A few days after writing my post about kinda being an atheist, I ended up in a conversation with a girl at a bar that yielded this lovely chestnut:
"You should come to my Atheist Luncheon."
Uh, yeah. Sweetheart, you seemed to have missed the point. The reason I'm an atheist has very little to do with whether or not there is a divine higher-power guy and everything to do with the fact that I don't like doing crap like that. I don't know why people subject themselves to church every week. Why would I want to sit in a room and talk about NOT believing in something?
Basically, this is the problem with the atheist movement in America (and there is a movement.) It's tough to get the passion-less, apathetic, or disillusioned to do anything. That's why they are who they are. However, just as there are jumbo shrimp, there are impassioned atheists, and I assume they will be at that luncheon, eating sandwiches and talking about how they came to be an unbeliever. I, however, question their non-faith. I suspect that not being religious is their religion. If you don't believe in God, and someone else does, why should you care? And isn't trying to convince someone to not believe in God as bad (or worse) than someone trying to convince you that there is a God? Religious nuts certainly turn me off. So, I imagine, would non-religious nuts. I guess I don't know because I don't think I'll be attending the atheist luncheon, although I bet it's a good story.
There's good and bad everywhere. A few years ago, I went with some lesbian friends to the steps of the State House to yell at people about same-sex marriage (I was for it, natch.) While it was very cool to be there in that moment and actually stand up for something (a new thing for me), my most vivid memory was the Bible-thumpers on both sides of the argument. I remember two radicals viciously quoting the Bible at each other, trying to prove that gay people are or aren't an abomination. And even though I obviously agreed with the person who was saying that they were not an abomination, she still scared the beejesus out of me.