Today I was delighted to flip through the channels and find that my favorite Catholic broadcaster (EWTN, I think) was having a round-table discussion on why so many young people today are drawn to Atheism. The discussion naturally included a self-proclaimed former atheist and homosexual, now cured and turned Catholic, as well as several members of the clergy with an adamant conviction that Atheism is in itself a growing religion rivaling Catholicism.
Amidst the discussion, one of the priests made a comment that since people are born with a inherent need to worship something, that Atheists themselves attempt to fulfill this desire in different ways; namely, through drugs, alcohol, or homosexuality, to name the first things that came to the minds of these clergy. The former homosexual atheist described how he indeed worshiped his homosexuality.
While this generalization doesn’t surprise me due to its origin, it nevertheless offends me as an unbeliever and atheist. I partake in my fair share of alcohol and steer clear of the harmful drugs, and I see no need to scrutinize the sexual relations of consenting adults, so none of these so-called sins offends me. What makes me cringe is the feigned piety of these holy men proclaiming that anyone not sharing their belief is somehow a slave to any mortal desire not approved by the man in the white hat.
It seems that many religions are unable to cope with the possibility that what they hold dear might not be absolute truth, and thus draw the conclusion that their own assumptions hold true for the rest of humanity. That they have some base need to grovel at the feet of an imagined deity does not infer the same necessity within me, or within anyone else. It was the same in my youth in the fundamentalist church. We were often told of this same basic human instinct, if such a word could be compatible with a designer. They said that we’ll all end up worshiping something to fill that god-shaped hole.
I wholeheartedly deny such accusations. I worship nothing. I see no need to prostrate myself before anyone or anything. Likewise, I see no need for you, or for those misguided clergy, to lay all they have at the feet of an imaginary immaterial specter. Sure, I have my interests and obsessions, but after leaving Christianity, I found the god-shaped hole myth to be a lie.
One of the clergy on the show made a comment that we all needed something to fill that empty Wednesday afternoon with. I guess he’s invoking the old idea of idle-hands being the devil’s playground, but such an assumption is laughable. The idea that worship is in the same boat with how I spend my time is absurd. If their idea of the need for worship were expanded to something one feels compelled to do, or something one likes to do, then the idea certainly makes more sense but at the same time, also loses its religious sting.
Excuse me while I prepare a burnt offering to my xbox. It gets angry when I don’t slit the throat or drain the blood just right.