Most people who know me well know that I’m a life long fan of Bob Dylan. I may have even mentioned it here once or twice. A friend recently pointed out an interesting piece about, as she said “Dylan and God”, that I might enjoy. I found it interesting, food for thought, and as you might expect, grist for this blog mill.
No, this is not my Martin Luther King moment.
Did you ever have a dream from which you awoke that you felt was full of some monumental wisdom, something you never would have thought of in any of your waking moments, and you felt that you ought to get right up and put the dream to paper, knowing full well if you rolled over and went back to sleep, you’d completely forget it in the morning? And once you do, and you’ve had your second cup of coffee, and you analyze it, you realize it’s not only NOT a very monumental bit of thinking, it’s not even rational, and what made you even think it was so profound?
Seems like a lot of bloggers are posting April Fools Jokes today, because April Fools Day is one of the sacred holidays of Atheism, having no reference whatsoever to the divine, supernatural or religious (even though this year it falls on Palm Sunday). It’s a completely secular holiday. Most of the posts on Freethought Blogs are of the “my fellow atheist blogger X has decided to hang it up, and stop blogging ” variety. I have to think this was a planned strategy. (D’uh).
Every once in awhile I check under the old WordPress dashboard to see what I’ve been doing. This here post is number 475, and falls a bit shy of the end of my fifth year of blogging. By the time I get to that particular anniversary (April 18), I hope to have received about 450,000 visits to the blog. I think that’s a lot, but in comparison to others, maybe not so much. Considering that about 425,000 are probably visits from Gideon, maybe I shouldn’t be so proud.
Well, technically, that’s not true. What I’m trying to say is that atheism is just one small component of what I am, what describes my worldview, my personal philosophy, my attitude towards life and how I now choose to live it. A better word, one more encompassing, though a bit verbose, would be ASUPERNATURALIST. I don’t believe in the idea, the concept of the supernatural.
I spent so many years thinking all these silly vestments, and hats, and rituals, and incense and ringing bells and holy days all meant something. But it’s all just a way to make the flock feel like there is some significance to the equally silly pretensions underlying all religion. It’s just an elaborate smokescreen to paint a veneer of respectability over a much more insidious process happening outside our view.
Here’s something that’s been bugging me, so allow me a little rant.
It seems like every time an atheist makes a comment about some aspect of religion that bugs them, they are quite forcefully and specifically told to shut up. Religion is not a topic one is supposed to discuss in polite company (along with politics and sex, and we know how often that rule is broken). Atheists are made to feel like every time they criticize theism, they are stepping over some boundary of propriety. Due to my upbringing, I often find myself gauging the sensibilities of my listener to see if I might offend them, but I notice that never does a Christian (I don’t have much contacts with Hindus, Muslims and members of other religions) stop and think before they “thank god” or “god bless me” or otherwise inject their religious beliefs into a conversation.
You may or may not be aware of the recent clashes the Taliban influenced populace of Afghanistan has had with authorities over the inadvertent and unintentional disposal of a few Qu’rans, resulting in daily protests, suicide bombings and other violence. All over some janitor burning a few books that were probably in the way. I often wonder how this actually can seem to be so horrendous to the protestors that they would resort to such extreme measures to voice their discontent. I can’t imagine getting that upset over the loss of a book.