Posted by: mydarkestplaces | August 27, 2012

In which I come out as an atheist

Crisis point past (for the time being), it’s time to process out the past week and a half. My friend Kirsten has had about the shittiest week it can be possible to have – although I’m not sure she remembers the worst bits.

I could never do as good a job as Brent at describing what’s going on with Kirsten (it’s remarkable what he’s been able to put into words). The way I’ve been describing it, for folks who haven’t been following along with the drama, is that Kirsten’s body is an endocrinological clusterfuck. I have been having a tough time following along with the jargon – I’m not as smart as Brent or Kirsten, and especially not as scientifically smart – so I maybe get every fifth word. What I do get, what I’ve almost always been able to get, is the over arching picture. Shit. Is. Not. Good. Things may never be good again. For now, we’re celebrating that things aren’t as bad. And believe me, that’s an incredible thing to be celebrating.

The times I’ve seen Kirsten over the past couple days I’ve had to fight a bubbling bit of hysteria. To be sitting with her, to be laughing with her, to be making fun of Brent with her. This most magical feeling that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to feel again.

Throughout this whole thing one thing has become so abundantly, irrefutably clear: the Danler family is among the strongest families that I have ever had occasion to come across. A) Neither Brent nor Kirsten have been scared to admit they’re scared. B) They haven’t been scared to say as such to their daughters. Their attitude has been hopeful and realistic.

I hesitate to use the word serene, but it’s the word that comes to mind. I can’t even begin to imagine the turmoil swirling throughout their minds, but it so rarely shows. The pair of them are taking things as they come (harder for Brent since he’s not the one confined to a hospital bed). They’re looking down the line, but trying not to bite off ten issues when one is enough. Let’s tackle problem A and then move on to Problems B through Z.

Only tangentially related – I mentioned above, Brent and I tend to argue. A lot. Okay. Argue may be a strong word. We debate.  A lot. We both have occasion to take on the role of “devil’s advocate” and, just as often, we just see things in a different way. I’ve never not had a civil {ahem} discussion with him. And what’s most awesome about this is that these discussions either solidify my worldviews or expand them. That’s pretty freaking rad. (If you don’t have a friend who can do that for you, I suggest you find one stat. Best feeling ever)

As Brent alluded to in his daily summary yesterday, he and I got going on a spiritual debate. If you’ve ever talked, tweeted, or Facebooked with Brent (or even if you’ve ever read his blog) it’s patently obvious that he and Kirsten are avowed atheists. While I’ve long defined myself as a staunch agnostic – jury’s still out, if you will – I had a pretty significant conclusion after I walked away from the conversation Brent and I had yesterday.

I don’t want to believe in a god that can cause bad things to happen to good people.

So, the Danler’s have been struck with this because they can handle it? Because they don’t believe in a Judeo-Christian god? Or any god? How is that fair. How is that a good god?

War is rampant in Syria, and other countries in the Near East and North Africa. Is that happening because, for many there, the Prophet Muhammad trumps Jesus?  HIV is god’s way of weeding out the sinning gays? Legitimate rape only happens to women who ask for it by dressing amorally or being sexually active?

Yes, a lot of the views in the previous paragraph are perpetrated by man, but if God is nothing but a man made construct. If man has been created in the image of God. Doesn’t that mean that choices made by man reflect those of their God? Whether that God is Muhammad, Jesus, Krishna or Buddha?

It is with a slight degree of trepidation, but a greater degree of defiance, that I stand before you in this digital space and come out as an atheist. I choose not to seek comfort in a being that can indiscriminately strike the good with what should only strike the bad. This doesn’t mean I’m going to confront Christians, Muslims, Hindis or any other person of faith. While I may not believe in “God”, while I may not believe in Jesus as Savior, I know many do. I believe we should love our neighbor as ourselves, that we should treat others as we want to be treated. And that we should all seek comfort how and where we need to, but don’t talk to me about how things happen for a reason, don’t talk to me about how you’re going to pray for me, don’t talk to me about how Jesus saves. If that were the case I’d have a whole lot more of my loved ones around me right now.


  1. […] find this close from my personal post regarding my atheist “coming out” just as fitting today as I did two years […]

  2. Ignorant. I am not a complete reflection of my mom or dad. To say my behavior reflects there’s is ignorant because we all choose our own path.
    I am made in flesh and blood as my parents but I definitely am not them. I do things they don’t do. To that’s makes them bad parents is plain stupid.
    You need God more than I do.
    How can you not believe in something or someone that does not exist? Sounds odd? Think about that one.

  3. […] find this close from my personal post regarding my atheist “coming out” just as fitting today as I did two years […]

  4. Dear Kate, I agree that ALL religions are completely FALSE, one hundred percent untrue and ridiculous to any rational thinker…I am a scientist who loves scientific method and scientific philosophy. Scientific method is only about 85 percent accurate, probably because of physical measurement errors. Scientific philosophy, as used by Einstein and others, is 99.99 percent accurate! To me, our awareness of infinite sets, like our cosmos, and the idea of an infinite number of possibilities, ALL of which happen but NEVER intersect, makes my own ability to know ANYTHING with certainty, impossible. So I believe that the enemy of faith is certainty, and the ONLY true faith is uncertainty. Because of my uncertainty, I cannot be an atheist, nor a theist, nor even an agnostic! I do KNOW that whether there is a god or gods, [actually there must be because of the infinite possibilities] I believe that no human has, does now, nor ever will define any god. It does not matter what definitions humans create, nothing in human experience can ever name the infinite set of reality, let alone define any of it. I believe we have an infinite, intangible awareness of existence. There is NOTHING in the human experience that is infinite nor intangible. Humans are products of our very unique cosmos, which is ONLY one of an infinite set of realities. As long as we are aware of our own existence, and the existence of our loved ones [and we CANNOT ever be unaware] then we and our loved ones exist as that awareness, and as an infinite set of points of view, of which the human POV is ONLY one POV, and NOT AT ALL definitive of ANYTHING except itself.

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