It's been a while since I last frequented these hallowed halls dedicated to the muses of logic and reason, but due to recent events here in my home state, I have found myself longing to once again surround myself with my like-minded brethren. Seeing so many familiar faces still active here fills me with a feeling not unlike that of returning to the familiar comforts of home after a long and tiring journey.
I wish this motivation to dust-off my long-disused critical-thinking and argumentative skills in defense of my atheistic stance was of a more whimsical nature, but sadly it took the tragic and heart-breaking events in Newton, CT (12 miles from my home) to shake off my stupor after spending the past, two years spent in a perpetual apathetic state.
As you can imagine, all of the local radio programs in the days following the shootings were dedicated 24/7 discussing the event in an attempt to try and make sense of a senseless act. I was driving in my car listening to one particular host interviewing a local pastor when he asked a question that made my ears perk up: what do you say to the grieving families of the children (and adults) lost who might start to question their belief/faith in a loving and just god?
The pastor's pat reply filled me with such rage and disgust that I had to turn off the station. His answer? That "God has a divine plan for everyone, and it is not our place to question it.".
For not only the remainder of that day, but for days afterwards, all I could think about was what about all of the plans those innocent, little children and their teachers had or had yet to make? Did they not matter to this "loving and just" god, and why... in the execution of his "divine plan"... did it require they spend their last moments on earth in unfathomable pain and horror at the hands of a madman? All I knew was that if I were the parent/loved one of one of the victims, and had that pastor attempted to "comfort" me with those words, he would have soon found himself contemplating his god from a hospital bed.
Of course, I know the real answer is that there is no god to blame, but it is exactly this sort of warped, apologistic rational that has reawakened in me the urge to become more active and vocal in providing to those willing to listen an alternate answer to this and similar mindsets formed from adhering to outdated and outmoded, mythological belief systems.
Anyhow, thanks for putting up with this manifesto of mine. I'll be spending the bulk of my time watching from the side-lines and occasionally adding my two cents' worth should I feel I have something pertinent to add to the topic at hand.