Thursday, October 04, 2012

Keeping It Simple

In class tonight, a woman asked me if I was LDS.  I smiled, "No."

"What are you then?" she continued.

In an instant, my mind spun through 30+ years of religious experiences along with the many nuances of my religious thoughts presently.  There was no way to communicate succinctly what I am.  So the most basic response I could think of poured out.

"I am an atheist."

She did a double take in shock.

I think I did too.

8 comments:

Michael said...

So, you've decided to be an atheist. I like what Neil Degrasse-Tyson says... Do I have to have a label? Is there a label for those that don't golf? But then of course I would respond to the good doctor that golfers tend not to try to convince non-golfers they are going to hell for opting out of their game.

Eruesso said...

I would have gone into a 30 minute "testimony" as to my journey up to today. Mainly because I love sharing about religion and spirituality. I would have ended up confusing the poor woman as I bombard her with a list of discarded labels I used to call myself, labels I would like to call myself but don't feel like it, and a mini rant about my feelings towards labels period.

You see I did it again.

Kevin Dudley said...

There is something about declaring you are an atheist that shuts down the conversation. If you say its complicated or that you see your self as more of an agnostic then they want to explore your disaffection and bring you back or convert you to their belief system. When you say atheist... you are a lost cause.

Andrew said...

It's true... as much as the religions may stand against one another, that can all be set aside in an instant when an atheist is around. When explaining my agnostic view, I often get "Whew, at least you are not an atheist." That response has shown me that the agnostic declaration often gets misinterpreted as some form of capitulation. I think "atheist" can be a clarification that "No, I am not part of your club".

Daniel Midgley said...

Congratulations for coming out… to yourself and to others!

Steve H. said...

You've finally "come out of the closet"...and in Utah of all places. Go figure...

The Arkwelder said...

Is it really official though? I give people different answers based on the situation. I still range from Mormon to ex-Mormon to Christian to Humanist to Agnostic to Atheist. Although, mostly I'm an Agnostic who can't take the religion of his youth seriously anymore but still mostly likes Jesus (or the legend of Jesus, as I call it). I think Agnostic is the way to be--open to anything.

Jon said...

Love the tyranny of labels. John Shelby Spong also says he is an atheist, so atheism is a borad church, so to speak...

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