Thursday, March 19, 2009

Second Generation Atheists, Raise Your Hands

I was doing some dirty websurfing - Conservapedia - when I ran across the article on second generation atheists. It implies that there are few second-generation atheists by claiming that only 1,000 sites are indexed by "second generation atheist" - now there's one more. It's an extension of the tired old you-can't-live-without-God idea, and that the few of us that are produced are unproductive, defective miscreants. They apparently haven't seen the statistics on the near-absence of atheists from the nation's prisons.

Second-generation atheists, time to stand up and be counted. Tell your story! In my case, I'm a distance runner with a love of the outdoors, I've been to all fifty states of this awesome country, and I've been successful in my career. Now I'm about to go to medical school. Defects? Except for an impatient streak, and an unhealthy love for Jack-in-the-Box, I don't think I'm such a bad guy. My great-great-great grandfather was a backwoods Appalachian minister, and his son was captured in the Civil War and spent time in a Confederate concentration camp. His son was a Western PA coal-miner. His son was an accountant at a lumber yard, who told me he believed in God but thought the Bible was mostly bunk. His son was the first to go to college, the first atheist in the line, a naval officer and a metallurgist. And his son is me. In fact, the family's fortunes in all respects - financially, educationally, health-wise - seem to be growing in exactly inverse proportion to religiousness. Huh.

Hey religious people - we're doing fine out here, and our numbers are growing. Keep telling yourself it's not true if it makes you feel better. Better yet, join the ranks!


Anonymous said...

Wow... A great read. Got my creative juices flowing. Atheism, in my family, skips a generation... Like blue eyes. If I ever felt my children leaning towards religion, I would do as my parents did to me and force it down their thoarts day and night. I've often heard theres no better way to create an atheist.

meercat said...

I hope someday my son will be proud to call himself a 2nd-generation atheist.
Check out the new blog:

Michael Caton said...

The interesting things is, people who are raised religious but become atheists usually have siblings who are still religious (how many? Time to gather more data). What's the difference between the siblings that causes this? More for us to learn.

Sabrina said...

I was never raised to be religious, but we went through a lot of the motions of Christianity (although I have never been baptized). I married into a Catholic family in a Catholic church. I baptized my first-born into that religion. Why? Cause his family pushed us into it.

Hubby has come to his senses and doesn't believe the crap that was shoved down his throat growing up. And yes, his mother and 2 sisters still practice the religion. His brother doesn't. Guess I brought him to the "dark" side, lol.

Last fall I took a course in Western Civilization and WOW! My eyes were opened. I find it hard to believe that humans over the years have been so feable minded to believe all the STORIES!

That said, I work in a community hospital in a strongly Christian area. (Amish and Mennonite) As much as I do not agree with their beliefs, I have learned to be very, very respectful. That is why I don't tell too many people I am an Atheist. Although anyone that knows me will tell you that I am a GOOD person. I make personal sacrifice all the time for the good of my patients. I donate to charity. I teach my children to be polite and respectful.

I will let my children explore religion if they so choose, in their own time. When they ask questions of me, I am honest, but let them know that other people may believe something different. They are smart cookies so I have no doubt that will grow up to be proud Atheists, too ;)