Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Reaction to "Mortality" by Christopher Hitchens

My First Thoughts

                Once I finished reading "Mortality," I had a hard time accepting that Hitchens is no longer alive. His words flowed off the page with his voice, fresh from YouTube videos, in my mind. It was almost as if he had been dictating them right there in the room with me.

                I have never read a piece of non-fiction so compelling and affirming of one's intellectual strength even while physically deteriorating. Like that of a novel, I could almost feel the mental exhaustion brought on by his cancer and the side effects of treatments. His ability to string words on the page were, as he mentioned in the book, no different from his spoken works in his debates and lectures.

               The descriptions of his dispair triggered by the news that he did not qualify for what was once a promising and effective treatment that may have given him months or even years longer with his loved ones. This happened on multiple occasions, which were catalysts for the contemplation of giving in to the life draining procedures and medications so the suffering would end.

                 Christopher's ability to acknowledge and work through his depressive state of mind and share it with us compels the reader, even more, to continue that 5 minute quick read to 10 minutes. All the while never giving in to the uselessness of deities and their dogmatic, fundamentalist followers.
                 Although there were plenty of theist aquaintences that expressed their condolences and offered prayer for his wellness and, still, salvation. I have an appreciation for the sedement behind the gestures and apluad them for trying, in there true belief in some type of salvation, to offer one last chance to send a fellow man's soul to heaven and avoid the tourture of some damnation.
                This is not, necesarily, a condoning or endorsment in the belief of a deity. I still feel an equally strong passion against such gestures. To take advantage of a man at, what may very well be, his weakest, most vulnerable time of his life in an attempt to win one more fool into your delusional based cult. It is, all the more, a sick and vile trick to use the "conversion of a dying atheist evangelist" PR move to get more people to give you their minds and hard earned money. I shall never condone the actions of the "pious" leaders of the megachurches in this case.

                 My feelings on the matter really are not unique, as some of your religious friends and family may tell you. There are over 600 plus people in The Clergy Project, a non-prohet community made by the leaders of your very congregation. These are pastors, preachers, imams, and rabbi's that have made their living as a religious leader, yet have lost their faith and don't have a safe and finacially stable way to leave the position. These are people that you love and pray for.

               Yet they are trapped in the profession of "fictional story teller" and if they truely expressed their deconversion or non-belief to his/her "unconditionally loving" congregation, they would be shunned, fired, and lose their homes. They continue to struggle; it takes not weeks, but years of a painful and, sometimes, depressiong journey from faith. Many atheists have fought, tooth and nail, in favor of confirming our former beliefs. Atheists have nearly commited suicide from the depression.

               We don't choose to not believe, it is a passive realization that there exists no subsantial evidence and no rational arguement. We spend many years, after the acceptence of our atheism, hiding the fact that we no longer fall prey to the immoral actions of a god that may not even exist. Simply because we fear our "fellow christians" would divorce, disown, distrust, and threaten us. The people that we would take a bullet for, are the ones we feared the most.

              I hope that some of what I said makes you begin to question your faith. That you begin to see your religion, and the rest of the world, through the eyes of an openly honest skeptic.

             If you want to check out The Clergy Project to join or help out a clergyman in the closet, simply head to The Clergy Project website. to find out more.

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