Someone posted something in another forum that really pushed my button this morning. Just for the record, here's my response:
Kneejerk reaction warning (usually I calm down before I respond, but):
What layers of Poppycock Michael Novak piles upon his own preconceptions. That last quote of Einstein is so off the mark, that I wonder if he's taking something out of context (if not, it reaffirms my conviction that Einstein was not, indeed, a god-like ultimate authority on these matters, but, rather, just another confused bloke like you or me).
I am an atheist. I am not a slave feeling the weight of the chains I've thrown off, but, rather, the freedom of seeing the world as it really is, with all its beauty and ugliness, with all its treasures and its eyesores, with all its kindnesses and its treacheries. In short, all its soothing, inspiring, cacaphonious, jarring, grating, harmonious "music of the spheres."
All of it is reality and I can choose to do something about parts of it where I (think I) can help out and I can choose to leave other things alone and not screw things up any more than we've already done.
I try to choose with my eyes wide-open, based upon what I see and what I've learned and what exists, right now, in this one moment of choice. I don't always have outcomes that I thought I wanted or that are "correct," but I try to learn from those mistakes. Most importantly, I try not to make decisions based upon theological or nationalistic or money-driven programming that we've all had to endure for so many eons.
Again, I am an atheist. I marvel at a sunset, just like you. I feel so lucky to be alive when a small child trustingly wraps her tiny hand around my finger as we walk together. The sound of the wind high up in trees at night is the most beautiful music I can imagine. Talking long into the night with a good friend by a campfire is one of the greatest treasures that can happen.
You don't need god to "own" these things. You just need to open your own ears and eyes and skin and noses and tongues and take it in and breathe it out again and, knowing that soon, for you, it will all be over, makes it so much more precious than some promised land of milk and honey.
Speaking of "imagining beautiful music," now let's all hold hands and sing together
Anyhow, that's the end of this outburst. It's not very well thought-out (or edited), but, well, it's what I feel right now. I prefer tar and feather to crucifixion, so have at it, folks!
"In the end, only kindness matters."