First in a series of posts to catch up a bit on el-journal-o. Now that our brief flirtation with facebook and twitter are over – all the cool kids can come back here and write more than a couple of sentences at a time about our lives.
After a recent workout at a gym that I visit while on the road, I was stopped after class by one of the guys who has made an effort to remember my name. He caught me between the mats and the locker rooms and asked, somewhat conspiratorially, “so, are you a humanist or something?” I explained that I had helped start the RI Atheist Society – been on an atheist radio show – and considered myself a Buddhist. He said something along the lines of: “Well, I’ve been atheist for a while, and there’s just nobody around here that I can talk to without feeling like I’m a bad person for not believing in Jesus.” He continued with a really high complement – said that I was perhaps the first outspoken atheist he had met who wasn’t “a complete jackass.” He shares my opinion of Dawkins and Hitchens – that they are just too shrill and abrasive to actually help anyone live a good and productive life.
We talked for a bit about resources for the godless – the Unitarian Universalists in particular – as well as the fact that if you find strength and comfort in a particular tradition it is 100% okay to hang on to your doubts about what he termed the “hokey superstitions,” present in most organized religions. I’m a big fan of bringing analytic thought *into* religion rather than completely tossing thousands of years of moral thought.
When my martial arts training comes full circle to discussions of spirituality – that means I’m doing something right.