It’s a common question, and a fair one.
It may be perplexing to a person of faith to try and understand the concept of actively fighting against something you say you don’t believe in. Logically to a religious person, this would be akin to going on an anti-leprechaun campaign or voting for representatives based on their position on the existence of unicorns. From the inside of faith I can see why this would not make sense.
Compounding what seems to be a contradiction is the fact that so many of us are outwardly angry and will let you know in an instant where we stand if we are “out” publicly. Maybe this entry will help it make more sense.
Coming from a religious background, I’ve experienced first hand the nearly tangible terror and anxiety of not being in compliance with the version of God that had been drilled into me as a child. Christianity in particular teaches that we are broken, sinful, deficient, doomed. We are forever falling short. The teachings of this faith condemn us to eternal torture if we dare to question the validity of what we are told. We are convicted of thought crimes and are punished with infinite awful consequences. Young children are battered into submission for fear that the entire universe will come crashing down.
“Do you have any idea how long ETERNITY is?” they ask. Over and over these concepts are hammered into our skulls. We lie awake at night, afraid and silently sobbing. Parents inflict these beliefs on their children because they too are afraid. This is abuse in its purest form.
Adults growing up within faith are victims of a severe application of Stockholm syndrome. It’s a sickness that spreads and evolves into different versions of the same virus over time.
When I came to the realization that I do not believe in the existence of God, it was the single most liberating experience of my life. I had a very brief “what if I’m wrong ” moment, but it passed as quickly as it came. A weight was instantly lifted. I am free, but I am also very, very angry.
Mentally and emotionally, I felt like a prisoner freed after being sentenced for a crime I did not commit.
And yet, we atheists are serving parole for that same crime by existing in a culture that inflicts the beliefs and politics of a warden we have long since rejected. We see the world with this lens, and for many of us it is irreversible.
We desire freedom for ourselves and those around us to not waste their lives submitting to an imaginary slavemaster.
We will continue to rail against this mental imprisonment for our brothers and sisters who have rejected the God claim. We wish to protect others of both a minority faith as well as no faith. We are angry firebrands who will continue to shed this light on others.
And so, we will continue to talk about God.