Rachel Johnson

Atheist Blogger- the godlessvagina / Podcaster the pink atheist

An American Atheist


Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just live and breathe as an American girl. Don’t you think I hunger for the right to just be me when I walk down the street. Yet even here in American there is a daily struggle of minds, and ideas. There is the forward movement of science and the backward movement of religious dogma. All I want in my life is to be smart and strong, and proud of who I am. Just a happy content American atheist.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like even one hundred years ago when religion was expected of people and everyone had to identify by some doctrine. I must admit the internet has thrown open the door for information to suddenly stir everywhere. I have personally learned so much at the hands of strange. I have met people from all over the planet. I enjoy laughing with, and loving my neighbors, even when they are far across the globe. After all who would have thought there are freethinking atheists in Nigeria. I know that I wouldn’t have.

I love my country even though it is not always right in its actions. I follow my president even if he is not perfect. I see a lot of good in my fellow Americans even if sometimes we argue in heated debates. My nation has set an example for the world in the providing of liberties, and freedoms provided for its citizens. Here all religions can live together in peace. Yet there is a portion of society that stays downtrodden. They think we are weak, and our voice is small. They don’t hear us when we scream for justice, but we grow stronger day by day, arm in arm, hand in hand.

You see I am An American Atheist. I not only belong to the group. I belong to America. I go to college here, work here, vote here, live here and love here. I am all that I can be in my country. I spend my days with a heart filled with passion for the lives of my fellow man. I spend my day seeking to bring justice to one more person, and light the way for women like me. I may be just a girl to some people out there who really don’t know me but what I hide inside is the person that can never die. I am filled with hope, inspiration, and dreams. One day I hope to be an American Atheist who is also a biologist. I want to teach the world and work in science. I want to explore with passion all that there is to learn. I want to grow my mind, and my heart day by day. I may not matter so much right now, but when I wake up in the morning I think to my self, “I am an American Atheist.” That makes me a survivor by choice, and not by chance. It makes me strong by reason and not by design. It makes me thankful I was not born in a poor Muslim country where my voice would get silenced and lost in the masses. Because I was born here I am not just a woman, but I am a proud strong American Woman.

I don’t have to wear a burqa, I don’t need a god. I am fine without anything guiding me, watching over me or helping me. I have people and that is enough for me. In fact every step forward I have taken has been helped in some part by other people and I can’t imagine being in this fight alone. I see the devastation and hate religion has caused. I lived on the other spectrum of thought once upon a time. I was that hate filled bigot, and that narrow mind pushing against people who didn’t believe in god. I am ashamed to admit that if the current me met the former me they would hate each other. Because I was trying to be what religion told me to be, and that wasn’t me. I gave up on the beauty in life for having the hope of something better and as long as I was not responsible for worrying about my future I could let my life wash away before my eyes. I lived in constant hate, fear and guilt. It was a long journey to get here. I had to admit to my self that I had never seen anything be proven by religion. I had to stop lying to my self that there was something more to this world, and face the facts that I was really alone.

In other words, I had to face that everything I had been taught was a lie. It hurt, and I got angry. I still remember they day I let go of believing.It was a beautiful spring morning, and I just let it go. It was the last time I would believe, the last time I would try to convince myself to belive. It was the final breath of ignorant faith. Then I picked up Dawkins book and read, and read, and learned. I felt the fire that had once been me light again. It was all there. Not just that day but every day since. It was looking at Dawkins words on paper echoing what was in my mind which helped to set me free. And once I had walked away I have looked back. There are times when I think, “what if.” And then the evidence and the reality floods into my mind and suddenly it is easy to dismiss what I know never was and for me never will be. Since then I am learning again to take back the power of my life, to shout to the world.I find freedom in just being free. When I go to college every day, and look where I am now I know that I am living life free. It feels amazing, and overwhelming to see what I can do and face. It is a long hard road, but well worth the effort.

I hope some day more people can let go of their chains and walk away an American Atheist.




Author: Rachel Johnson

I am a writer about atheist issues. Separation of the church and state. Women and their right to choose, and sex. I talk about all of the "taboos" of modern life as well as evolution and science.

4 thoughts on “An American Atheist

  1. Awesome blog Rachel. My story is similar to yours as I once was deluded myself. And it took many years to get where I am. And I also had a similar experience of sort of crossing over into a life of reality. It was quite liberating. And I continue to be full of life. And I will soldier on for Atheism until I am gone.
    From a fellow American Atheist thank you for all you do to promote Atheism. And I know you are a busy woman.

  2. Your blog makes sense to me but I don’t agree with your exclusive view with regard to religion. When I was atheist I thought religion was awesome in many ways (and an atheist like Alain de Botton – author of Religion for Atheist- would agree with this). Atheism today means nothing to me, it’s an empty box, but atheists is a different thing: they are just human beings like me. I don’t call myself theist anymore either (but many atheists would never drop their label). Science is another tough point: we do not want atheists to put a claim on science as if atheists are better placed for it and religious persons are already sort of singled out. There are awesome scientists who are Catholic, or Christian. Already the word Christian is a wide concept an many are cultural Christians who understand value within religions. I love science, I have no problem at all with any of it (including evolution theory of course) but that doesn’t make me feel atheist, not even for one inch.

    If Dawkins inspires you that’s fine – I’m more a fan of Lynn Margulis, and all people including atheists who do not tend to sell atheism under the hood of science. Talking about separation of church an state: yes, absolutely – but also separation of atheism and science, it should be in the constitution. Science, just like politics, education an all of the public domain, is public domain and does not belong to anyone or any group or mindset or state of mind. If we can agree on that, then we can start facing the real problems.

  3. I love Science as much as I love my religion – Christianity…..I see no such conflict between the two …. There have been countless instances of religion being manipulated to benefit or wreak havoc on others, agreed….. But then again one cannot discount the amount of good that Christianity has brought to the world……

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