I am moved by this article, by a 15yo girl, Cassie Huye, who attends a Christian school in Baton Rouge.
What’s it like to be an atheist in the Bible Belt? It pretty much sucks. You are the absolute minority nearly all of the time. You constantly feel the obligation to just go along with whatever religious prayer group or church group has put together a function. You are forced into religious situations daily. It is just absolutely unfair. I go to a religious (Christian) high school. I know this may make no sense to anyone who doesn’t live down here, but in Louisiana there really is no escape from religion, so I figure it’s best to take the best religious route that will bring me to the best college possible.
I do not know if that’s true or not, but she seems like a clever and honest girl to me, and she probably has to work within the system available to her, while she’s in high school.
At my high school, I have a certain number of religion class credits required, community service hours required to be give to religious purposes, prayers at all large gatherings, chapel twice a week, the list goes on and on. Why would I ever do this to myself you may wonder? I really have no other choice. The public school, which under federal law may not be any religion, prays, and teaches creationism in science classes. Not to mention how awful Louisiana public schools are. I have no role model of what an adult atheist should be like. I have only even met one before, and I am sure he is a sociopath and surely not someone I want to help develop my morals.
But the worst thing about living in the bible belt has to be the constant pressure to keep my mouth shut about what I think in order to “maintain the peace.” I think everyone around me must believe that when I make a comment about how god doesn’t exist, or how absolutely ridiculous a religious comment was, that my sole purpose is to put the whole room in a bad mood, or just to pick an argument. I will say that when I point out that you know nothing about your “god” or that your “god” is nothing like he says he is, it may make you a little angry, but I am in no way going to be quiet and just pretend in order to try to “keep the peace.” That would be just wrong.
She’s not an accomodationist, good !! Religious people are always offended, or argue that one is bitter and twisted, or solely wants to “put the room in a bad mood”, it’s part of their way of defending the indefensible, they have perfected this into an art form in the last 2000 years.
I have read the bible from cover to cover. How many people can actually say that? I will admit that I have forgotten many of the small details and even some of the major events, but at one time my eyes did read over the entire thing.
At school, I once had a girl in my class ask why I knew so much about Christianity. When I told her, she was astounded that an Atheist knew anything about her precious little religion, and could not bring herself to find any reason at all that I could be capable of not believing in her god, if I really had read all of his wondrous miracles in the bible.
What is considered a wondrous miracle anyway? I’ll admit that the ability to turn water into wine is pretty cool, but it seems like that should be a magical spell in some Harry Potter type book with an alcoholic wizard.
A lot of atheists have read the Bible or other religious texts from cover to cover. It’s the most effective way to turn someone into an atheist. Also, argument from Harry Potter ! I think I like her…:-)
And then there is Kings 2: 23-24 “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”
I guess if you are the bald man, the death of those who made fun of you for something you can’t help is a miracle, but it really isn’t fair to the kids. The reason we cannot even legally drink until we 21 is because children’s brains are not even totally developed until they are 21. God made us, right? He is all knowing… so doesn’t he know they were just using their underdeveloped child brains to make the stupid decision of making fun of a chosen one of God? I mean, if anything, it is God’s fault that they made fun of the man. He made them to have underdeveloped brains!
Yep, I definetely like her. Seen through religious madness at age 15. Now all she needs to do is to get out of Louisiana.