Earlier this year I began reading Hemant Mehta's The Friendly Atheist. From there I also found myself reading Libby Anne's Love, Joy, Feminism and JT Eberhard's What Would JT Do?. I've also been watching Thunderf00t, zomgitscriss and AronRa's Youtube channels for a couple of years now.
What is the point of all this preamble? Well, it's partially a thank you to those people and the others who post, blog, write, vlog and every other verb you can think of about atheism. The other reason is that, while reading or watching all of these I want to join in with them.
It's a nerve-racking goal really. A lot of the people I read or watch came from a deeply religious background and turned their back on it as they learned more about the world. I'm not like that. I was raised without religion and I live in a country where being an atheist really isn't anything to comment on so I really don't have the same struggle to impart. I just want to show solidarity and to be able to speak about these topics from time to time.
At some point in the future I will post a brief biography of myself, but until then I bid you welcome. Here begins my first Rant.
I suffer from depression. It's tough, but manageable. I'm not currently on medication, but I am in therapy and we are currently discussing whether medication might help me. Sometimes, when the depression swing hits me badly I create spectacle, because the attention does help me feel better about it. I am aware of the silliness and I have been trying to curb the degree to which I do this. Most of the time these days I content myself with a post on a particular famous social network and then I manage to muscle through by talking to some close friends, so I am improving.
The other day I posted a comment which said:
Though I suppose I could go all religeous on you and tell you what you really need! Goodnight!
Which frustrated me beyond belief. First of all, after starting the conversation commenting on spelling (the word she thought I'd misspelled was actually spelled correctly anyway) she then went on to misspell 'religious.' Secondly, and much more importantly, was the assumption that the reason I was feeling depressed was because I don't have faith (she knows that I am an atheist, she's a fairly devout Church of England attendee)
If all I needed to stop myself feeling down and depressed was to find Jesus or some-such, then surely a logical extension of that is that absolutely no religious people suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. Oh, wait...
The other issue here is the automatic assumption that it's okay to randomly proselytise to me. We have had discussions about this before; she genuinely thinks that my parents did me a disservice by not taking me to church, that they didn't let me make up my own mind. As I will go into in a later post that is definitely not the case. But if I tried to say to her
The reason this thing isn't going right for you is because you're wasting time praying for it instead of making it happenI'd instantly be guilty of "disrespect." Well, I am sorry Auntie, dear. That argument only comes from the fact that in our society Christianity is privileged unfairly and assumed to be superior to not having faith.
Here endeth the Rant. I hope to see you again shortly!