I have not posted here in over a year. Sorry to all you folks, but I think many of you follow me on Adventures in Nerdliness, so know I am not dead. I was thinking about something from my youth that may have kicked off my Atheism, and then get to work and see that the very excellent Darla Crane mentioned this blog. So, what the hell? Here goes.
Like most kids, I loved my grandparents. I was raised Catholic, partially, and all my grandparents (as far as I know) were Catholic. My paternal great grandfather went to church everyday, as did my maternal grandmother. In fact, up until my parents quit going to church (as it was too much of a chore) the only family member I knew did not go to church was my paternal grandfather, Tony.
Now, as an adult, I can see that Tony was a bit of a bastard. He was decent enough I guess, but a severe racist and the type to always have something to complain about. To be fair, he did have one of those American Dickensian upbringings; no father around, and he worked to support the family. I believe at one point he beat his father up to keep him away.
Since my Dad was in the Army we did not live near them, and when we would visit grandma would go to church, but grandpa did not. I only asked once why he did not go to church, as the answer was, "because he doesn't." We went to church until the three of us kids got to our first communion, then the parents felt they had done their Catholic duty and we quit going. Like I said, it was a chore. My parents, while obviously not religious, still seem to be believers, but I am pretty sure now that grandpa was an Atheist. I don't remember him praying before meals, or saying anything was a sin. He was not an overly educated man, but probably did well considering his upbringing. I like to think he was an Atheist like me; one who doesn't put a lot of thought into, but looks at religion and thinks "that is some crazy shit." He was self reliant and probably believed that praying for something wouldn't make it happen.
So, I give the old guy a hard time. He died years ago, and unfortunately his orneriness is his most memorable trait. I'll try to remember him more as someone who showed me the way; never proselytizing, just a guy I loved who didn't need some god to make him what he was.