why I'm an atheist

I'm an atheist. Some people like to call me a "militant" atheist, because they think that demonizes me. But I think it's awesome. I picture myself all badassed-out like Lara Croft, armed with weapons that shoot laser beams of rationality and common sense. I will take you and your magical thinking down, muthafucka.

Being an atheist doesn't mean I beat up homeless people or eat babies (though they are delicious). It just means I don't believe in the existence of supernatural deities, including Yahweh, Allah, Mbombo, Rod, Pangu, Brahma, Thor, Zeus, Hera, or Atum, to name just a few.

I'm an atheist because I see no reason to believe the Judeo-Christian creation story over any other creation mythology. Because I don't believe in talking snakes, consciousness-raising apples, global floods, virgin births, zombies, alchemy, peep stones, angels, ghosts, devils, magical Jesus-flesh crackers, or babies springing from heads. Because I believe that calling these fairy tales "metaphors" is a convenient, modern-day way of distancing oneself from the fact that, for millennia, they were considered anything but. Because I believe it is hypocritical to cherry-pick biblical verses for literalism or symbolism, depending on the stakes.

I'm an atheist because I know the gods people believe in at any given point in history are a result of the wholly arbitrary circumstance of their birth. Because I know that had I been born in 18th century India, I'd have been raised to believe in Vishnu. If I'd been born in ancient Greece, I'd have worshipped Aphrodite. If I'd been born in Afghanistan, I'd believe in Mohammed and Allah. As Mark Twain says, "The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also."

I'm an atheist because I see no reason to take the bible any more seriously than any other religious text history has passed down, and passed over. Most holy books have more or less the same content anyway. There is very little that's original in the Christian bible. Proscriptions against certain crimes ("sins") have been in place since the development of civilizations. The Golden Rule is a necessary precept for any society to survive. Aesop has more to teach us about wrong and right than the Christian bible, which is a hate-filled tome of questionable authenticity and authority. It contradicts everything modern man has learned about cosmology, geology, physics, physiology, and medicine. It's stuffed to the gills with genocide, murder, incest, slavery, misogyny, and misanthropy. The Judeo-Christian god of the bible is a sadistic, vengeful, and jealous tyrant who punishes thought crimes with eternal physical torment.

I'm an atheist because I don't need an archaic set of rules written by goat-sacrificing tribesmen thousands of years ago to give me a moral framework. Because I believe that determining right from wrong is a matter of personal common sense and collective, societal self-interest. Because the concepts of "sin" and "damnation" are a leash and chokehold created and maintained by tyrants and their lackeys in order to manipulate and dominate others through fear. Because I was born in the 20th century, not the first, and I know that eating shellfish isn't a moral crime, any more than wearing mixed fiber clothing, or walking my dog on Sunday, or having oral sex with my boyfriend.

I'm an atheist because I believe that anyone who tries to tell me an omniscient, omnipotent being would equip some humans with a biological predisposition towards same-sex attraction, and then judge and punish them for acting on it, should stop spending so much time worrying about the personal lives of others and go offer Yahweh a fatted calf. While they're at it, they should sell their smartphones, cars, and homes, give the proceeds to the poor, and go live the Christ-like life they so sanctimoniously cluck about.

I'm an atheist because every part of my body belongs to me and me alone. What I do with it and to it is my business, and not subject to the concerns or jurisdictions of others who want to impose their supernatural beliefs on me.

I'm an atheist because I rely on my faculties of reason to make conclusions about the natural world and to determine what is ethical and moral - not the proclamations of old men claiming to have a direct line to god. Because I have and practice intellectual autonomy. Because I won't accept That's just the way it is, and we believe it because it was written in this serious-sounding book as an answer to life's biggest questions. Because I know anyone who claims to represent or speak for a god is a charlatan, a crook, and a liar. There are no prophets, anymore than there are soothsayers, witches, wizards, or tooth fairies.

I'm an atheist because I'm not afraid of death. Because letting go of the need for an afterlife frees me up to fully appreciate the one I've got right now, here today. Because the beauty and wonder of the natural world is sufficient on its own; I don't need it to be filled with invisible forces of good and evil, in order to make sense of things that happen.

I'm an atheist because one life is enough.

If you're a voting atheist who values reproductive freedom, who wants children to be taught science instead of lies, who believes in equal rights, and who recognizes the necessity of secularism in government, why not step forward and say so, too? You're not nearly as alone as you might think.