Friday, August 8, 2008

Why Timid?

Sooner or later someone is bound to bust my chops for hiding in the closet with my atheistic beliefs. So I'll get that out of the way now.

I'm not a scientist, philosopher or professional author, just an ordinary guy in his mid 50's who has come to embrace a rational view of the universe, skeptical of all things woo and of a religious nature (is that redundant?). But I'm not in a position (or rather I'm too chickenshit) to openly acknowledge my beliefs or lack there of. Why? Fear.

Mainly I fear for my livelihood. Living and working in a very conservative part of southern Oregon surrounded by followers of Cheezus, I fear their reactions to my rejection of what they hold most dear. I'm in the retail fashion business and work one on one with people on a daily basis and I'm quite sure business would suffer if people were to become aware of my true thoughts about their religious delusions. Not to mention the owner of the company I work for is of the religious persuasion. So I fear for my job from that direction too.

Also, while my mother is a somewhat more liberal follower of Jeebus than the local yokels, I fear that "look" that I'm sure to get; one of pity and extreme disappointment and then fear for my non-existent soul. I was kind of the black sheep of the family and I greatly hesitate to add another disappointment to her list. I love my mother and will do all in my power now to prevent any hurt to her aging self. So, rather than confront religious delusions around her and my family I pretend to embrace them. Yes, it makes me feel kind of dirty and I'm not proud of myself in the least when I do that. But the white lie prevents further hurt.

Someday, I may rise above that. Indeed, someone could convince me that I'm doing more hurt by remaining in the closet. But until that happens I shall remain a timid, chickenshit and anonymous atheist.

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