Diego Kal-El Martinez at Medium writes the story of leaving Catholicism and becoming an atheist. My favorite quote may be this one, that encapsulates what I think is a very common experience of people who were raised religious and are now nones.
The thing about my story though is I don’t think I can pinpoint an exact moment I became an Atheist. It was all just one long progression from Catholic to Atheist. Sure I can say that now with great conviction but there was never that, “Ah-Ha” moment when I said to myself, “I am an Atheist”. Oh and that missing piece in my life, well I never found it.
I loved how he phrased that progression from religious to none. Moreover, I think it is a very common experience, especially among Latinos. Most people probably start doubting a tenet of the religion, a teaching, or just the authority of the religious leaders. Which is why I think a focus on science education as the sole route to atheism is misguided because it scares people into thinking that a particular knowledge set is a litmus test to become an atheist. Go and read the whole thing.
The internet has allowed people to create their own communities and the secular boom is probably related to people being able to find that they are not alone in their doubts about religious authorities, the existence of god, or their disdain for dogma. Latinos are not an exception to this and the internet has allowed us to find each other in different parts of the country and the world.
This is the case of the Secular Latino Alliance started by Sal Villareal. It is a website and Facebook group that allows Latinos who have left religion (or were never religious) to find each other, share experiences, and realize we are not alone.
If you know any atheist or otherwise nonreligious Latinos, or if you are one and you’re looking for a friendly place to chat exchange ideas, head over there.
Edit: Here’s a video of the group’s founders/admins in Aron Ra’s show the Ra-Men.
These are the characteristics that a President Obama-nominated candidate to fill the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat that the Republican Senate will find inspiring and hard-to-pass on:
- Ivy League-educated (preferably if he overcame the barriers of potentially losing his space to an affirmative action candidate because he was a legacy admission)
- A long legal career in the law firm of his CEO father’s best buddy from the country club
- During that legal career, standing up against tyranny such as the estate tax, environmental regulations, or any program that improves the lives of poor people.
Churches in Mexico are under investigation for not paying taxes. Apparently, churches have to file tax forms and pay taxes for income “not related to religious activities.” While tithes and alms are exempted from taxes, this is not the case for other sources of income. Yet, even though the law requiring these taxes has been around for a couple of years, over 4,000 churches have not complied and may be audited. (Source: Sin Embargo [in Spanish])
Meanwhile, in my native land, the organization Humanistas Seculares de Puerto Rico is accusing the police department (PRPD) of proselytizing on the job. They have filed an official complaint with Puerto Rico’s civil rights commission. This particular claim is regarding the PRPD’s official proclamation of a “Lord’s favorable year” (whatever that means). This is not the first time the PRPD has been caught violating church-state separation. A couple of years ago they were caught organizing “faith blockages” where they stopped drivers in apparent routine traffic checks only to proselytize. (Source: Univision Puerto Rico [in Spanish]).