I've been a soldier in the US Army for over 20 years now. Working with the young troops keeps me feeling young. I'm raising two daughters that I had baptized and had them receive first communion in the catholic church, which I regret now. About 8 years ago, after my divorce, I started wondering why the church condemned me to a life of abstinence because my wife divorced me. I was a good husband and felt that I did all I could to keep it together. Then my job took me on several trips to the war-torn Balkan countries, and finally to Afghanistan (I'm back in Afghanistan, typing this from my plywood hut). All I can think about these places is how nice they could be if there was no religion-induced war. These people could prosper and live in peace if none of them cared about religion.
I always thought that the world is full of so many religions and all of them claim to be the true faith; I knew that only one or none of them could be right. I also became acutely aware that religion is a powerful tool and probably too powerful for man to resist. Therefore, I figure that all religion is too old and has been handled by too many men to not have been corrupted along the way, so I figured that they were all wrong. But I still feared God.
Then, I bought an iPod and learned about podcasts. I took an online poll that promised to answer what religion I am and it said Humanist. I found podcasts about humanism that really opened my eyes (ears). Then I read Richard Dawkin's The God Dillusion. Wow! That changed my perspective. I thought that I was agnostic, but after reading that book, I knew that I am atheist. Then I read Sam Harris' The End of Faith - brilliant.
I still love to listen to those podcasts when I walk my dog or when I lie in bed in this little bed in my plywood hut.
My two daughters and my new wife are now all non-religious, although my older daughter still likes to think there is some purpose out there for us and doesn't like the idea of no afterlife, but I figure that she'll come around. My wife is apathetic about the whole thing, but my younger daughter is as anti-religious as I am, yet she is about as blunt as a 20 pound sledge hammer.
I'm from New York State, but I call Texas home now. It's funny to be in such a religious state, riding a Harley (loved by many conservatives) working a job filled with religious people, deployed to a country filled with radical fundamentalists, yet not believing a bit of it. I don't feel like I'm above them, but I do pity them for wasting their time. I always want to tell them something that will make them enjoy their lives more by realizing that religion is wrong and a wasteful way to spend the only life they have.
I don't mind gently rocking the boat that I'm riding on. I do want people to think about their irrational beliefs.

Tags: Afghanistan, Balkans, Biker, Daughter, Family, Harley, Soldier

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Welcome to Atheist Nexus!
Welcome and thank you for serving. There ARE atheists in foxholes!
Yes, there are Atheists in the foxholes. More than ever in the US Army I'm finding. And I'm very happy to learn of the trend.
Welcome ! I've only been here two days and I'm in Heaven. ( had I known heaven was an atheist website earlier, it would have saved me much trouble LOL )

I am in NY too, and my BF is from Texas. He is also a biker. I am an atheist but he still clings to religion. Not church or anything, but his daddy was a preacher. You two should get together and maybe you can talk some sense into him LOL He keeps telling me I will become a christian again and I say "No, that would be going backwards." LOL Oddly, he and I get along great and have much the same values.

I absolutely agree with taking God out of war. If there were a way to stop religion, people would have to war for real reasons. I'd like to think man would stop warring but they would just find another reason to kill each other. I don't have much faith in my species.
Hi Krystal. My older daughter clung on to faith longer than the rest of the family did. Now, she's just apathetic about it. My wife called herself protestant because where she grew up, in Germany, religion is more of a tax category. She didn't believe in the churches teachings and when I taught her some of what I learned through scientific and humanist resources, she lost any belief in a god.
Maybe when I'm back from Afghanistan next year, we can ride!

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