Let’s keep the list going!
- Having the grocery store to yourself on Sunday mornings
Sleeping in on Sunday mornings
- I get to keep that 10 percent of my income that would normally go to the church – or give it away. It’s my choice.
- I’m not obligated to do weird rituals or celebrate meaningless holidays.
- Sex before marriage. I never understood why you would marry someone that you haven’t had sex with – too many unknowns.
- Sex just for fun and not procreation.
- No church-enforced rules that I don’t agree with. It seems I have Christian friends that are okay with marriage equality but still go to churches that preach against it. I don’t get it.
What would you add to the list?
Clearer decisions. If you decide something is right or wrong, it’s because you recognize it as such. You don’t have a religion contradicting what your moral compass tells you.
And you don’t have to go into mental gymnastics to rationalize things you want to do that are perfectly legal and moral but religions ban. My sperm and egg donors were fanatical catholics, eventually justifying themselves with “no meat only applies to easter, not year round”.
Some Old Programmer says
No guilt. Whatever religiously derived elements embedded in culture, having done the work of rejecting religion wholesale, I’m free to say “that’s horseshit!”, and ignore it.
No paranoia. I don’t have the constant feeling of being watched (any more – was brought up CofE, and went to church schools). I think if you’ve never had it, you can’t grok the pleasure of not having it any more.
As a UK resident, I don’t get treated with the suspicion or pity Brits – mainly the English – reserve for the religious. There was a very good reason why, while he was PM, Tony Blair didn’t “do God”. Alastair Campbell correctly diagnosed his Catholic faith as electoral poison,so it was concealed.
I can eat what I like – bacon, ham, shellfish, chicken regardless of how it was killed, beef even on Friday, whatever.
My genitals and those of my children have not been and shall not be mutilated.
No need to waste mental energy on reconciling the shitty aspects of the world with the idea of a transcendent, all-knowing, all-good, all-powerful Entity.
Regarding tithing: if you do give that 10% (or some other amount) to charity, *you* get to decide what charity or charities it goes to.
To digress a little, before I retired, the company I worked for put some pressure on its salaried employees to donate to the company’s lobbying fund. I did some digging to find out which politicians that fund supported. Some of the very worst right-wing names were on the list. I never gave them a cent.
I wonder how many tithers take the trouble to learn exactly where their money goes?
It’s very liberating not to have your head crammed with bullshit and guilt and responsibility you didn’t ask for.
Being able to objectively study, critique, admire, religious-themed or -motivated art as art, rather than as a “lesson” or coded
messagethreat aimed at me (or my family, culture, etc.). For instance, cathedrals can be very interesting places, but the awe-factor is the skill of the stonemasons and other craftspeople, not some magic sky faeries. Plus, being able to giggle at the (usually-)hopelessly naft — and almost always unrealistic or unimaginative — depictions of, well, a man-shaped sky faerie being tortured to death by being nailed to a tree…
my kid won’t get raped by a priest or a youth pastor
Best part for me is: when something bad happens to me, I don’t have to think I’m being punished for some obscure thought crime. I’m not being punished at all – sometimes, bad things happen, that’s all. I also don’t need to think that people who have a lot of money, or who have a ton of good things happen to the, are being rewarded by some sort of mythical creature, or that they are particularly good people or favored in some other way. Usually it just means they were born into wealth.
Not having to think “I must be a bad person; what did I do wrong; how can I gain the favor of a mythical creature” is very freeing.
@sonofrojblake: I was really squicked out when my first child was a boy and we left his genitals unmutilated. The amount of concern-trolling I got from family and friends was astounding, as were the nonstop unsolicited (and untrue) medical claims and warnings. You’d think based on their dire warnings that non-American men (where genital mutiliation is not the norm) would be dropping dead in the streets. It wasn’t even common int he USA until an American crackpot declared removing flesh from sexual organs would stop masturbation.
Our talk with our son was that if he wished to have optional surgery on his genitals when he was 18, we would pay for it, but he (unsurprisingly) never chose that option.