(No blogs for a week because I was reevaluating the point of this blog-a-day thing. Long story short, it’s not doing what it was supposed to, but I’m going to keep doing the features, at least, because they’re fun. Not sure what else is going to happen here. Maybe fiction.)
It’s Why I’m an Atheist Wednesday.
Confession: I’m currently at that stage in my atheism where seeing people wearing crosses (either around their neck or on their forehead for Ash Wednesday) still makes me do a double-take. I don’t think I’ll ever get past sniffing at intelligent people who are religious, but I’d like to get back to not caring about religious symbols. People are people, and most of them just don’t care about religion. To them, wearing a cross is just something they do because they always have, or because they’re marginally committed to their church. It doesn’t really mean anything to them, the way it would mean something to me if I went about wearing an atheist A around my neck. (They sell necklaces like that. I want one.)
So, yeah, I’d like to be able to go “Whatever” about that, and I’m sure someday I will, because religion isn’t going to go anywhere in my lifetime (and, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve got plenty of religious friends). But there’s something that bothers me: the “in God we trust” on money.
Now, this didn’t bug me until I found out it hasn’t been there forever. And, once I thought about it, that made sense. Why would it have been there forever? It’s like “under God” in the pledge of allegiance. It’s just another result of fake religious persecution, a hangover from McCarthyism.
And… well, now that I see it, I can’t unsee it. And I’ve been engaging in a little civil disobedience because of it.
See, twice a week I work as a cashier at my job, which requires me to count at least thirty bucks worth of greenbacks. And I’ve started crossing out the “in God we trust” on all of them. Yep. I know it’s technically illegal. But nobody really cares, and it makes me feel like I have some margin of control over the religious influences in my life and in my country.
It’s things like this that make me really want to move to Sweden already. Lots of atheists, good social support network, little religious craziness.
I do worry about what might happen if my boss were to catch me—as far as I know, all of them at least pay lip service to religion, though I have no idea how far it goes. (I’m pretty sure it’s nothing serious with any of them. I was actually shocked to hear my main boss cares about Wednesday services during Lent.) I love my job, and I don’t want to get in trouble. But this feels a little more important, and it makes me feel less impotent. And trust me. Being an atheist in this country feels a lot like standing on the edge of a cliff and shouting “Pay attention to me!” at the sky.