Sunday I attended a church service with the rest of my family.
Now let me start by saying I am an atheist, and while I was raised in this church denomination, I have always taken issue with their teachings, even when I did consider the possibility of God.
The topic of the sermon was, Is There a God? For 30 minutes the preacher said things such as those who don’t believe in a god are idiots, we shouldn’t read science books, homosexuals and transsexuals are sinners and do not deserve any rights, and the Big Bang Theory is a lie.
This guy’s premise is that God exists because the Bible says so. Using that premise, I could say that Harry Potter exists because the book series says so.
I can’t describe how surreal it felt to have members of the congregation come up to me at the end of the service ask me to come back, as though they would expect anyone to willingly come back and listen to more of that vitriol.
It offends me that some people who believe in a religious faith think it’s OK to discount the beliefs of others, especially when those people proclaim to care about me as a person. I have just as much right to not believe in a deity as others have to believe in one. And let’s face it, if I were going to change my mind about a deity, it would be more because of pastors like Nadia Bolz-Weber than those who spew hate.
If therapy has taught me anything, it’s that what I think and feels matters. I won’t be cowed by those whose beliefs I find offensive.