I always make the greatest attempt to tel the truth. Not my truth, but the truth in anything I wriote or speak about. Of course, I write about topics from my perspective, and I’ve never been shy about being a conservative. Then I have to look, as anyone should, what constitutes a conservative? Is it the neo-cons in Washington or the evangelicals between the coasts that define conservatism? Well, if you listen to any news broadcast, no matter your ideological bent, you’d think that these represent all.
Of course they don’t as the far left, those that are Antifa do not represent the majority of those that are liberal. No one person or even a single group should say they represent the thought of an entire population. That’s where I am as an atheist as well. No one, no matter how high profile as an atheist, speaks for me. If you’re an atheist, I hope you agree. I agree with some atheists, and disagree with others on various subjects that have to do with atheism. I don’t consider anyone, ideologically different fromme as someone that’s evil, as some atheists do. That there are those atheists that believe we should all think and believe the same are no different than the theists we often oppose.
I am pro-choice, and having that opinion doesn’t mean I am pro-abortion. All that means is that the person most affected by a pregnancy – that’s the woman – should be able to decide whether or not she wants to carry that pregnancy to term. It’s not my decision because it’s a life choice, either way, that I am not going to have to live with and the government, most especially, should have no say in that most personal of decisions. Many tell me that just that stance invalidates me as a conservative. I disagree. The most conservative position anyone can take is to allow an individual to decide their own future. Religion, and government should have no say.
So some atheists tell me it’s unusual for a conservative to have that view. My response is simply this: “You don’t know any conservatives.” Who they know are people that are motivated by some religious belief, maybe not even directly. How’s that? Their parents, their grandparents, believed something and so, it’s not unusual for that next generation to take up that standard as well, without thinking about what those beliefs actually mean. The same with same sex marriage.
Why would I care if two men or two women, wanted to be married to each other? The larger question is why should the state care? It’s simply a legal transaction between two people, the same as it is with heterosexuals. How does this even begin to destroy our social fabric more than the 50% (or higher!) rate of divorce between men and women? Seriously? Same sex marriage is a greater threat to society? Again, I come under attack from some fellow conservatives (see above), that seem to believe what’s written in a bronze/iron-age book than what they are able to see for themselves. What do I have to fear from same sex marriage? Will humans suddenly disappear from this planet due to same sex marriage being legal? When SCOTUS affirmed this in 2015, did the world come to an end? I must have missed the Second Coming, as did every Christian on the planet.
Is there a point here or is this just some jabbering in the evening? Well, I think there is a point, maybe more. The first is that a label doesn’t necessarily define who a person may be; be that person a liberal, or a conservative. Next, an more importantly, is that atheism has no ideology. It is simply a non-belief in any god. Political and social ideological beliefs have nothing to do with being atheist. Lastly, we should never attempt to judge someone simply based on a label – whether that label is liberal, conservative, even atheist – believing we know what that person thinks. That’s called mind reading. In all my years, I’ve yet to meet anyone that has that ability, although I’v met many that think they are able to judge others based on a label.
I really think that if we spent more time listening to one another, rather than making accusations based on an adjective, we may find that there are more areas of agreement than disagreement, As atheists, we should never assume anything beyond that fact.
One thought on “Never Assume What You Don’t Know”
Thank you! It’s great to see on a blog, someone who identifies as a conservative who isn’t aligning themselves with the populist garbage that so many “conservatives” do align themselves to (be it rightwing tabloids, parts of the evangelic Christian denominations, etc.)