Monday, December 3, 2007

Where are the grieving atheists?

You wouldn't believe how pressured I feel to have some religious epiphany lately. My only recourse is making jokes. Right now, my schtick is that I now believe in God . . . and he is most definitely evil. No really, I have a hard time believing that religious conversions are so effective in times of tragedy. Am I that naive?

All I can think of is how ineffective religion would be in helping me deal with the loss of my child. If I were a religious person, I think I would be plaqued by the 'whys'. Or the whole, 'why do bad things happen to good people' BS. Currently, these aren't the types of things I'm dwelling on, and they weren't when it all happened. I almost feel bad for deeply religious people who find themselves in these situations. I became an atheist, not through tragedy, but through a long organic rational process. Tragedy, in my mind, is probably the worst way to become an atheist. Atheism isn't about anger, after all.

All I know about what happened to me is that I'm a statistic, a rare one. I'm not a bad person, I didn't deserve to lose my son, no one deserves this. And nobody, certainly no omnipotent entity, would 'do' this to someone. There is no justification, no long term 'lesson' to be learned, no big picture that could possibly satisfy or justify what has happened to me and my family. So any talk of such just makes me frustrated with the silliness of it. Do people really expect me to believe that a) god is loving, b) he nevertheless 'took' my son, c) it was a good thing that this happened in 'the big picture', d) that people are rewarded for doing gods work and punished for not, e) but because I'm a 'good' person I'm not one of those people being punished. Who can believe that all at the same time and not have their head explode? Really, if religious people were being honest with me and themselves, they would say that this happened because I'm a non-believer. Am I wrong?


Diana said...

I'm so sorry about your son. I lost my 22-year-old brother recently and have been searching for ways to console my mother. Neither of us believe in the 'flying spaghetti monster' yet we've been bombarded with sympathy cards with religious undertones... that actually hurt more than help. It's a very troubling time for us, and I am just seeking some wisdom.

Nickel Pickle said...

I am also a grieving atheist. I always feel alone like I cant really say how I feel because everyone else like me is so religious either that or they are now religious because of their loss....Its weird. ((hugs))