I'm An Atheist Because I Learned To Accept Death

I'm An Atheist Because I Learned To Accept Death

Why I'm An Atheist

I was born in New York with 100-percent Iberian blood and raised overseas. I re-emigrated back into the United States at age fifteen when I learned to speak English.
I was raised Catholic by my grandparents who wanted me to pursue the priesthood. It was discussed without me and chosen for me, very much like an arranged marriage.

I accepted this because I was a child, and children trust the people around them. I also accepted other things that were taught to me, like that the Bible was written under direct instruction from god and that the New Testament is an eyewitness account by Jesus’ apostles. 

Because I trusted the adults in my life, I assumed that they had evidence for god. I started to question things when I was seven years old. It began at one of the prayer meetings that my grandmother would bring me to. 

The topic was faith—specifically, why they believed in god when no one has ever seen god. It was very clear to me, even at age seven, that for this god to be possible, one had to accept a fantasy. As I grew up, my doubts turned into non-belief, and for a long time, I thought I was the only Atheist on the planet. 

Before entering the seminary, I did a lot of research at the local library and school libraries. I read as many books as I could about ancient history, archaeology, anthropology, and the origins of myths and religions. 

I learned that the man who assembled what we know today as the New Testament was Athanasius, a fourth-century theologian from Egypt. I was very curious as to why he left out so much scripture, such as the Gospels of Judas, Thomas, and Mary Magdalen, to name a few, and why the Gospels he did include contradict one other. 

I entered the seminary right after high school. I had no desire to become a priest, but I did have a lot of questions. I wanted palpable evidence for god—not the usual religious regurgitations of sermons and biblical quotes. Those didn’t answer anything for me. 

I did not accept the celibacy thing, and I remained in a relationship with my girlfriend in secret. When I left the seminary, it broke my grandmother’s heart, but I went on with my life and earned myself a music degree, so now my work is “play.” My heavy metal band, the Predator, was formed in 2007. 

The band members were all coincidentally Atheist and humanist champions of reason, so we decided to become a loud voice calling out for change, Atheist unity, and liberation from mythology. We do this despite threats we receive via email and Facebook. 

When we recorded our first album, Predator, it got signed a week later to Arctic Records, and it enjoyed worldwide sales and praise from critics and fans. It was clear that we were having an effect when churches started to send us emails criticizing our song, “Closet Anti-Christ,” even though it’s not a Satanic anthem. 

It is actually about domestic abuse. Our Atheism is very clear in the song “In The Name Of God?” which confronts the atrocities committed by Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others throughout history. A good number of our songs are Atheist anthems that express our views and our desire to help see changes in the world. 

The title track of our second album, Born in Blood, addresses the reason for religion: “You fear death and thus invented god and heaven, there’s no emancipation, no one’s bled for your salvation.” Lately, I’ve become more politically motivated. 

One of my many issues is the fact that churches and religious organizations in the U.S. do not pay taxes. Those of us who are taxpayers are therefore supporting their nonsense. But it’s worth the fight. 

When I speak about Atheism, I usually begin with: “Christians believe in Christ because they have been lied to.” I do this because what I was taught as a child were lies, but I believed those lies out of the trust I had for adults. 

I think if everyone stops to think for a moment what theists are actually saying, they would become Atheists on the spot. I have debated Christians who really believe the Bible is the inerrant word of god, and most of the time, they don’t really know what they are talking about. 

One of them even told me that science is a form of faith because it is nothing but theories and guesswork. I have accepted that I will die one day and that death will be the end for me. I don’t like it, but none of us have a choice in the matter. 

There’s nothing to support belief in a god, but there’s plenty of evidence that proves people invented a god. 

Religious belief is, fundamentally, superstition born of fear, and it was the primitive way to interpret and answer for things before we had science for valid, satisfactory answers. 

We’ve come a long way since the days when people believed epilepsy was demonic possession or that thunder was the anger of the gods. All the beliefs that survive today will eventually die away just as Thor, Zeus, Poseidon, and Metztli have.


Damien Lee Thorr
By Damien Lee Thorr

To learn about Damien Lee Thorr and Predator, visit PredatorTheBand.com.

 Cover Photo by Khoa Võ from Pexels

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