Earlier, I posted thoughts from AfL2020 and from me on Jean Meslier. But I forgot to include a pretty big thought/personal response, and that’s what comes of doing things in a hurry, kids. ANYHOO….
Concerning Meslier’s in-depth Christian career and his resulting critique, quoth Rollins:
“The best atheistic critiques arise out of the very ground they reject. …(O)nly the truly religious figure can transcend religion.”–Peter Rollins
“…(R)eligious sentiment is almost impossible to get rid of — persisting in secular ways through the pursuit of wholeness in money, fame, fitness, etc.”
In other words, if you want to be a good atheist, you’re gonna have to quit looking for love in any of the places.
What is the belief you’re trying to get beyond? To get beyond it, you have to go deeper into it. You have to dig so deep that you freeze. You have to claw through the ice. You have to rip yourself to shreds until you arrive at the molten core of your belief — and when you get there, it’s going to burn you to ash.
Sorry, hon. That’s just how it is on this wild ride. To get out, you have to go through.
Most “religious” people? They’ll scratch around on the surface. They might even move from one surface to another: that’s called “conversion.”
You can convert from a fabulously fundamentalist Christianity to an atheism that blisters every deity-based faith in your path, but if you’re not going deep into what you’re leaving behind…
…if you’re abandoning the search for wholeness in God…
…and instead seeking fulfillment in other things…
…such as money, sex, fame, fitness, health, relationships, literature, hobbies, various -isms, or science…all of which fill that gap between who you are and who you wish you were…
…then, sweetness, you are still just as religious as the person filling that gap with God.
You wanna be an atheist?
Stop converting from one -ism to another. Stop filling the gap. Stay in the gap, the uncomfortable excruciating torturous make-you-wanna-rip-out-your-esophagus-with-frustration gap. Stay in it until it burns you to ash.
You wanna come out on the other side?
Convert from your need for conversion.