Name: Kris Leeds
Born: 1978Location: Philadelphia, PAOrganization affiliation: GSHM, UAA, WAALabel: Atheist, Antitheist, Humanist, Secularist, Constitutionalist (Yes, I just made that up, feel free to ask me about it).Former Religious Affiliation: I’ve been Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, and Methodist (None of them made sense).
Letting Go of God
I’ll let you recover from that shock for a moment, and let that sink in … Good? Okay. So, for those of you who didn’t swoon in disbelief, faint from shock, or run to the hills fleeing my godless blasphemy, let me explain:
Once upon a time (which incidentally, is how I think The Bible should have opened), I was a Christian. Yes, really. I didn’t come to Atheism and Anti-theism by accident, or from being jaded, abused, mocked, tossed asunder, or looked on with disdain. All those things happened coincidentally, and have no relevance on my chosen lack of religion. Those things still do happen from time to time, and that is just human nature.
So how did I come to Atheism? I did what a vast majority of Christians still don’t do: I read the Bible. Cover to cover. I read it … well… religiously, at one point. After I read it, I read it again. And again. I read multiple versions of it. I still have several incarnations of it on my bookshelf … in the fiction section … under Lord of the Rings, and a plethora of R.A. Salvatore novels. No matter how many times I read it, and regardless of how many adaptations of it I read, it still does not make sense. Not at all. Not a whit. Not as proof of an indisputable series of facts to believe in without question. Nope. Though I will concede that as an allegory, it does have some valid points, and as a fable, it does have merit, it is also filled to the brim with violence, hate, bigotry, incest, bloodshed, famine, rape, and atrocities that if filmed for any modern day movie would instantly be grounds for branding it with an NC-17 rating.
From a very young age, I had questions. I had questions in spades. I had more questions than there were satisfactory answers, and that made me a sinner, which is okay, because according to that book, everyone is a sinner. According to that book, everyone is absolved already, even for sins they haven’t yet committed. We’re even absolved from the sins of our fathers. Where, then, is the logic that we are offending this wizard in the sky if we don’t ask for the forgiveness that we are supposed to already have, because he descended from heaven and washed our sins away already? By way of comparison, if I decide to cook dinner for my wife because I love her and want to show her my love, I don’t demand afterwards that she beg me to make her dinner. I’ve already cooked it. It’s on the table, and being eaten (incidentally, I love my wife too much to ever subject her to my cooking, but the analogy stands).
I have found, by way of extensive research and empirical data collection, that the Bible is fiction. There is no evidence to back any of its claims. You’re asking me to believe in a single book written by dozens of humans which, as stated in that very book, are fallible. No.
The Bible tells me that homosexuality is an abomination, when science and provable evidence demonstrate before my own eyes that it is a genetic variant.
The Bible tells me that the entirety of the human race was created from a handful of dust molded into one man, and a woman created from one rib of that one man. Science and evidence give me tangible proof that this is a physical impossibility. That evolution is the truth.
The Bible tells me that black people are black because of the curse of Canaan. Science and genetics show concretely that melanin, not voodoo, is responsible for skin tone.
Belief in the Christian god is as archaic now as belief in the Roman gods that it usurped and assimilated. We are human. We evolved, and we continue to evolve. Part of that evolution is unraveling the mysteries of life, discovering new things, and understanding things we didn’t before.
We once believed that illness was caused by a small troll or gnome living in the stomach, but science has taught us otherwise.
We once thought that bloodletting would balance the humors of the body and restore it to health regardless of the ailment, but science has taught us otherwise
We once thought that blood sacrifices would ensure a bountiful harvest, but science has taught us otherwise.
It is my hope that someday we can say, “We once thought that a magical sky ghost molded the vast universe and everything in it in six days, but science has taught us otherwise.”