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 IAmAnAtheist » Hidden Doubts

Hidden Doubts

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

A Christian talking to her daughter’s boyfriend in her living room

Eleanor: Deborah should be out in just a few minutes.

Farley: Thanks, Mrs. Clark.

Eleanor: I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to ask you something while we wait for her.

Farley: Sure.

Eleanor: Well, since you’re dating my Deborah, I’ve taken a look at your blog and your Facebook.

Farley: Oh, great!

Eleanor: Yes, well, particularly on your blog, you seem to talk about religion quite a lot.

Farley: That’s true. It’s largely what the blog is about, really. I’m not against religious people, though. I know you guys are Christians, and that’s fine with me.

Eleanor: I’m glad to hear that, but right now that’s not really what I’m concerned about.

Farley: Oh?

Eleanor: You call yourself an atheist, is that right?

Farley: I’m an atheist.

Eleanor: When you say that, can you tell me what you mean exactly?

Farley: There’s not much to it, really. I just don’t believe in any deities.

Eleanor: You mean God?

Farley: Right.

Eleanor: That’s what I thought. I’ve been thinking about and praying about that quite a bit, and it seems to me that for someone who says that he doesn’t believe God exists, you sure spend a lot of time talking about Him. Why do you spend so much time talking about someone you don’t believe in?

Farley: Whether or not God is real, He’s important to our culture.

Eleanor: That’s true about Santa Claus, too, but I don’t see you writing a whole blog about him.

Farley: I’ve never had anyone tell me I’m immoral for not believing in Santa Clause or try to pass a law that says I have to study Santa in school. Because I’m an atheist, religion impacts my life in a certain way. That’s what I’m reacting to, and that’s why I talk about religion so much. If Christians didn’t care about atheists or didn’t do anything that made atheism difficult, I’d hardly talk about God at all.

Eleanor: Hmm. Have you ever thought that you might not be being completely honest with yourself? Even in what you just said, you really were focusing on God quite a bit. It seems to me that maybe you are so obsessed with God that for your peace of mind you feel you have to deny Him instead of truly having nothing to do with Him.

Farley: No, I’m pretty secure with not believing in God. In reality, what I’m focusing on is religious people and their actions. I don’t think about God at all.

Eleanor: You say that, but you’re clearly having some doubts about your atheism. If you weren’t full of doubt about God, would you really talk about Him so much?

Farley: Maybe I’m not making myself clear — I really don’t talk about God much at all. I talk about religion, I talk about people’s beliefs about God, I talk about religious peoples’ attempts to prove that God exists, but I don’t talk about God. Even on those occasions when I might ask a question on my blog like "why would God do such-and-such," I’m really not talking about God. Instead, I’m challenging people to think about their beliefs.

Eleanor: All right. You’re still very young, and I’m sure that in time you will be able to figure out what it is that’s troubling you. You seem like a nice boy and Deborah is certainly fond of you, so I’m sure she can help you figure things out.

Farley: Right.

Eleanor: She’ll be out in a minute and I’ve got some things to do in the back. There’s a Bible on the table if you need something to read while you wait.


If you have a conversation that you’d like me to consider publishing on this blog or in an upcoming book, please see the conversation guidelines.

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

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