I can remember the first time I admitted out loud I was not a Christian. I was probably 22 at the time and had sensed for years that my spiritual compass was taking me down a different path than the one my Catholic family members and the other people in my small suburban community were on. It had just taken me that long to formulate the words, which at that time must have seemed pretty radical, even to a young nonconformist like myself.
Since that day I have firmly established myself among the minority of
Americans who do not count a belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ—or
in my case, the even smaller minority who reject the notion of an
omnipotent entity to whom we owe thanks for our mere existence—as a
defining characteristic of their relationship with the world around
As a practicing Buddhist, not only am I am a functional
atheist (I’ll spare you the exposition on Buddhist cosmology), but I’m a
heathen as well. And worse: a humanist. Yet rather than carry what I
consider an enlightened approach around on my shoulder like a proverbial
chip, I have learned that part of my personal path involves a level of
humility, and an acceptance that life is not all about my beliefs, or
non-beliefs as the case may be.
I feel a profound sense of discomfort every time I witness fellow
non-believers adopt the same fundamentalist zeal they detest in their
religious rivals to advance their own agendas, almost always in the
guise of defending the Constitution. Click here to read at The Philly Post.