July 1, 2008

An easy mistake to make?

I'll start off by saying it would be a very dull world if every one of us had the same ideas and passions. I do find it interesting however that I keep falling into the same trap of thinking that people who share one of my views, probably share my others as well. Certainly that does happen, and often, but not all of the time. Living in a religious country can make a person feel very uncomfortable to be themselves in simple everyday things. Finding a community, albeit online, of fellow freethinkers felt great even if I wasn't actually participating in the discussions. It felt good to know I wasn't alone but I soon realized that there were differences. This group of people is supposed to be more humanistic, more open to changing their minds in the face of reason, and more intelligent in general. I made assumptions that atheists share my political views, parenting views, education views, etc.

The truth is that when you are talking about humans, there is no one size fits all. I believe in freedom, attached and unconditional parenting, raising my children to educate themselves to be great leaders and thinkers. It all sounds very rational doesn't it? What I encounter though seems different in the atheist community. I see atheists as mostly liberal democrats. Most seem to be permanently single males or family men. They don't talk much about how they raise their children but let's be honest, raising kids is more of a female thing anyway. I don't see a lot of mom's out there talking about raising their little ones. Try searching for "atheist breastfeeder" in Google. It's not a hot topic. I see a lot of talk about how important an education is to becoming a freethinker but very little discussion about how the school system in this country does not educate. I am sure there are pockets of good schools but I went through the public school system and I came out as an ignorant A/B student. I am trying to overcome that but I still have a long way to go. Make fun if you want, but I am that person that looks at you funny when asked how many senators our state has and who are they? I still prefer a calculator to do simple math. I thought Alexander Hamilton was a president until a couple of weeks ago. Believe me, I'm no shining example of what can come out of a government school system. Since my only options at this point are private religious schooling or homeschooling, you better bet I'm going to do the latter. Go ahead and ask yourself how a dummy like me is going to educate my kids when I don't even know the presidents. I am getting an education now. I stay up late into the night so I can read and study and learn and inspire my kids to want to get the sort of education that will keep them loving to learn well beyond their 18th year.

These things are as important to me as not being deluded by religion. I can't imagine not feeling any of these things passionately. They all evolved from the same place inside of me, a part where I was determined to do everything better for my children. So it boggles my mind when I read about atheists who insist that a government education is necessary to raise a freethinker. Not that I think all parents can or should homeschool but at the very least they should push for a private, secular education. No one will ever be able to convince me that they are a real humanist while they are feeding their baby a bottle of formula or letting them cry it out. And I still don't understand what the real differences are in the two parties we have in this country. Both want more government involvement, more of our money, and more of our freedoms. There is no significant difference in the Republican and Democratic party. Maybe the Libertarians don't have it all figured out either but it's a step in the right direction. Less government in our daily lives can only be a good thing.

So while I feel more at home with a rational bunch of thinkers that sneer at religious dogma, the truth is I don't feel entirely comfortable there either. There is more to take a stand on. I read the ideas and I try them on for size but I haven't found anything convincing enough to me yet that says a Democratic president, conveyor-belt education, and treating babies as tiny adults is the way to move this country into a more freethinking society. Sorry.


  1. No one will ever be able to convince me that they are a real humanist while they are feeding their baby a bottle of formula or letting them cry it out.

    I agree that not all humanists think alike, but rest assured on this one, I'm with you!

  2. What's really funny is I had forgotten about that post until your comment, so I went back to read it. Most of what I said then I still believe but I did vote for Obama, and I am finding myself more independent in politics than Libertarian. Amazing what can change in just a few months. Especially after years of thinking differently.