Why do people hide what they really are? It just doesn’t apply to Atheism, everyone has their secrets. From sexual orientation to preferred brands of breakfast cereal. No one is a completely open book. But, why do I hide the simple fact that I do not believe in a two-thousand-year-old Jewish zombie that loves me? To understand that, you must understand where I live and the people around me.
Living in the rural part of West Virginia well lets face it- there isn’t exactly an “urban” part to West Virginia. Religion takes on a major role in many peoples’ lives. The small town in which I live has a population of roughly five hundred. With that population, there are about six or so churches within a ten-minute drive of me, including a “mega-church” capable of holding the entire population of the town in which I live with room to spare. Church-related actives are the crux of the community, holding all the major social events. To someone that doesn’t believe, it is staggeringly difficult finding something to do that doesn’t involve one of the local church groups. It is almost smothering in a way, how outspoken some are about their views and they do not wish to even consider that I may not share in them. It is almost as if they want to recruit me into their fold.
A recruitment drive
With so many local churches of varying faiths, they stretch and pull those who believe between them. It never dawns upon them that perhaps, there are those who fail to see the world in their way. What happens should someone speak out? I have personally seen those who do not share in the people’s beliefs be shunned by the community, their lives made far more difficult by the “loving” hand of God. Some to the point of being forced to leave the area, or being forced to go to church to have a sort of peace. This is one of the major reasons why I keep quiet about what I think. Perhaps, it makes me a coward for doing so. Perhaps, it is the best way to deal with it. This, I do not know.
The most I speak out against religion is in my works under a pseudonym.
The mask I wear and the voice I take comes out though articles such as these. In my daily life I am forced to nod when someone starts going on and on about some biblical verse. Try my best to avoid rolling my eyes when someone starts spouting off that something is sinful and should be outlawed. Those who know me closest, know that I am not very religious. But, even they do not know the depth of it. Some of them think one day I may see the light, that I will come into their fold. I think I have already seen the light, that there isn’t some big mystical reason why we are here. But, that doesn’t mean we cannot enjoy what time we do have, without a God.