In President Obama's inauguration speech on Tuesday, he said, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers."
Now, I don't know if he wrote that line, or if it was one of his speechwriters, but I would like to thank whoever wrote it for including "non-believers".
Because I am a non-believer.
I was raised a Presbyterian, and I was quite active in the church when I was a teenager. I was married in the church. But some time after high school, in my late teens, I just .... stopped attending every Sunday. I don't remember why; I certainly wasn't a "non-believer" at that point. And eventually, in my thirties, I started thinking a bit more about religion. And wondering what, exactly, I did believe.
I'm sometimes a little fuzzy on what I do believe, but I now know what I don't believe: I don't believe in God. I can't. I've tried. I wish I believed in God; I imagine it could be enormous comfort to me at times. But I don't believe in God, any more than I believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. I believe that God was made up, and the Bible was written, to keep people in line. No more and no less. To ensure that people would stay on the straight and narrow, because "God'll get ya for that" if you don't.
So thank you, President Obama, for including "non-believers" in your speech. Although actually, if you had decided to include everybody, it would have been a much longer speech. ".... Jews and Hindus, Rastafarians and Janeists, Wiccans and Methodists and Sun God Worshippers and ..... "
Thanks for keeping it short. And thanks for including me.