Letting Go

What Are You Holding On To?

You know, I would love to say that atheists are free of all the nonsense that divides humanity. I would love to say that as supposedly rational and logical thinkers, we are free of the problem of ideas such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and even nationalism. I would love to say those things, but to do so would be grievously dishonest. You see, there seem to be quite a few people out there who let go of the idea of gods just fine, but haven't been able to let go of all the nonsense related to the belief in those gods. Many ideas such as sexism and homophobia are merely holdovers from a bygone era of patrilineal societies that have been perpetuated by religious dogma and doctrine. Others, such as racism and nationalism, have roots in natural territorialism and have used religion as the tool to justify their continued existence. But in today's society, given all that we know, there simply isn't room for these ideas any longer. We are slowly but surely growing out of such adolescent nonsense.

Letting go of these things can be hard. They become habit over time and are things we simply tend not to think about. Often, these persistent bigotries are something others must point out to us. When confronted with this uglier side of ourselves it can be easy to become defensive. I mean, no one takes kindly to being called a racist or a sexist or even a homophone, although many seem to proudly put those attitudes on display. But we must be introspective enough to see if those accusations have merit and if so, to identify where those ideas have come from and try to correct our thinking. It isn't enough to have this PC mindset that it's not okay to say racist, sexist, or homophobic things, but it's fine to think it. That mindset does not address the problem. The problem is that you're holding on to shit you don't actually need and isn't useful to you. It's high time you let this crap that's holding you down go.

A Wake-Up Call

I'm not about to sit here and tell anyone they're "atheisting wrong." We're all Scotsmen and there isn't a true brand of atheism that everyone is supposed to adhere to. There isn't orthodox atheism of even fundamentalist atheism, as much as theists would like to claim that people like myself are fundamentalist atheists. There is just atheism, and it is merely the disbelief in the existence of a god or gods. That's it.

The thing is though, that's usually not an easy position to get to if you're born into a highly religious culture and atmosphere, as many of us were. The vast majority of atheists were raised as believers in religious homes and came to this position much later in life. And usually, it is a logical and rational assessment of the crap we've been fed all our lives versus the reality of the world around us that brings us to that position. But what I keep seeing are people who apply that logic to get that far and then simply seem to stop using logic at all past that point. I see people who think religion is utter nonsense, but can't figure out that there is no rational reason to embrace nationalism. They can't see that in reality, nationalism is merely a form of geographic worship. Do your latitudinal and longitudinal positions on earth make you superior to other human beings at different coordinates? It's honestly just as stupid as believing in a sky fairy and a fire troll.

You grow up being told to be a patriot and to love your nation, to revere your ancestors and your heritage - and for what? For what reason? Our past is littered with blood and bones. There is not a nation of people on this planet without blood in their past. We have been killing and conquering and enslaving each other as far back as our recorded history goes. We are territorial animals, much like the dogs we brought into our own packs. We bark and bite over our favorite pissing tree or our food bowl. We don't have to be this way. We can choose to overcome those natural instincts. But we have to make that choice and it's up to each individual to do so.

Weigh The Anchor

Do you want a better world to live in? Do you want to leave a better world behind for your kids and future generations? I mean, if this is all we get, shouldn't we want to make it as awesome as possible? Shouldn't we understand that all that will remain of us after we're gone are the legacies we leave behind? For me, that's what it's all about. That's why I speak and why I act out against those things which are detrimental to humanity. It doesn't stop with religion and I don't believe it ever should. I do not believe in tolerating injustice simply because it isn't happening to me.

The only way that humanity will truly come together is to put away all of this nonsense. We have to weigh the anchor and set sail for a brighter future, leaving myth and madness behind. Now, you don't have to get on this ship. You are welcome to stay in Ihatefagsistan or Myraceisspecialville or maybe Womenarepropertyberg, and quite frankly you can fuck off over there until you go extinct. But there are a lot of people getting on this ship and it'll be sailing soon.

You can wear whatever label you want. Call yourself an atheist or anything else for all I care. None of that makes us friends or allies. The fact is, if you're not willing to put humanity above all other ideologies, to put aside shit like nationalism and racism, then we're enemies. It's really just that simple. If you think your ancestry or "race" makes you special, or your geographic location, or the type of naughty bits you've got downstairs, or the fact that you're attracted to the opposite sex, or any of the other nonsense that people just can't seem to let go of, then in my honest opinion you really need to grow up. If you can't learn to let go of all this nonsense then you're just as much a part of the problem as the religions I fight against. It's time that we stopped finding ways to divide ourselves and killing one another over pieces of dirt.

[1] Yoda speaking to Anikan Skywalker http://imdb.com/title/tt0121766/quotes

Photo Credits: Elena

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