You want to know why campus atheist groups are so important?
When I arrived at college I met people of many different faiths and people with no faith at all. I met normal, moral, happy people who happened to be atheist. The contradiction between what I’d been told about non-religious people, and the actual non-religious people I met was so stark, that I was forced to actually examine some of my beliefs. I began gradually, by simply allowing myself to question what I’d been taught. It took practice. At first I was overcome by guilt anytime I would permit myself to think, “Well, what if that’s wrong?” Eventually, though, once I truly opened my mind, all of the walls came tumbling down. I felt that I’d been duped. How could I have been so stupid? Religion was a bad joke and I’d fallen for it, hook line and sinker.
Over the next year, I began really developing my own ideals, morals, and purpose, and I slowly started speaking out. I use the label atheist, because I know it is a taboo. I want people to get to know me and to realize I am a normal, moral human being, and then learn… oh by the way, I also don’t believe in god. I truly believe the only way to change the negative stereotypes surrounding being an atheist, is to show that world that there are lots of normal atheists that contribute to the good of this country every day.
If you keep reading the initial post on her blog, though, you realize it’s not so easy for her to come out to her family. They’ve basically exiled her ever since she told them she didn’t believe in a god and wanted a secular wedding.
It’s rarely an easy journey.
My parents and I barely talk about this website and it’s been part of my identity for years now. They try to change the subject if I ever mention the site or that I’m traveling to speak somewhere. It took a long while for them to not be angry about it and now they sort of accept it. I’ll take that for now…
In any case, I’m keeping tabs on this blog because I want to see how F&F’s journey pans out. Hopefully, it’ll get better for her over time. It definitely helps to be out and proud about it online