Sunday, February 25, 2007

atheist gratitude

It can be hard to be an atheist in the United States. I read about it in stories on the Internet, talked about it in the extian email list, seen it on ExChristian.Net, talked about it in the local Atheists Meetup group, etc. I've contributed my share of material to these sources to share the fear, religious pressure, fights with my parents, etc, that went along with the discovery within my family that I was not a Christian anymore. Some of that you can read on this blog from the last few years.

However, things have smoothed out since then, and I am very grateful for that. Religion is no longer a source of open conflict between my Mother and I--and I think that this is more to her credit than it is to mine. Maybe it is because she knows that she is not going to bring me back to her church by arguing with me, so she has toned down a lot. Maybe it is because I'm at least going to a church now, even though it's not really a Christian church. Better Unitarian-Universalist than totally heathen :) Could also be that she is seeing that I have not really changed my basic values much after embracing my atheism. What I do know is that she loves me, religion or no. Dad too, of course, but there was never much conflict between us. And I am grateful for all of that.

Another area where I have been incredibly fortunate is in my workplace. I work as an IT Programmer/Analyst in a moderate sized company in Jeffersonville, right across the river from Louisville. One of the striking things about this this working environment is the incredible amount of open mindedness and diversity. I have co-workers there from many different national and religious environments, and religion has never been brought up yet in conversation as anything but a cultural interest. And there is no prostelization and no pressure of a religious sort that I hear that atheists encouter all to often in office settings. And I am very greatful for that.

There are other areas which I'm also greatful, my Unitarian-Universalist church, the internet which gives me the ability to share my thought and communicate with people from other parts of the U.S. and the world about this stuff, and many things that I'm just not thinking of now, for sure.

Dang, I almost forgot to mention that I'm even dating an atheist. How sweet is that? :)

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