When briefing through social media accounts of major American atheist organizations, one may sense that the sole priority of an atheist’s life is to obsess over religion. Post after post tends to focus on politicians subscribed to religion (usually Christianity), off the wall religious TV hosts and religious quotes on public property, like benches at parks.
While these subjects are worthy of discussion, they do not reflect the core interests of all atheists. I have identified as atheist for over a decade, and obsessing over religion has never been a cornerstone of my life.
In fact, ever since I became atheist at 18, I’ve seemed to focus on everything but religion. I focused on my goals of attending school, working, pursuing my hobbies and enjoying time with friends and family. I paid little attention to religion and was never on a mission to oppose religion. Perhaps this is because religion never gave me serious problems in my life and that being atheist has never been an issue for me.
As I became older I began taking interest in political subjects like national security, foreign affairs, and education. I did not take interest in these subjects solely from a non-religious standpoint (in other words, obsession with religion), but rather a more generalized standpoint of being concerned about the safety of myself, my family, my community and my nation.
My views eventually led me to finding I had more commonality with the Republican Party than other US political parties. This was interesting considering up until that point I had felt I shouldn’t take interest in the GOP strictly because of our religious differences; however, I decided my priorities of national security and rounded education were more important than religion, so I decided to register Republican and become more outspoken on the issues that mattered to me.
I have taken more interest in religion as I’ve gotten older, but not on the premise of being anti-religion, but rather on the premise of anti-extremism. So I tend to hone in on extremist religious views rather than general religious views. But, let me be clear, I also focus on extremist views in the atheist community.
So, while American atheist organizations may put forth the perception that all atheists care about is religion, take note that there are atheists out there that are not obsessed with religion and do not operate solely to oppose religion. There are atheists who actually tend to approach many issues as anyone else with moderate religious views would.
Lauren Ell is an American blogger born and raised in Southern California and is currently based in Sweden. She discusses Epilepsy, Politics and Fun. Professionally Ell is an Online Marketing Consultant and Virtual Assistant. She is also founder and president of Republican Atheists. Connect with Lauren on Facebook and Twitter.