No Gods, No Children

Since my deconversion almost four years ago, I've only dated women who were at most only nominally religious, and it seems increasingly unlikely that I'll end up with even a moderate believer. Ideally, I would prefer to marry another atheist. It's very difficult for me to fully respect anyone who professes belief in the supernatural and almost impossible to respect anyone who claims to have no doubts. It's not really a problem if she has an unbiblical view of God as love or a hopeful belief in some vague almost universalism in which only murderers and rapists are sent to hell and everyone else is admitted to heaven. But if she believes that the world was created in six days, that her god magically takes the form of bread and wine during a sacred ritual, or that anyone outside of her religious group will be roasted for all eternity merely for thinking differently, then it's an absolute deal-breaker. If I'm to share my life with someone, it would be best that we at least share a similar relationship with reality. Unfortunately, I'm usually not really compatible with most female atheists. I can form friendships with them perfectly well, but the harmony of personalities necessary for romantic relationships seems to be lacking. Perhaps this is because atheism isn't fully socially acceptable in American culture, so atheists, and female atheists in particular, are often intellectually and emotionally stronger than average, but I tend to be attracted to weaker, more passive and more traditionally feminine women. The only explicitly nonreligious women I've dated were from socialist countries where irreligion is promoted as the societal standard. The difficulty I experience in finding someone with the same worldview is the way that religion most directly affects my life.

A much larger issue for me is that I don't ever want to have children. I've always felt this way, for as long as I can remember, though during the height of my religious devotion, I believed my future wife and I would be morally obliged to have as many children as were conceived without contraception, so I tried to convince myself that it was God's will. I thought it was the only way I could have sex without risking eternal damnation! I'm very happy I didn't find a woman during that time willing to marry me! Today I can say without any guilt that I don't want children. In fact, I feel it's more responsible because I won't be contributing to the problem of overpopulation. While I understand the biological basis of the desire to reproduce, I find myself unable to relate to people who sincerely want children because I never have at all. Finding a suitable match is difficult enough without having desires contrary to the evolutionary urges and socialization of the vast majority of one's potential mates, but I doubt I could make myself want children and I refuse to have them unless I'm absolutely certain I want them.

There's a significant overlap between the membership of the godfree and the childfree, but so far this statistic hasn't done anything to help me find the right woman and I don't expect that it will. I would really love to find someone special with whom to share my life, but I've accepted that, because of my unpopular beliefs and desires and because of me personally, I may spend the rest of my life alone. I haven't given up; I've just become more realistic about my chances.



Divine Comedy

Yesterday evening I spent an hour and a half in a Christian bookstore. My visit, however, had nothing to do with religion. I'm a member of an improv comedy troupe and we were invited at the last minute to perform at an open mic there, which I guess usually consists of musical performances. It was a disappointing event, though not because of the nature of the establishment. There was nothing remotely resembling a stage or seating area – I don't understand how they've hosted such an event without these basic elements – and we ended up performing in an area near the front counter in front of some children's books with only a handful of onlooking shoppers stopping to watch for a few minutes from time to time. I wondered how we came to such an unusual venue until I spotted several copies of a newly published book by one of our members about living with diabetes on a table near the entrance. At least I now know how we learned of their open mic!

We've just started looking for a new location after the coffee shop where we used to perform was closed. I don't know whether our director intends to have us return, especially given the lackluster facilities, but I think I'll decline to participate if she does. Although our performance last night wasn't affected by the venue, I'd rather not be at all associated with purveyors of irrational nonsense. I love to perform any chance I get, but I must draw the line at places where Jack Chick tracts are sold!