Atheist has become synonymous with malcontents and non-believers. The linguistic roller-coaster has taken this word for a ride, morphing its meaning into something it was never intended to be. Being an atheist doesn’t mean I don’t have faith, it just means I don’t believe in a God.
After too many years in religious institutions, it was a relief to discover that my ambivalence about Christianity was shared by many. In school, those who rebelled against christian principles were seen as disruptive and disrespectful. We were pigeonholed into this role of “anti-faith,” which led us to believe that we couldn’t believe in anything. But what I discovered was quite extraordinary.
Not having a God to turn to makes you realise what, and who you can rely on. You learn to have faith in yourself – that your happiness isn’t contingent on church attendance, or other people’s beliefs. You have faith in certain ideas, principles and people, your friends, and your family. You have faith in the concept that all this hard work will eventually pay off, and that someday you’ll reach your destination.
I’m very tired of hearing that atheism is attacking faith. We have no problem with other people’s religious practises or beliefs, so why are atheists constantly under fire? The stereotypes that we are somehow these anarchists with no moral compass are completely false. We just see the world differently, and have faith in other things. It’s time to stop messing with the meaning. So please, before you strike next, look up atheism in the dictionary.