So evidently I live under a rock. Only a few days ago, I learned about something called "Creation Fest". This is kind of like a far more obscure Woodstock with Jesus I suppose or maybe more like Lollapalooza with Jesus - bands playing for days with the central theme being Christianity.
The reason this shocked me so much, besides the fact that this neck of the woods is pretty quiet in regard to religiousness in general, is the fact that this is the 12th year this has happened here. It makes me wonder the extent of my separation from the religious community. I don't feel like I do this on purpose, but I am one of those people who will answer the door to a Mormon, smile and say 'I'm an atheist, but thanks!' and immediately close the door so that I don't have to have that uncomfortable moment of having to reassure the proselytizer that yes, I really am atheist and no, I really don't want to try your belief system out.
I think most people avoid things which make them uncomfortable and while I know a good amount of atheists are not uncomfortable in the least in regard to religion, I am. I am because I don't want to go out of my way to offend anyone and I don't find any joy in being disrespectful. I feel like my position on religion - that it's complete bullshit - means that I ought to avoid religious confrontation as much as I can in my day to day life. If I were to engage in a conversation with the door to door Mormons, for example, I know there is a good chance I would offend them because I find their belief system ridiculous to a laughable degree. I feel it's better to politely but firmly close the door rather than engage in a conversation where I know one or both of us may get upset.
Some of my fellow atheists are inclined to call me out as a coward for this, but I say that the way you conduct yourself when living your private life will always be different than the way you conduct yourself when you are putting yourself in the public arena. No, I'm not inclined to debate on my front porch but yes, I am inclined to participation in activism. I think very little can be done in the way of helping the evolution of atheism into a publicly accepted belief by creating excessive strain within my personal life.
So - 'rock' on, Creation Fest. I only hope someday I'll be able to go to 'Atheism Fest' - an imagined mirror of what Creation Fest seems to be except probably more fun and with bands I've actually heard of.
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