some frankly bigoted opinions. They are often highly hypocritical when it comes to what they learn & preach, compared to their own lives. But that is just some religious people. Others are kind-hearted, enlightened people who have done -- and continue to do -- much good in the world. Many involved in social justice causes such as the Underground Railroad and the Civil Rights Movement took part because of their religiosity. Some of the greatest architecture in the world (in Christian and Muslim societies alike) was constructed because of a place to gather to pray & worship.

I think it is also important for atheists to understand that the aspect of believers that they mock the most -- that they believe in a god without any evidence -- is the very essence of what it is to have faith. It may not wash with some of us in the skeptical minority, but to mock folks for having faith is to lose the plot. It also misses the point of what it is to be a decent human being (whether you're religious or not), and that is to treat others with the same respect that you would like to be treated with.

If I do have faith in something, it is that while human beings can be influenced by what they hear and read in places such as churches, mosques, meeting halls and within the walls of their homes, it doesn't really matter whether one is an atheist or if they are religious. You can have wonderful and woeful human beings in both camps.

What matters most in this world is how we treat one another, and such behavior is something that knows no faith or skepticism. All that spirituality and secularism can do is magnify who we are, not define us. We would all do well to keep that in mind, and not feel superior to others, whatever side of the fence we happen to be on.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…