We are not devil worshipers: We don’t even believe in him.
As an Atheist, I get several questions about my belief system if I don’t believe in a god to morally guide me. My opinion of this is that they are really asking me “If you don’t worship god then you must be a devil worshiper.” For a person who has trained their neurons to think along a specific path for so many years, it is quite difficult for them to imagine what is beyond that cognitive process. As simple as it may be to me; as obvious as it may seem, they simply don’t get it; couple that with the reality that the Bible does not make room for self-reliance and critical thinking- then a candid discussion of one’s philosophy of life without god will easily get lost among the throngs of psychological blocks that exists in a Christian mind.
For some reason or another, Christians stopped trusting me the moment I made it known that I did not subscribe to a belief in the god that they know and love. Instantaneously I was an enemy of their faith. As liberated as I felt after having lived as a “closet Atheist” for over ten years, it was actually a very precarious position that I had put myself in. I guess before my “coming out,” I never really considered what life would be like to be in complete opposition to the world. I mean to think that people would actually begin to see me as dangerous and evil, never really crossed my mind. Sure, when I would state to people that I am not religious- the first words would be that “I don’t judge you because it’s not my place to judge; it’s god’s.” Immediately, they are dismissing the validity of my perspective without even realizing it. What they are also doing is setting in stone that I am not a person to trust because god would have to judge me based on what I did to him.
I can recall my mother (who is a devout Christian for over 60 years) telling me that I was being rebellious and that god will show me not to play with him by allowing something bad to happen to me; not to kill me but to emphasize whose boss and to remind me not to question it. She would also tell me (and she still does) that I am “demon possessed” and that I have allowed the devil to trick me into not believing in god. My response to her is and has always been; “Mother; how can I be possessed by the devil when I don’t even believe in him? How can I let him trick me if to me he doesn’t exist?”
For as long as the Christian faith has engulfed the African American community, there has always existed this duality. Good and evil, light and dark, God and the Devil. “You can’t serve two masters,” is what the preacher would say at our routine brainwashing sessions (I mean, church services). Anytime you turned away from god or Jesus for even a millisecond, you were property of diablo.
So why didn’t I think this through before I made the decision to oust myself? What was I thinking? I now know that me not being a believer, of any Deity, can only mean one thing to a Christian; I worship the devil. My question to all Christians is “How can I worship the devil? I don’t even believe in him!” After pondering this question for quite some time, I think I have come to terms with how they view me as a devil worshiper. Ultimately the person I see as the steward of my life, the master of my destiny; the designer of my reality is me; not Him, but Me.
For Christians the problem with this is inherent. “There should be no other god but me!” says the “alleged god” of the Ten Commandments of the “Old Testament” of the New International Version of the bible. The fact that I worship myself (well not so much, but you get my drift), the fact that I hold me responsible for my happiness and purpose and not god, can only mean one thing to a Christian—I am the Devil. Because throughout all of creation, the only person that was brave enough to tell god to fuck off—was the devil. Needless to say, I told god to take a hike, therefore I meet the criteria—with this in mind, a valid point is made and Christians can call a checkmate—based upon the general principle, I think they won this round.