Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Step

So. Last Tuesday, I went to my first atheist group meeting. It was a happy hour at a really cute little bar, and I had a great time. I met several fantastic people, and the conversation was awesome. Usually there were two or three really cool conversations going on at the same time, and it was a little frustrating that I couldn't keep up with them all at once!

I remember being a christian, and listening to my ex husband talk about the atheist group he had joined. I remember wondering what atheists do at meetings. I just couldn't imagine; did they just sit around and talk about how they didn't believe in God? How could that be stimulating?

Of course, now I realize how stupid that was. It was like wondering whether christians just sat around all the time talking about Jesus (which they do a lot). Obviously, even the most fundamentalist evangelical has interests outside of his faith.

I'm really ashamed now of how I used to view people without faith, and I honestly wonder how I could have ever felt that way. It seems so ridiculous now; but honestly, when christianity is driven deep, deep into your psyche from the time you are a small child (a baby, really), it really seems like it is the truth, and you just can't imagine believing anything different. Anything different is absurd.

I digress; this post was supposed to be about the atheist group.

The biggest thing I came away with from the group is how easy it is to talk to reasonable people. Even if I said something totally boneheaded (which can be quite often), no one jumped on me to attack; no one said anything to make me feel stupid. The harshest thing I heard all night was, "Hm. I don't think I can quite buy that, just because you said you were certain..."

Ouch. What cutting words. ()

Everyone was open to debate; everyone was open to discussion; everyone was interested in the stories of others. It was like spending two hours with the friendliest people on Earth.

Those damn, godless atheists.

I know that the new will wear off, and I'll stop being so amazed at how great the meetings are. But right now, it is just so nice to spend time with a group of people who are thinkers; who are skeptics; who are willing to learn from others who have a different point of view. Those things are all the total opposite of all the people I knew as a christian.

1 comment:

Gruntled said...

Way to go, that is so great for you N. I'm so jealous that we don't have anything like that up here. I just spent a few weeks visiting relatives and they are all fundamentalist to the core: anti-science, racist, sexist homophobes all. We could hardly have a conversation without it blowing up into some sort of argument.

I'm just glad to finally be home.