Valerie Tarico, the author of The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth, used to be a psychologist.
We all know about how atheists are often called “arrogant,” but Tarico writes about how, beneath that label, there are actually a whole host of emotions we have that slip under the radar:
Not all atheist pain about religion is personal. Many nontheists feel anguished by the sexual abuse that is enabled by religious hierarchy, by women shrouded in black and girls barred from schools, by the implements of inquisition that lie in museums, by ongoing Christian witch burnings in Africa and India, or by those images of people leaping from windows. Even less dramatic suffering can be hard to witness — children who fear eternal torture, teens who attempt suicide because they are gay and so condemned, women who submit to their own abuse or the abuse of their children because God hates divorce. To the extent that we experience empathy, these events are can feel unbearable, the more so because they seem so unnecessary.
Have you ever had a dream in which, no matter how hard you try no-one can hear you? Many freethinkers feel like that whenever they try to talk about their journey of discovery.
“Hey,” say former fundies. “Guess what I found out. The Bible contradicts itself. Do you want to see where?”
“I never meant to end up godless,” say former moderates. “Do you want to hear how it happened?”
“‘A theory’ isn’t something we dream up afterhours,” say biologists. “Can we tell you what a scientific theory is to us?”
“We think we’ve figured out how those out-of-body experiences and bright lights work — at a neurological level,” say neuroscientists. “Care to know?”…
Plenty more emotions are on Tarico’s list at Tacoma Atheists.
What other emotions does your atheism bring out in you?