Saturday, August 19, 2006

First of many answers...

Marlene said...
With all the various religions out there to choose from, how did you choose atheism?

Well, for starters, I wouldn't classify atheism as a religion. But, how did I choose atheism out of all the potentials for belief? Well, I didn't "choose" it so much as I just came to the realization that it was closer to what I had always believed. And, the more I read and studied religion, the more I realized that most, if not all, religions were based on false premises. I am choosing to identify myself as an atheist because, thus far, it's really the only belief category I've found where truth and knowledge are prized above faith and emotion. Atheism doesn't ask you to believe unsubstantiated claims. Atheism doesn't ask me to swear an allegiance to any God(s). Atheism allows for freedom of thought and exploration of thought. At this point, it just fits.

When did you decide you were an atheist?
I think the self-acceptance that I was an atheist came about two years ago. But, I didn't really "own it" until about a year ago. There wasn't really a defining moment. There were catalysts and "aha!" moments where everything started to make sense, but I forgot to chronicle it in my day planner. I guess I'll never make Steven Covey proud. ;) LOL Good question, though...I'll have to think about it. There were a few moments in childhood when I questioned religion(s),...I'll have to talk about those some day.

Do you ever regret not being part of mainstream america?
Well, I'm not really sure what mainstream America actually is. LOL I suspect there are more atheists and agnostics out there than people might think. But, to answer what I think you're asking: I haven't, yet, regretted my decision to choose NOT be Christian or religious. I regret that my children have to deal with the bullshit of their well-meaning friends. I regret that my parents are disappointed in my choices/philosophies.

What does your family think of your faith?
Mr. Possum is pretty indifferent. He and I were both raised in the Roman Catholic Church. Both of us had parochial educations. However, I really don't think Mr. Possum has made a statement of belief since his last confession in High School. Wait. I take that back. He and I have attended a few baptisms since then... anyway. Mr. Possum is tolerating my self-discovery pretty well. The alternative is for him to debate me and/or think about his own faith and he claims to "not have enough time for that". He loves me. I love him. It hasn't been an issue.
The eldest lil' possums (possums 1 and 2) are enjoying mom's journey. They're both learning right along with me.
The small possums (possums 3 and 4) really don't know anything but life as it is now. They seem to be a happy group.
My parents...well, that would take a whole, separate post...but, it's a good question and I'll address it soon.

How do you deal with people saying "god blah blah blah"?
It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. ;) Seriously though, it doesn't bother me, most of the time. People are entitled to their beliefs and opinions...as long as they don't infringe upon my rights. I can tune people out pretty effectively, when need be. I *do* get frustrated when people get all "GOD blah blah blah" on me and then don't listen to my rebuttal or questions in return.

Why possummomma? :)
I've always called my kids "the possums". ;)

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