JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

G*D

“An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.”

— Justin Brown

Man, do I love the above quote. I consider myself a tad bit more Agnostic than Atheist, but really that’s based on hope of an afterlife, not reality. Truth is, I don’t believe in God. I just don’t. And no matter how many times people say, “But, you should read this …” or “Well, how do you explain that …”—I’m not buying. I’m just not.

How do I explain humanity? A huge explosion, followed by years of darkness, followed by dinos and evolution.

How do I explain the power of prayer and miracles? I consider both to be nonsense.

How do I explain goodness? Honestly, I wish it were more plentiful.

I love my life. My wife, my kids, my friends and family members. I’m crazy about my job. In short, I’m a very happy and content 38-year-old guy. But I don’t need to comfort of God or Jesus or anyone to make my life fuller. Now, would a belief in the afterlife bring me a peace of mind I don’t possess? Certainly. I do not like the inevitabiity of eternal nothingness. I truly don’t. But I am also a firm believer in living for the now; of embracing the present; of taking stock every single day. I don’t need to be spoon fed the idea of one day meeting with God on a cloud, because I don’t believe it. I mean, I really … don’t … believe … it. I consider the whole thing ludicrous nonsense; this idea that God hears all of our thoughts; know what’s in our hearts; that if you’ve accepted Jesus in your mind and soul you’re destined to eternal salvation, but if you haven’t …

C’mon. I mean, c’mon.

Recently my daughter, age 7, told me she doesn’t believe in God. I’d never had the conversation with her before; this was something she decided while attending school and, to a lesser degree, Hebrew school on Saturday mornings. Most parents would be bummed to hear this from a tot, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t thrilled either—I was, simply, proud.

Proud that she’s already thinking for herself, and that she has her own mind and her own sensibilities.

Proud that she doesn’t just buy into the first myth.

Proud that she’s wise.