I realize that religion has done some great harm. At the present we are still things happening that I obviously have issues with. The problem with the Catholic priests is appalling. There is no reason why gay marriage should not be legal. There are serious breaches in our children's education and women's rights that I obvious don't agree with. However I don't think ridicule is the day to deal with it. I don't think I will ever be convinced otherwise. I believe to make a blanketed statement about religion is bigoted and hateful. It makes us no better than our opponents. A religious person's mind isn't going to be changed because you called them stupid. All ridicule does is satisfy egos. It fuels a circle jerk that will never end.
I've suffered from depression and have pretty much felt like I've conquered it. However, it isn't uncommon for it to come back and lately I've been feeling familiar symptoms that I'm afraid will lead to a relapse. I know I can handle it, but I will need a positive community. Sadly I don't think I can find it in any of the local atheist groups. It isn't good for me to hear my friends and family being ridiculed for what they believe. So for the time being I think I'm going to back away. I'm still a proud atheist and I still love the friends that I've met in Minnesota Atheists, even though we hold such differing views. Though I feel pretty much alone in my views, I hope my friends don't turn their backs away from me because of some disagreements. One of my best friends in the world is a Libertarian that loves guns and Palin. We are polar opposites but I love her to death. I can only hope to have the same relationship with my MNA friends.
I'm not going completely away. I'll still attend a select number of events. I plan on immersing myself in some more positive projects. Currently Camp Quest is my heart and "soul". I think this is a valuable program and it has given my live meaning in a way Minnesota Atheists never has. In a year or so I plan on becoming a Humanist Celebrant. I would love to be able to be a part of someone's important life events, whether it be a wedding or a funeral. Who knows where I will be in the future. I'm not breaking up with organized atheism. We are just taking a little break.