• The Word “Atheist” Really Irks Me

    Every time someone tells me he or she is an atheist, I feel a slight blow to my heart, as though I had just been insulted deeply. The word itself even sounds harsh to me. I do NOT mean to offend anyone, here. I’m just sharing my thoughts.

    The very word “atheist” sounds very active and hateful to me. It’s like if someone despised the very idea of me and created a word to label them as a unique type of person whose belief system had no room to even acknowledge I exist. That’s hate. Or at least, that feels like hate.

    When a person casually admits that they’re an atheist, I feel like somewhere in their heart, they are shaking their fist angrily at God. Maybe He didn’t answer when they cried out to him as a child. Maybe a parent or sibling died tragically. Maybe they were abused and no help ever came. Maybe they have always felt empty and expect that if God were real, He wouldn’t have left them alone.

    I don’t know. I’m only theorizing here. But it seems like an active word. Not passive. Believer, even, doesn’t sound so violently active to me as Atheist. Perhaps it is merely the construct of my socio-economic-religious upbringing. But I know that even when I vocally denied God was real, it was because I was angry and upset with Him. He had not come through for me.

    Your thoughts and experiences are welcome. I’d love to know if I am the only person who feels this way.