Is this article about me?
"A good question is like a miniskirt. Long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep everyone interested."
Edited and Revised: 01/19/2015
Atheism is a movement against nothing
Consider the facts. If an atheist believes that religion and all its doctrine are created from whole cloth, what are they resisting? Yet atheists still yell “Oh, god, oh god!”when they're having sex. If there is no god and there was never an historical figure named Jesus, then what atheists are claiming is tantamount to calling Christians unicorn chasers and fighting invisible dragons in their garage. In your time, there is a movement that began as a quiet drumbeat off in the distance that can now be heard thumping across the world. It began before anyone reading this book was born and will continue long after we return to dust. It is a movement of non-belief.
Questioning the existence of god
Not so long ago openly doubting god in America or Europe meant you were asking for real trouble. In researching this book and speaking with atheists at length I can tell you most will not deny the possibility of an all knowing deity watching over all of us. That doesn't mean atheists believe that your version of god exists, I'm saying they are still waiting for proof that any god is real.
Can you blame them for doubting?
"God exists." "How do you know that God exists?" "The Bible says so." "Why should I believe the Bible?" "Because it's the inspired word of God." That argument is like a dog chasing its tail. The only proof of existence of an omnipotent being is in the enthusiasm of his followers. Unless you count the face of Jesus appearing in toast, what divine act has anyone witnessed in the last two thousand years? Has god ever replaced a missing limb through prayer?
The age of science and technology
The Hubble telescope has captured billions of galaxies in deep space and it wasn't even blessed with holy water. A geneticist can trace your genetic DNA pattern back to your first relative. My great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was what color?! The Earth is now far beyond any doubt billions of years old, which flies in the face of the biblical account of Genesis. The word 'god' doesn't even appear in the U.S. constitution. So where do our modern day Christians go from here? Believers are feeling a shift. Some non-believers are still sitting in pews.
Faith is great, unless you actually believe in something
I love the life giving sun, (No, not Jesus) I believe the sun will rise up over the horizon every morning and sink down beneath the edge of the flat Earth. Right, we no longer believe the Earth is flat as once thought. But in ancient times you would know the Earth to be flat without ever having fallen of its edge. Since faith requires zero evidence to be believed, why would you need faith in a star at the center of our solar system that is so constant in our reality? Now describe your faith in god to an atheist without the same proof.
Atheists just don't Get It
Are you sure? What if I told you that everyone on planet Earth is an atheist? I'll bet you I can prove it.
It's not you, it's me. I've been there
"A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets." -Arthur C. Clarke
As an attending member of the (Name redacted) Baptist Church of Tracy California for more than three years, I was a believer in the 'word of god.' My mid-teens were spent in the church choir, retreats, sermons, the works. I was baptized of my own volition; no one forced me under the holy (Jacuzzi) water in the effort to save my soul, I was a willing supplicant of the lord.
Had you approached me back then and claimed there was no god, I would have thought you were crazy or in league with Satan. I was truly afraid of 'the devil' when I was young, that he was making concerted efforts to drive me towards sin. This was right in the middle of puberty, everything seemed like a sin.
Every girl I liked at made my body do weird things. I thought then, this is what sin feels like; excitement. I have to admit the fear of eternal damnation didn't perturb me from playing baseball with girls (if you catch the metaphor). I could feel the nagging biblical scripture in my mind as I tried to charm the (baseball) uniforms off of women, and their sisters. And sometimes their cousins.
It is a curiosity to me now that my faith in heaven and hell was strongest at that time but my brain took orders straight from my lower regions without much synaptic delay. Brad Pit I was not but motivated and I could make just about anyone laugh, like a lot, like pee your pants a lot.
What never set well in my head was the duplicity of the flock who attended that church. In my youth and in the breach of 'becoming a man' I had a justifiable rationalization for breaking my oath to the lord. But even at the ripe age of thirteen I could smell hypocrisy and those that stank of it. Not the least of which was the pastor of our church being convicted of child molestation. Lesser crimes have been the smell of alcohol on the breath of parishioners during services, women complaining about how the other women dressed like sluts or men speaking of women in salacious terms just out of ear shot. Or so they thought.
Where was the unyielding belief in what they preached and shared with the lost sheep with such fervor? Why were they not bedeviled with the fear of the devil?
I guess we blame Satan for planting the maddening ear worm for desire in their thoughts. If god is in their heart the devil must be on their mind. Until I started going to church my idea of a devil was from cartoons and movies. And why is Satan never portrayed as a woman in ancient theology? When I mention this to women friends they immediately agree with my analysis; Women have more guile, more cunning than men. Women are really talented at vengeance and they never forget a damn thing. Maybe it's my two divorces talking but that sounds like a pretty damn good devil to me. I know, I'll receive a lot of emails about being a misogynist but if I said women weren't qualified to be the devil I would get letters for that too. The devil's in the details I guess. So the peers of my youth weren't saints. Is that a reason to doubt theology?
Though my initial understanding of my own religious journey was warped I, like most indoctrinated, believed the person who told me, and they that told them and so on. As I grew older I was disillusioned by how little actual knowledge of scripture 'they' knew or understood. Theses faint biblical scholars were possessed by the feeling of rapture, it was their motivator. But as one grows out of childhood the obvious reality of religious dogma and all its inherent fallacies is no longer avoidable. If we look to a source root of the tree of theology we must point to the Torah and the bible.
Men not women as a point of fact had written what they were given through word of mouth. How much credibility can I give this credo since no one quoted in the bible actually met with Adam nor Eve and neither with Jesus. Since the Council of Nicaea men have used their own experience and ideology to determine what would stay or be edited out of the bible. This does not meet with the criteria of a holy book. When I began to ask questions of its validity I was told I simply "had to believe" as stated by a christians in reply in this question. God gave us a brain and I was being advised to no longer use it.
Do you believe that if I questioned or searched for truth behind the christian canon that god would deem me a heretic? What if I am becoming an atheist? If god knows what is in my heart then he is aware that I, like the apostles, seek the truth. When the bible is placed under scrutiny it cannot maintain the prominence it once had when I was a child. Since god is omnipotent he must have been aware that I would one day no longer think like a child.
Author D. Mitchell Sweatt is in the midst of writing a book for Amazon titled; Atheist Madness! © Why are atheists so damn angry? This has been a small sample of that book.
His Twitter can be found at @atheistmadness!