Thursday, March 8, 2012
After having been moved by the Kony 2012 video that went viral, I jumped on the bandwagon and did my tiny part by sharing. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I was not at all skeptical initially. I only became such after viewing some comments on a random blog, which mentioned it being a scam. There was some debate around IC's seemingly shady finances, but that didn't really move me. At that point, I'd assumed that people complaining about this specifically simply hadn't watched the video - because the purpose of the video was not for its viewers to donate money but rather to simply share the video to spread awareness. When it was brought to my attention that Ugandans don't want any more military action and that they feel it would do more harm than good, that's what really inspired me to dig.
I have to admit, I don't know much about politics. I mean, I facepalm at Santorum and make fun of Romney's magic underwear but my understanding of the bigger picture is ... barely there. I try my best to learn what I can, but I often find myself feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps my lack of understanding in this area is why it was so easy for me to jump on the Kony bandwagon?
Okay, back to the funny position. Before I realized how naive it was of me to jump mindlessly onto the Kony train, I saw lots of bitter negative-nancy posts poking fun at people like me who shared the video. My initial reaction was irritation, of course. It seemed to me that these people were on their 'smarter than thou' pedestals, latching onto negativity in order to feel better about themselves.
Then, I had a flashback of supposed atheist elitism. Specifically, I remembered a comment I had posted in response to Tristan Vick's article on the subject:
"I've been doing some thinking on the subject of supposed 'atheistic elitism' (having felt guilty, wondering if it applied to me or any of my atheist friends) and have come to the conclusion that since atheists tend to respect critical thinking, they put in the effort required to apply critical thinking skills to life. They don't necessarily think they are better than others, but they do believe it is better to think and question than to not think and question (uh duh). Since religion tends to affect more than just the religious (i.e. evolution kept out of schools, homosexuals kept from marriage), atheists NEED to pay attention to what religion is up to and apply their critical thinking in that area. I don't think it can be called atheistic elitism unless the atheist is emotionally attached to his/her view. "
If I apply this to how those with a better understanding of how the government works might feel about the ignorant becoming instantly passionate over a video with skewed facts, I don't think I can really blame them.
I've certainly seen some comments that were downright mean, and that, I think, is unnecessary, no matter how factual. The facts in that case are much less likely to be received by those that need them. I am generally a quiet, friendly atheist (although I can be a meanie behind closed doors ... o_o), but having been the gullible sheep in this instance gives me even more reason to present facts diplomatically. I'm not saying desire for harshness isn't understood - I can't even say that it's wrong in either case. When you have information, other people's ignorance, even if they don't mean to be ignorant, tends to be annoying. I don't even know what exactly I'm saying, to be honest. I just know that I had a weird moment where I felt like one of the Christians I constantly complain about.
Monday, March 5, 2012
I witness a number of motivational web banners on facebook on a daily basis. Some are about hating the new timeline, some make you wanna love your friends, some are about how awesome your mother is, some are about serving the lord with your facebook, some are political, some are about respecting old people, some are about loving your kids, some are about being bold, some are about helping by doing nothing, some are about holy ejaculate, and some are fucking creepy.
One of the most popular trends of the Christian variety is an inspirational Bible verse in front of a peaceful or heartwarming picture. This is fine I guess, but peaceful and loving tends to get boring after a while. I figure, why not make use of all the creepiness, anger, and hilarity that the Bible also has to offer? I'm guessing my Christian friends must have simply forgotten about the fun and nasty verses, so when I think to myself "WTFWJD?", I can't help but to think that he would want me to remind them. After all, it's not only the warm and fuzzy pieces of the Bible which are God-breathed. It's everything from killing dem witches and bein' nice-ish to your slaves to testicle grabbing and kids getting mauled by a bear in the name of God.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Sex+ Questionnaire For: Sarah Bee
Location: NY, USA
1. How did you learn about sex?
Friends, trial and error, the internet
2. Were you able to talk about sex with your parents?
No. All they ever told me was that it was sinful outside of marriage.
3. Do you remember your first kiss?
Yes. lol I sort of surprised my boyfriend of the time because he viewed me as timid and was trying to be slow and romantic, but I jumped for that kiss!
