ARE YOU A NONBELIEVER?
Apparently, according to the political world, if you are not Christian, Jewish, Hebrew, or Muslim, you fall into this nifty little category called “Nonbeliever.” Did you know this? On one hand, I suppose us nonbelievers should be thrilled at the thought of at least being somewhat recognized. On the other hand, the statement is blatantly erroneous on so many exciting levels!
BLATANT ERROR #1: HELLO, EVERYONE IS A NONBELIEVER
The fact is, organized religions tend to be mutually exclusive. So, if you are a Muslim, Christianity will label you a nonbeliever. This is true. Muslims do not subscribe to beliefs of Christianity. Another example? Even within these overarching definitions there is exclusion. Looking a Christianity, a Catholic cannot walk into a Mormon church (oh, sorry, I meant “temple”) and say they are Mormon. Using a binary approach, to the Mormons, a Catholic is a nonbeliever.
BLATANT ERROR #2: HELLO, EVERYONE IS A BELIEVER
Everyone believes in something. Even if they believe in nothing, that is something. I have one friend that I know is a true atheist. I myself am in the wondrous agnostic camp. I believe strongly in a higher power (because if we are the best this universe has, then well, that’s probably the most noir joke in all space-time). There are people who are very spiritual, but do not subscribe to an organized religion. For atheists and agnostics to be grouped in the phrase “nonbeliever” implies that to “believe” requires membership in an appropriate religion. Not so!
SOAP BOX CONCLUSION
For atheists, the term “nonbeliever” may be an acceptable fit, because even thought they believe in nothing, they truly don’t subscribe to any religion or to spirituality. Maybe that’s OK – Idunno.
For agnostics, “nonbeliever” is misnomer. If I had to address the nation, maybe I would use “We are a nation of many religious and spiritual beliefs.” If asked to recognize various camps, it could be “Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, and atheists.”
I am not going to lose any sleep over it. I’m just saying. . .
.-=o=-. .-=o=-. .-=o=-. T h e E n d .-=o=-. .-=o=-. .-=o=-.
Reference: The Inaugural Address