One thing I truly struggle with, as an atheist, as a person, as a friend to believers, is that huge gap between what REALLY IS and what believers have to do in order to continue making sense of reality through the eyes of their belief. They must redefine words and phrases again and again. They must find a way to hold "free will" and "God's will" together in one hand and figure out how those concepts can adequately explain things. Somehow they must "explain" the "sins" of the believers of past centuries without devaluing the institution of religion.
Believers must repeat, like mantra, again and again "God is love."...or else reality would seep in and remind them that bad things happen to believers and non-believers alike. So do good things. There is NO correlation between "loving god" and violent acts against innocent children.
It's not just that I am still feeling raw and grieving after the massacre of twenty-something tiny school children and adults. It's not just that I am "so sensitive" to the pain of others.
It's ongoing. It is an awareness that I have the freedom and the delight to embrace the clarity that comes from being an atheist.
When a person is willing to go to any lengths to maintain their belief system in the face of a total dearth of evidence, proof, or clear action of any supernatural being, that person has chosen to stay from truth, light, life, love, and the absolute necessity of humans to do for themselves. I wish I could help my friends to see this. But I understand their disinclination to even consider letting go of the binds of the belief.
I remember that feeling that holds them. That feeling, as a child hungers for their parent, that feeling of believing that there was a father-like god who was watching out for me, knowing my every thought, loving and caring for me, holding me in the palm of his hand. I know the gush of warm feelings inside from this belief. I know the communal feeling of a mass. I know the certainty of those eternal beliefs. And I understand the strong desire for it all to be true. The circuitous mind games and labyrinthine maze games one has to play to keep believing.
Instead, I wish all people would see that We are who we have. We have only ourselves to go to for connection, for support, for love. It is the connection between each of us and our beloveds that makes this world tolerable, joyful, even transcendent.
Clarity. I am grateful every day for the clarity of atheism.