I've been so frustrated with my family lately so I thought I would get some of my frustration out with a little therapeutic writing exercise. This is the letter I wish I could send to all my family members, as a sort of coming out, but I cannot for fear of rejection. Also I'm a pretty big wuss.

Family,

In the past it may have appeared to you that when the topic of religion comes up I promptly find the nearest exit. Its not that I feel uncomfortable with the topic, I just don't want to listen to nonsense. I, Alethea Thomas, am an Atheist. I know this fact may shock you, but rest assured I came to this conclusion after many years of careful scrutiny.

You, as a family, gave life to me, baptized me, brought me up in the church in the best way you precieved, and I even got married with a religious ceremony. Honestly the ceremony was only meant to please you. If I'd had the conviction during the wedding process I would have eloped, but at the time I wanted to please everyone. The words you heard me utter at the altar were through gritted teeth. I don't honestly believe in god, and god would know this better than anyone if he were real.

The questions burning on you lips are numerous, I'm sure, but let me try to answer at least a few of them for you in this letter.

No, I'm not doing this out of anger. I have no intention to make anyone angry, I only wish to state my position on the topic. What you do with your life is your choice, the same applies to me.

Why do I not believe in a higher power? There are a few reasons why I don't believe. Let me show you my personal reasoning. Suppose you were to make a list of all qualities god possess? What traits would you give to him? Is he all powerful, ultimately good, righteous, you could list several of his traits. Next, what does he look like? Is he black, white, a ray of light, or is he formless? Is he even a he? "He" could just as likely be a she. If you write all this down and compare it to another believers list everyone of them would be slightly different. This is how I know that there is no god. If there was one omnipotent god everyone would have exactly the same god in mind.

But what about the bible? What about it? The word of of god is merely the word of man. The men who wrote the bible were: homophobic, sexist, blood thirsty, barbaric, instigators of genocide, perverts, and last but not least out of their minds. Who honestly can believe in a talking snake? A talking ass? A virgin birth? Or a guy rising from the dead? Not to mention all the mistranslations and fallacies within the text. Have you read your bible? Honestly? I have read the whole thing, with an immense amount of concentration on my part, and I have to say the book awful. Gilgamesh was a better novel and written far earlier! Reading the bible creates atheists, this I can put my "faith" in.

Now that I have made my position clear I ask that you do not hate me, fear me, loath me. I ask you to see me as a human being. I have ethics and morals learned from my environment, and the general consensus of the world. I am not a bad person, I simply wish to be a part of your lives and to be loved no matter what my position is on the question of religion. If you want to discuss this with me further I am open to a rational conversation, provided anger doesn't arise.

Love,

Alethea

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Comment by Carla on October 31, 2010 at 1:28pm
Alethea,
I'm with you on your entire letter. In the same boat here. My family and I just try to live well, treat people right, have our own moral code, etc. We are often called "good christian people" by those who don't know any different. They assume that because we are nice, fair, loving, hard working, generous, honest, non-judgemental people that we are christian. That's when, more than ever, I want to tell them we're atheists so I can see their faces, haha. But, like you, out of fear, we don't.
Hang in there...maybe someday we'll both have the courage :)

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