Pamela Johnson

My parents were card-carrying atheists who gave their kids tools and words for surviving in school right from kindergarten. It was our choice, but we had no problem stating our lack of belief, excusing ourselves from prayers, etc. As a teenager I started learning about world religions in order to be informed.

People have tried to convert me throughout my life, but you can’t force belief where none exists. I’ve always thought that if there were a god, he should be motivated to send a thunderbolt of spiritual awakening and communication into the non-believer’s soul. Since he has never done that for me, I have to conclude he either does not exist or does not care – both reasons for me to retain atheism.

I would like theists to understand that powerful feelings of love, ethical standards, and abstract spiritual inspiration through the wonders of our planet and the universe are not the sole domain of those who believe in god. It is simply human to be moved by wonder.

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