Not that closet - I'm still straight and happily married (most of the time) to Keith.
The religion closet - I am an atheist.
Which makes me pretty lonely in mommy-blogger land AND in real life here in Roseville where it seems everyone attends a megachurch except us. Seems like every other mom / DIY blogger in my age group has Jesus listed in her About Me section, and I'm asked which church we attend rather than if we attend church.
I'm not wanting to be confrontational, just honest. And it feels like I'm misleading people if I don't admit that I don't consider myself a Christian, as this is usually just assumed as the default.
I've been speaking up consistently lately when I disagree with someone's opinion (politics/Obama, nursing in public, you know - the lighter topics) - not to be argumentative but because silence implies agreement.
I hate arguing (turns my stomach and clouds out my ability to focus on anything else) and don't think I will or even want to change anyone else's mind, but I do want to quietly point out that "everyone" actually doesn't think that by stating my own belief and backing it up with the reasons why.
Not to be a contrarian, but to put it out there that there are others in the world that don't think exactly the same way. Kind of like how travel is supposed to be broadening, I'm trying to give others the travelling experience on Facebook.
I realize this is polarizing, but:
|Although I'm 33 and therefore in the right age group for it, I don't as a rule go around quoting Kurt Cobain. |
However, this quote rules.
I don't begrudge others their religion or right to broadcast it.
I just don't want to present myself as something other than what I am, and my lack of religion is a big part of me.
I don't plan to make it a major theme of this blog, but it's one piece of who I am.
I was inspired by the awesomely positive reaction I got on Facebook today when I "came out".
I expected it from my handful of atheist / questioning friends and family, but I was MOST moved by how supportive my religious family and friends and respectful of my right to think differently.
I'm so relieved to know that my family and friends that know me in real life are much more open-minded than the average CNN reader, who reported the original editorial article as "inappropriate". The topic was a woman who doesn't believe in God, and how & why she parents her children morally anyway - it was in the editorial section of the website. How this is "inappropriate" is beyond me.
Freedom of religion and speech are supposedly two of the United States' most cherished ideals.
I love my daughter with all my heart, and am committed to raising her as a moral person - which to me means one that functions in society keeping others' needs in mind and her impact on others.
I just don't personally believe that this moral compass comes from God, but that we have evolved as social creatures to whose ability to survive and thrive as humans depends on "moral" behavior.
She's only 3, but so far is a considerate, happy, kind child that shows no ill effects from lack of religion.
She is kind because Mom and Dad are kind to her.
She has manners because Mom and Dad always say please and thank you to her and around her.
She doesn't physically hurt others as she can imagine how it would feel herself.
She does have her developmentally appropriate moments of anger and difficulty controlling herself, which is when her father or I step in and help her control herself.
But no threat of punishment or promise of reward is made. The Golden Rule still works without the external belief system, at least for our family.
Two great parenting sites that I wholeheartedly love (if you'll take an atheist's word for it) although they are geared primarily towards Christian parents:
http://realchilddevelopment.com/ (Leslie is the REAL DEAL - she's a Christian missionary in Costa Rica with 4 children and blogs about child development and her experiences in the field in her spare time) I have infinite respect for her work directly with children.
I'm closing with a quote from this post by a man who I consider one of the great philosophers of our time:
"The first follower transformed the lone nut into a leader... What a powerful thing we become when we are able to move beyond our self-consciousness, our sense of shame, and leap into something new, even if, this time, it's only because we feel hidden in the larger group. Maybe next time, we'll be the first follower.
(Teacher Tom of course)
So CNN mom blogger TXBlue08 (who is smarter than me in not having her whole name broadcast on her blog)(although I'm relying on the miniscule readership of this blog to protect me from huge volumes of wrath) - thank you for leading the way by putting yourself out there. I'm glad I mustered up the courage to follow and speak my truth.
Excited (and a little apprehensive) to read your comments.