Date: 9/19/2019 11:55:36 PM
Subject: Reply ID wa3r
Farewell, Father John
created 19 Sept. 2019
Those of you following my blog know that I am an atheist, humanist and honest. I'm anti-deist, anti-inspired religion because of the many and outrageous degradations those belief systems have inflicted on people, causing witch burnings, pogroms, crusades, genocides, genital mutilations, whole ages of darkness—ultimately because believers can't accept non-believers as full, fellow human beings.
This awareness on my part I can't pretend to not have, yet I have no problem embracing, relating with those who do believe, even remaining silent about my beliefs. So long as they don't try to evangelize me.
You also know I shoot straight, talk blunt, honestly in my writings.
Well, I let Father John know that I'm trying to get in a Christian studies BA program yet reiterated that I'm an atheist and that atheists are in the program. Fr. John replied that he wanted me to stop saying that I'm a disbeliever, asked me to "keep an open mind," after we already discussed this. He said he wouldn't try to reconvert me (I was raised Catholic, didn't have a choice in the matter). My response in relevant part is pasted below, followed by the results.
Have you ever scrutinized Deceptions and Myths of the Bible or, more generally, The Psychology of Superstition? I have, along with world and European history books, the history and evolution of the world and European religions.
From all of those studies, I KNOW that all sects of Christianity and other religions are man's invention, mostly male inventors too, which explains (partly) the peculiar phenomenon that the God individuals believe in tends to have a personality that the believer wants or needs psychologically. Some gods condemn homosexuality, other gods condone it, and both believers adamantly justify their views of their gods based on the same scripture.
But when someone like me points such things out, I'm evil or mean or some other ad hominem attack is used to ignore the truth I point out: people, mostly men, invent gods to server their typically subconscious purposes. Sometimes people invent gods (or religions) for more conscious purposes as maybe Constantine did ("By this you will conquer").
Being a morally conscientious person, I thus can't and won't fake belief not even to get the Pope's help. And it surprised me that you seemed to suggest that I do so. When younger and more ruthless, bro, I'dve faked the funk on you. And maybe you'd be happier believing the lie that I "believe."
Anyhoo, I ain't scared of studying Christianity. Are you scared of studying criticisms of religion, Christianity in particular?
Doesn't matter what your religion is to me. Does my lack of religion make it... difficult to see me as a full, functional human being worthy of dignity and respect? I've no hangups, no biases, even though I KNOW that Catholics in particular have caused the deaths of tens of millions, easily, and justified that with their religion. Not to mention the torture inflicted on me in the name of Catholicism. It's too in the past for me to be angry about it, as you assume I am.
I'm disappointed at humans such as yourself, who are intelligent and mean well yet are mentally blocked from objectively considering the POSSIBILITY that your beliefs are not valid, or worse, not caring because the "beliefs" serve a pragmatic purpose, not the act of desperation that compels some to embrace "beliefs" that they really don't believe in, in order to survive.
I suspect that you believe I'm angry at God because you can't accept that a decentislmguyy can simply disregard a need to believe in God, so you assume there must be some reconcilable reason for my disbelief so I don't lose my eternal soul. Good intentions on your part. But I also don't believe in the Easter Bunny, one of the many Pagan components of Catholicism. And I'm not angry at it either.
I am, however, dismayed and displeased at how powerful people, mostly men, use their positions to force their conceptions of God on the world and oppress people in the process, which I don't want you to feel guilty about. I don't intend to manipulate you into accepting me or my beliefs, nor do I need or want to persuade you of anything. I'm just attempting to correct your misperception about why I'm atheistic. Truth matters to me, and someone else's imagined deity is not the truth, even if they have a powerful machine backing them.
Anyway, I can only beat that horse to death, bring it back to life, and beat it to death again so many times! :) Die, horse!
Man, I'm not perfect, but I fail to grasp how this email is so horrible that Fr. John would block me. Yet block me he did—without comment!
That's just foul.
Like I said in another part of my email to Fr. John, "I don't do dictators, especially of thoughts, my thoughts in particular." I don't dictate to either of my remaining close friends what to believe (one's a Jewish neuroscientist, the other's a French-English literature post grad), and I'm tired of people trying to "save" my soul by withdrawing their friendship when I don't accept their religion. Not the first time—a girlfriend who wanted to have my baby did the same schtick!
Let me be clear—I AM AN ATHEIST! I'M NOT AFRAID TO BURN IN HELL! As some guy said on TV recently. YOU WILL NOT CONVERT ME.
Don't write me expecting otherwise. Write me only if you're willing to take me as I am.
Goodbye, Father John. Enjoy this free lesson in morality—you're not the first priest in need of one.
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