My Secular Atheist life – Past and Present

Editor’s Note: Mason Lane, well known here for his clever comebacks and passion for secularism, entertains and instructs us.

=====================

By Mason Lane

Assignment:  “Talk about your secular life without referring in a negative way to your life as believing or non-believing clergy.”

Yes, I had such a life, but I won’t refer to it here. Most of the time, I don’t refer to it in my daily life.

It affords me the joyous freedom to live a completely rational life. Now that’s real freedom and the pursuit of happiness. It is today, and has been for 46 years, a life of unfettered constant adventure and discovery!

I own and except the credit for my successes or failures and don’t attempt to blame or praise any imaginary beings for my actions.

Every moment of the day, being a secular atheist positively affect every aspect of my life.

I require verifiable evidence before I place my confidence, trust or faith in any information, anything or any person.

I was free to date anyone of my choice without having to adhere to any taboos, of any kind. I chose two fabulous women (after somehow meeting their approval), both who were secular atheists their entire lives. I shared a joyous life adventure with my first wife for 25 years until she died. And now I’ve been with my beautiful secular ladylove for 15 years. Living with a clear minded secular atheist person, who was never any other way mentally, is one of the greatest treasures I could have ever been afforded. And I’ve known two! No bugs, ghosts, imaginary beings or religious delusions ever in their brains. How fortunate for them and me!

My precious time is mine to utilize and it’s not under the dictates and whims of others and their group hierarchy demands for my time and energy, based on some ancient irrational creed or belief.

I’m completely free to follow my natural curiosities and explore the wonders and discoveries of science.

Universe 2 hubble

There are no forbidden works of literature, music, art, or movies. There are no taboo foods or so-called holy days to steal my time. There’s no voyeur deity watching my every action.

I can choose to critique what I think are ridiculous ideas or beliefs and state my reasons and evidence. I believe the extremely ridiculous deserves our finest rational ridicule.

I’ve enjoyed a career in secular music of many genres that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible for me.

I can question, reject and defy all alleged authority if I choose.

I enjoy clarity of life experience in the world on my personal odyssey, without notions of the non-existent supernatural creating cognitive dissonance in my brain; everything makes sense. Everything.

I’m not involved or culpable in any of the terrible divisiveness caused by the myriad of religious beliefs in the world.

As a secular person I’ve been spared the distraught and emotional chaos of those I’ve observed for decades who suffer needlessly as they seek answers where there are really none. I saw this first hand when my wife died and I went to a Hospice bereavement group and saw how we seculars in the group processed grief so much more quickly and without the mental torture-confusion of those asking their invisible sky deity, “Why, why, why?”

Some of these folk had been in the group for one to two years while we seculars got what we needed in the group sessions in 3-4 weeks, and moved on with our lives. Again, I experienced the wisdom, joy, and beauty of being a secular atheist.

Making my decisions is incredibly efficient without having to do the mental cartwheels of thinking there are magical supernatural forces outside my brain I need to listen to.

I’ve enjoyed helping many others develop a rational secular mind-set and seeing how their life progresses with a rational secular worldview. This has been an especially rich experience on The Clergy Project.

I’ve experienced 46 years with a peace of mind I could not have previously imagined. In my dreams I’m the same secular person, sometimes battling the forces of superstition and delusional beliefs. Of course, I can fly and often have supernatural powers in Dreamland. We rational seculars enjoy fantasy for the fantasy it is.

I’ve found my mind-set, and a clear rational focus, is invaluable in times of crisis, stress, financial pressure, health problems, pain or uncertainty.

As a secular person I’ve had several very different careers and I found that thinking as a logical rational secular person gave me an almost unfair advantage. I’ve concluded that when humans believe they are getting magical help or guidance from some deity, they don’t perform as well as if they believed no such assistance existed.

I’ve been able to get to know amazing brilliant secular people in countries around the world whom I wouldn’t have ever met if I weren’t secular.

As a secular person I entirely enjoy engaging with another secular atheist human being who is clear minded and free of superstition and delusional ideas about what is real. It’s so refreshing.

I’ve had the joy of sharing my secular atheist thinking with my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends and neighbors.

I constantly observe people who suffer needlessly because they are not secular atheists and have a very delusional, stunted and crippled thought processes that lead to self-destructive decisions. When I hear some of the religiously delusional talk, it’s clear they would be considered mentally delusional, if they weren’t participants in a religious group.

I enjoy the religious mythologies for the fables they are and have great distain for those who would teach otherwise to credulous children, the ignorant and poorly educated. I also use these fables in my writings.

I do my best to treat others with mutual respect, to be helpful and to give financially to charity. Not out of fear of punishment if I don’t, or reward if I do, but because it’s the intelligent, decent, moral and empathetic human way to live.

I have religious friends, and we just agree to disagree. I also have been successful in helping well over one hundred people discard their theism.

I think that my secular life is quite typical of others who have the freedom to enjoy the secular life and who are atheist activists.

