• Christopher Tanner

Personal Journey Series: Hi, I’m the Unassuming Atheist. How are you?

I now have the pleasure of sharing my little corner of the Internet with the audience here at Atheist Analysis as well as my personal blog, so I felt that it was appropriate to briefly introduce myself.

I grew up in Richmond, Virginia with a family that was not particularly religious. Everyone in my family did, however, indentify themselves as Southern Baptists.  I started going to a church near our house at the age of 11. I went by myself and think my primary motivation for going was curiosity and wanting to be a part of a group.

I was baptized and spent the next 25 years or so going in and out of being active in various churches as my work and Navy service moved me and my family around a bit.


My journey that led me to Atheism started about 15 years ago while attending a Sunday school class that consisted of adults roughly the same age as me. In this class, the teacher (with great conviction) told the class that “the earth is 6,000 years old.” Being a lifelong history buff, I was like “whaaa?” I looked around me and these seemingly reasonable adults attending the class with me were all nodding in agreement. I was shocked. I actually felt a bit scared, like I would imagine one would feel in a room full of people that suddenly turn into vampires.

On the drive home that day, I thought about what I heard in that class. I was puzzled. I was confused. Look up both of those words in a thesaurus and all of the similar words listed for them describes what I was feeling. I didn’t stop going to church at that time, but I did start paying closer attention to what I was hearing.

I could go on and on, but my story above is where I began to question organized religion as a whole and ultimately decided that Atheism was more in alignment with what my heart (and head) was telling me.

Even though I identify myself as an Atheist, I don’t “hate” religion. Religious organizations, for example The Catholic Charities here in Central Pennsylvania, does fantastic work. Of course I do not agree with or follow Catholicism, but there is no denying that they do some noble work in the community with those less fortunate. There are numerous examples of groups like them doing fantastic charitable work with a sincere mission of helping their fellow man.

I say this because I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water when it comes to my views on religion. No doubt, there are religious organizations that are full of corruption and unsavory characters that take advantage of generally well meaning folks. But to borrow from one of their own phrases from doctrine, I don’t want to throw stones. I just simply disagree with the general tenets of their faith. It is just simply not for me.

With my contributions here, I endeavor to share my views on the happenings and state of modern Atheism. I consider all opinions and approaches and have formulated my own way of looking at it all. I am not “militant” about my views in any way. I don’t go out of my way to argue with or belittle those of faith. I do, however, poke fun at some of the absurdity that I discover. It is just that though. Humor is the lens in which I view most things. It is kind of my “thing.” I am also not a scientist. I am as geeky as they come, but I don’t use science and evidence-based theories to point fingers and tell people of faith how stupid they are. But I do poke fun. And I appreciate fun being poked my way as well as long as it is clever and good natured…although that is rare coming from Christians because they think I am damned to hell, which for them, is nothing to joke about.

I believe that personal spiritual beliefs are just that…personal. I have developed my own way of viewing Atheism. It may be different than yours. It may be exactly the same. Your own viewpoint is personal and unique to you. The common denominator is that we have each chosen our own personal journey based on life experiences, influences, and individual reasoning.

So, all that being said, I am happy and honored for you to be reading my posts. I hope that you find them thought-provoking, occasionally humorous, and a meaningful contribution to our community. If I had to pick one personal belief that encapsulates the foundation of my beliefs, it would be kindness. I believe that kindness is the best gift we can give each other. One does not have to be a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever to be kind. While we all share life for a brief time on this spinning blue and white ball hurdling through the universe, the least we can do is be kind to each other. But…that is just my opinion. I guess that is why I am here in Internetland contributing to the discussion. Thank you for being a part of my personal journey, and I am humbled that you have allowed me to be a part of yours.

Till next time, The Unassuming Atheist

See more from The Unassuming Atheist on his own blog HERE

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