Monday, August 08, 2016
Important message for those newly liberated from the shackles of religion.
Courtesy of Syracuse.com:
The billboard going up Monday on North West Street at first glance looks like a church advertising for new members.
The background is a heavenly blue sky with wispy clouds and the words "Don't believe in God?" A pair of hands on one side holds a sign "You're not alone!" It directs people to the website cnyhumanists.org.
The billboard is an outreach to the community, said Corrina Allen, president of the CNY Humanist Association.
"We want to let people in the area to know that if they're not religious, and they don't believe in God, they are not alone and there is a community available to them," she said.
It is really hard to explain how important it is to know that you are not alone when you first start questioning the existence of God.
The thing that churches, and temples, and synagogues do so well is to create a sense of community and to provide a comfortable environment for those who believe as they do.
But when you start to question the religious beliefs prominent in your community, you quickly feel the chill of being ostracized and seen as different, and even as a threat.
I remember the first time I felt that as a very young boy, around eight or nine years of age.
I started talking on the playground about there being no god, or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus. And while the Santa Claus part really upset my peers, it was the part about god that convinced the teaching staff to have me stay inside and do other activities instead of being outside with the other students.
I learned fairly quickly to keep my questions and musings to myself and after awhile I was allowed to play on the monkey bars and swing on the swings just like my religiously indoctrinated peer group.
But the feeling of isolation is real, and feeling left out and different definitely shapes how you see the world, and how you see your place in it.
Worst case scenario it helps to turn you into a blogger who doggedly chases down stories that nobody else will dare to touch.