====================

Mason LaneBio: Mason Lane: As a credulous child, I was raised Christian fundamentalist Baptist. I later became a glory-shouting Pentecostal and was ordained by the Christian Faith Church Pentecostal in Mishawaka Indiana. I ceased believing in the irrational and supernatural at age 30, thanks primarily to reading the Bible while thinking. At the time of my de-supernaturalizing, I was General Manager of WHME-FM radio station, a Christian radio station, and Pastor of Christian Faith Church in Mishawaka, Indiana. I resigned both positions and moved to Phoenix, Arizona where I became dean of students at DeVry University.

I’m still a person of faith. My faith is now in science, nature, love, friends, family, music, humor, art, The US Constitution, the 5,000 year old Golden Rule and Separation of Religion and State.

>>>Photo Credits: By NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and Z. Levay (STScI)   Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33189266

"I just want you to get tired of all this winning. Have a Happy Thanksgiving ..."

My Secular Life, So Far
"No. You’ll have to find your own honest friend."

My Secular Life, So Far
"How about yours? Where did you go to college?"

My Secular Life, So Far
"You did not understand anything said so far. No sense going further."

My Secular Life, So Far

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Raging Bee

    …thanks primarily to reading the Bible while thinking.

    I found it impossible NOT to think while reading that turgid dog’s breakfast of a book. None of it makes any sense, the pacing is crap, the tone is consistently depressingly self-righteous and negative, and it was literally impossible to suspend disbelief from one paragraph to the next. You know a book is bad when your reaction oscillates between “Wait, what?” and “So who am I supposed to root for here, and why?”

  • alwayspuzzled

    “everything makes sense. Everything.”
    Are you sure you are paying attention?

    • mason lane

      Yep, … everything makes sense; at least I think so, and thanks for the question. You have something in mind that’s missed my attention?

      Is there something in particular you’re wondering that shouldn’t make sense? I’m using “make sense” in the sense :) of conscious awareness or rationality. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sense I mean no implication that everything is good or nice, but that viewed and understood rationally, as sensed by my brain, without the mental filter/lens of non-existent non-material forces.

      Everything makes sense, e.g. a child has cancer and dies and it makes sense because there is a scientific rational explanation of the cause; it’s not because some deity wanted another angel to come adore Him and sing in child angel choir. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/make%20sense

      In juxtaposition, not much of anything made sense to me when I was an Evangelical theist. From my bullied indoctrination into the irrational stories at age 4 until I discarded belief at age 30, almost nothing made sense and required 24/7 mental cartwheels to continually justify and defend a blood sacrifice loving sadomasochistic deity that drowned the humanity he created and almost all living creatures for his design flaw, killed groups of innocent children, tortured a loyal servant of his with boils, had his own son tortured and killed (or himself depending how one views the tale), and allowed my dear little cousin to suffer and die of cancer in spite of hundred of believer’s earnest prayers for a year. “If you ask anything in my name believing I will do it.” A rather cruel line even for a mythological super hero.

      Of course the answer as to why this deity behaves in this despicable manner was that the deity behavior is beyond our pitiful human comprehension, and this deity is not subject to even the most paltry standard of human morality. All will be explained in the “afterlife.” This nonsense didn’t make sense to me even as a child. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c6ca1fd5423554469e3536d84505ee53510da4ca926464689abc8c50586ce19f.jpg

  • carolyntclark

    Very well summarized, Mason.
    I would add to a point you lightly touched on ; processing grief.
    Suffering inevitably infiltrates all of our lives to some degree and in some form in hardship, conflict, natural disaster, sickness, and death .

    The question of theodicy which religion imposes, the anguished puzzlement of why the loving, omnipotent God causes it or allows it, adds additional burden to the actual situation. Clinging to the faith of Job to accept God’s mysterious ways, to believe that “all things work together unto good”, the intensified desperate prayers for relief in divine intervention, is time and energy better spent finding effective solutions and planning for alternatives .
    Living without superstitious beliefs and accepting the randomness of nature, natural causes of disease, and the presence of twisted persons committing evil deeds, frees the mind to deal with reality rather than futile attempts to connect with a mythical creator/savior.
    With rational understanding, gone is the hokus-pokus of wishful thinking of immortality, resurrection, dramatic judgement, assignments of reward and punishment, curious forever reunions with loved ones and fanciful beatific visions. There can be peace in accepting the surety of death.

    The misery of much of humanity living under cruel oppression, disease, and starvation is evidence of the lack of supernatural goodness.
    For us, fortunate to be in this time and place, the godless philosophy provides the opportunity to appreciate, celebrate and make the most of our brief time here without the need for fairy tales.

    • mason lane

      What a beautiful elucidation, my friend, of my lightly touched on point about processing grief. There is indeed peace in accepting the surety of death.

    • RJ Twain

      Penn Jillette had a great post about grief. Couldn’t find the link, sorry. He said that the best comfort in the world is to simply be honest. “That’s horrible. The most horrible thing.” Everyone else is trying to tell you it’s not, or tell you to feel better by force of will. Which of course makes you feel worse, because now not only are you grieving, you’re feeling guilty about the fact that you can’t stop grieving. How much better to simply be honest? It still hurts, but it’s a good hurt. I’ll take a clean scalpel over a dirty band-aid any day.