Fitting In

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Pitar's picture
Fitting In

Life is full of times when an atheist has to suck it up and go with the flow. Most of them are quick moments like passing a church where people are congregated before or after their ceremonies. That always gives me a millisecond's worth of creeps but it's part of my society and I can abide. Then there's times when maybe a company picnic involves a prayer of thanks to a god (easier than thanking the employees who usually get upstaged by gods in such events) that gets my Irish up. But, again, I coalesce and shake it off as just another observation proving the ignorant masses and evolution's logic are still strange bed fellows.

Atheists dwell just outside the theist fishbowl of life where they can make certain observations of the insecurity most people endure. It's pretty sad. Even sadder still are the various structures built for them to congregate in where they reassure each other that a god has a purpose for them. One step sadder than that - at the bottom, really - are the people who promote that insecurity because they profit from it. But, atheists deal with life's labyrinth of hocus pocus just to fit in.

A co-worker, who I have much respect for as a learned professional, is also a learned (indoctrinated) theist. He can get preachy sometimes but I just let him get it off his chest. I figure after 63 years on this traveling ground he's got a right to his opinion and persuasion. I remain respectfully quiet and distant when he gets into one of his "special moments" as I call them. He does not know I'm atheist but he does know I'm not openly spiritual about anything. He's just got remarried and reserved a banquet room at some fancy place. He asked if I would provide the entertainment as a guitarist and singer. I know there's going to be some gospel silliness involved and songs of praise and worship. I accepted out of respect for the man himself. Declining, regardless of how gracious, would have spiritually wounded the man. And, once more I'm tasked to fit in.

Theists present the single-most glaring paradox of humanity. They defiantly build and support their belief systems upon common underpinnings of insecurities they themselves create.

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ImFree's picture
I can’t begin to count the

I can’t begin to count the times I have silently suppressed my objections to prayers conducted I did not care to take part in. Numerous times I have dodged questions from Christians at work concerning religious belief. Since they are in the majority they are more than willing to put groups on the spot then target the not so pious individuals (did not bow their heads during prayer) for later proselytizing. They have no problem looking for opportunities to target other people’s children to indoctrinate but would be upset if the same disrespect was attempted on their child by someone promoting a godless world when the child is not with their parents. That is what this room is supposedly designed for: the opportunity to express godless feelings and world-views without fear of the majority.

Mitch's picture
I think you have respect and

I think you have respect and appreciation enough for your co-worker to be willing to help him have a happy wedding. Seeing the person as above the belief leaves communication open, and demonstrates your clear moral compass.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there is another part to your post: You're disappointed that you've had to restrain yourself from sharing a deeply-held personal value - atheism - with those close to you.

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