Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jake Collyer

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I wish to thank Anne Johnson for sharing what it means to her to be a Druid. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thanks so much for sharing with us Anne!

This week we have a new post, so please welcome Jake Collyer.
Jake is an Atheist and I know you will enjoy his interview as well.

Here Is Jake Collyer's Introduction:

Jake Collyer considers himself an "atheist activist". He blogs about events in the atheist community and is campaigning to have an atheist billboard erected in his hometown of Atlanta, GA. He never really had a religion to leave as his parents never went about the process of indoctrination.

1) What religion do you practice?
I don't practice a religion. I'm an atheist.

2) Did you convert or were you born into this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
I wasn't born into any religion really. My family never went to church and didn't try to ram beliefs down my throat. Left to my own decisions I eventually realized there is no skyman. I only have myself.

3) Would you consider yourself a moderate, conservative or other.
I like to call myself a liberal.

4) In your opinion, what makes you moderate/conservative/other?
I believe in social equality for everybody. We should all be free to do and live as we please.

5) In your opinion, what makes someone conservative?
When I think of Conservative, I think religious right. I imagine people opposed to social change and those who seek the Bible's passages to be applied to all of our lives. Of course, not all Conservatives are like this, but it is the image that comes up in my mind.

6) What's your heaven/paradise like?
Heaven is now. In my opinion, this is the only shot we really have so everybody should make the best of it. It is impossible to know when your last day will be, so not a single moment should be squandered.

7) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?

8) What makes your beliefs a good fit for you?
They fit how I see the world. I believe in evidence, logic, and truth above all.

9) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
Certainly. I'd rather have a discussion with people than avoid them. Although I have had a few people "defriend" me when they discovered I was an atheist.

10) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
If I was invited, sure. I'm always looking to learn more about people of different faiths and cultures.

11) What are your thoughts on Shariah Law?
Shariah Law is really up to the nations that choose to implement it. It is not my responsibility to tell people how to live. I'd hate to see it imposed upon people who are against it though. An example would be Europe. If you are a Muslim and you move to Europe you are under their laws now, but that doesn't mean you can't follow a different set of moral codes. Why should everybody have to follow Shariah Law? Why can't you just do what you think is right for you?

12) What are your thoughts on women not being allowed to become priests?
It is just another example of the sexism found in the Bible.

13) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?

14) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
Since my atheism doesn't put restrictions on my moral beliefs I feel more open about them. I support a woman's right to abortion as well as gay marriage.

15) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
It is not up to me to control my child's beliefs. If they are happy with the faith they have chosen and are in love, why not?

16) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
There is no Hell.

17) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
No. I've experience bigotry and hatred towards me, but never a full blown crime against me because of my atheism.

18) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?

21) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
It gives me realism. I accept that one day I will die and rot in the ground and that will be it. I might as well have fun while it lasts!

22) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
No. I also don't believe in a "soul" either. I think that once we die that's it. The electrical signals cease and the life is gone.

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