When the president of this country got elected (twice) by appealing to the Christian right; when one of his strongest qualifications was “he’s a man of faith”; when government agencies were stacked with fundamentalists; and when that man was, by all accounts, intellectually incurious (to put it mildly), not to mention incompetent – after eight years of this, I have to admit that professions of faith made me angry, and I began to take pride in declaring myself an almost-atheist.
My militancy about this is beginning to fade, and that’s a good thing. When I read that nearly half of Americans wouldn’t elect an atheist president, or that religious faith is somehow a prerequisite for “moral values,” I am now more mystified than angry.
So I think I’m going back to what I used to call myself; what my father, a scientist, always professed he was: agnostic.
Atheists, to my mind, are professing a belief just as strongly as those men of faith. They believe that there is nothing beyond their own capacity to understand.
I can’t believe that, unquestioningly, any more than I can believe in God, unquestioningly.