I read that a certain person said that we atheists are taking the easy way out by not believing. I’d like to say to him that there have been many times when I wish I could believe. To get along better with my family, to feel a sense of community in church, to have a beautiful building to celebrate life’s milestones heaped with all sorts of history. When I do reach these milestones I feel as though I’m missing something. Almost as though I should build my own church and we could meet on Sundays and discuss evolution and science and be there for eachother when someone is sick or their house burns down. There is a unifying force in the world and it’s called love. It’s the reason why moral atheists do right by eachother even though they don’t believe someone is always watching them. It saddens me that these people attack you in the name of god when everything he stands for is turning the other cheek. I might be an atheist but I still wonder, what would jesus do?
You are certainly right that atheism — real, thoughtful atheism — isn’t the easy way to do anything. This is why it drives me mildly nuts when I hear Christians in the United States who talk about how atheists are trying to oppress them. To my knowledge, Christians pretty much don’t have to worry about what will happen if their coworkers find out what religion they are. It’s not that simple for atheists.
I also agree with asking “what would Jesus do.” One of my earlier letters was from a Christian who bragged about how he would disfigure anyone who verbally threatened him because of his religion, and that God would not disapprove of his behavior. I found it strange that I, as an atheist, would have a more Jesus-like response in a similar situation.