This is really fresh, encouraging, and challenging; a reflective echo of the cries of my own heart that gives new perspective on an old topic.
Fuck this ad hom bullshit. This whole story, which was written by a biased thoughtless numbskull, seeks to frame atheism as an individual’s problem with some church or set of religious ceremonies. The subtext, of course, is that they’re atheists because they want to be atheists. Like it’s cool to be part of the “new atheism” movement (if you can even stomach that fucking term.) That if only church were more engaging these kids would reveal that truly, in their heart of hearts, they believe in some god. He even subheads a section: “The Decision to embrace unbelief was often an emotional one.”
What a steaming load of pandering, dismissive, thought-terminating, condescending bullshit.
First of all, it’s not a decision to believe or not believe something. If that were the case, of course, you could decide to believe you were telepathic and you could have communicated this story to the whole planet without having to publish it (saving us all a lot of grief). You could have chosen to believe you can fly. Yet, you published this harmful bullshit where everyone could see it because you don’t believe you can communicate telepathically and you don’t walk off the Empire State Building because you don’t just believe you can fly. Not believing in your ability to fly isn’t the result of some low self-esteem or traumatic childhood, it’s based on what you know about the natural world. Not believing in gods isn’t based on being bored at church and your fucking single, pathetic anecdote doesn’t help your argument. Not believing in gods is based on the same observation and knowledge of the natural world.