“Gays are sinners, and go against the word of God”
“Aliens were created by Satan”
“Fortune tellers are sinners, because they tell us ‘God’s Plan’”
“Dinosaurs were a stage of creation”
These are among the many ridiculous claims that are tossed around in the religion class of the Catholic school I go to. I have religion class 3 times a week, for 50 minutes at a time. I need to pray every morning, go to church regularly, and participate in other Christian rituals. Even though my religion teacher is clearly an idiot, she is ultimately the one who made me an atheist. All that bullshit really rubs off on you, and you come to realize how stupid the religion you’re subscribing to really is. Specifically, the whole “Gays are sinners” propaganda really put me off religion. Forever. Now that I’m an out of the closet atheist, I would like to give anyone in the same situation as me a few pointers on how to survive going to a religious school as an atheist.
Be yourself! Come out of the closet! If there is no danger in you coming out as an atheist, then you certainly should. You will find that being yourself is beneficial to your mental health, especially if it’s being yourself about something as big as religion. Plenty of youth are coming out as atheists, even those in religious schools, like myself. There are usually lots of atheists in religious schools, in fact, most of my atheist friends go to my school (then again, I don’t have too many friends). There also might be some other people in your school that are atheists, but are too afraid to come out. Coming out as an atheist at your school will show others that it’s OK to be an atheist!
This also applies for homosexuality too. If you’re a member of the LGBT community, be yourself. This will also encourage others to come out and to be themselves.
You should always ask questions. Religion thrives on blind faith, and it crumbles to the ground when someone asks an intelligent question. The answers that religion does provide for these such questions are also bullshit. So question the questions. Question everything. Also, don’t be afraid to get into a debate. You can’t get in trouble for asking innocent questions, especially if you’re questioning the hate and bigotry that is religion.
Asking questions may also help others see how ridiculous their religion is. They may see that your religion teacher (or whomever you’re talking to) doesn’t have any good answers to the intelligent questions you ask. If they’re skeptical enough, they will start thinking outside the box of indoctrination.
Most important of all, don’t be afraid to “offend anybody” by asking questions. Innocent questions shouldn’t offend anybody, and if they do, then their ideology isn’t worth your time. Preachers don’t want you to question, they want you to keep quiet and accept things blindly. That is NOT how intelligent people think! ALWAYS demand answers to claims which have no evidence to support them. ALWAYS speak your mind, share your views, and think for yourself. In addition, you should encourage others to do the same. Whether they are religious or not, encouraging others to be skeptical will most likely lead to atheism, humanism and happiness.
Don’t Listen To Them
If a religious person says that you will burn in hell forever for your atheism, homosexuality, or a certain “sin” that you’ve committed, then they’re talking bullshit. Don’t believe a single thing they say. It may be hard, but so many youth are leaving their religions because of the things religious people have said.
Always choose science, logic, reason, rationality and critical thinking over any religious ideology. Find beauty in nature, and science. Don’t be influenced by the extraordinary claims of religion. Don’t be pressured to believe what your classmates and peers believe, you should even challenge your peer’s beliefs. Think for yourself, be honest and true to yourself. Don’t accept bigotry and hate as the ultimate good, value everyone and be a humanist. If someone says something ridiculous like “atheists will burn in hell forever” don’t take it personally, just laugh it off. It’s nothing more than a joke, never take it personally.
Atheist Republic Support Group
Do you still need advice/support? Need someone to talk to? The Atheist Republic Support Group is perfect for just that! We are your shoulder to cry on, and your friends. If you want to talk to me about this, please say you would like to talk to Owen Mills in the about section of the form.
The Atheist Republic Support Group is a great recourse, and I can give you a few extra tips and suggestions if you’re in the same situation as me.