4. Tell us about an embarrassing moment you’ve had with sexuality/a partner/etc.
There are two that come to mind first, and they both involve anal. I will only tell you one... ;) I was a liberated Christian at the time, so I wanted to protect my technical virginity but was otherwise ready to express myself sexually with my boyfriend of one year. On this exciting day, we were getting it on when suddenly, his mother pushed the door open to tell us something ... and got quite an eye full! The worst part was afterwards, when D and I had to walk past her and four friends, whom she clearly told about the experience, in order to get to the front door ... >.<
5. How old were you when you made your sexual debut? Were you ready for it?
18. I was ready on so many levels, but not confident that I was ready. It sort of just happened because we lived together at the time, but I didn't regret it one bit. The next day, I felt like a whole new person. So liberating!
6. Are you in a romantic or sexual relationship?
Yes, both. Though, I hate the term 'romantic'. I like to think of us as best friends who fucknlove each other.
7. Would you prefer being in a relationship or being single? Why?
I honestly like many aspects of both. Ideal is a relationship where I don't feel as though I must hide my 'single-loving' tendencies. This does not mean an open relationship per se ;) but just the freedom to express my attraction to others or share my fantasies honestly, without fear of insecurity/extreme jealousy on their part.
8. Would you ever consider a polyamorous relationship?
Yes. Although I do think it’s an unlikely relationship style for me because I am easily socially exhausted.
9. Have you ever cheated on a partner?
Not technically, but I felt as though I had because my ex and and I were not over each other, yet I jumped to someone else without thinking it through.
10. What was your longest relationship? Your shortest?
Longest: 4.5 years; shortest: 1 week (Christian camp, LOL!)
11. What do you look for in a partner?
Open-mindedness, good critical thinking skills, someone I can learn from, someone who can view our relationship as a partnership, has self control, determination, likes to laugh, not easily offended. I also have a fetish for nerdiness, men with chest hair/facial hair, and/or Jesus look-alikes ... o_0
12. Do you have any “deal breakers”?
Anything opposite of the less shallow things above. Religious would most likely be a deal breaker. After 4.5 years of being someone's delicate flower, I don't think I could deal with any level of sexism either, unless they were naively so and willing to broaden their horizons.
13. What is your favorite way to ask for consent?
I like to lick and tease ... I'm a baddie ...
14. What is your favorite position?
I'm not sure that I have a favorite; I like switching it up more than any particular position, but I get really good results when being 'manhandled' from behind in the shower. Spoon-to-fuck is always good and I'll always have a special place in my heart for doggy style. I feel like a porn star when I'm on top ... I could go on!
15. Would you/have you had a one night stand?
I have not, but sometimes I crave it. Probably in part because I never have ...
16. What’s your favorite place to be touched by a partner?
Ears, neck, lips, shoulders, lower back, hips, ass, inner thighs, toes, ohhh... just everywhere, wheee!
17. Is there anything that you’ve wanted to try sexually but haven’t (yet)?
I have a lot of fantasies and I’m still figuring out which I would be down to try out in real life. I'm kind of interested in the idea of swinging or online fantasy play with my partner included but he is not up for it at this time.
18. Would you/have you had group sex (3+ people)?
Yes. I would again, if my partner could get into it. :)
19. Would you/have you practiced BDSM?
Yes, mildly. I wouldn't mind exploring this more ...
20. Would you/have you done role-play?
21. What is your biggest turn on?
Connecting through the mind and then sexually. Talking on two different levels in conversation can be thrilling ... especially the initial discovery that the person is following ... :)
Subtle flirting with the eyes really gets me too, especially when combined with the above!
22. Biggest turn off?
Selfishness, arrogance, willful ignorance.
23. How often do you masturbate?
24. What do you think is the most erotic part of your body?
My ass and my waist.
25. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
My ability to self-question, natural curiosity, and sense of humor.
26. What’s your biggest accomplishment in the last 3 years?
Finally getting my license!
27. Tell us one goal you have for yourself.
To stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future so that I can enjoy the present. Also, I need to work on my self confidence; I have a hard time believing in myself, particularly in my ability to learn and succeed in life. Fear still has a pretty good grip on me ... I'd like to change that. Lastly, I need to work on time management in my personal life.
28. How do you take care of yourself?
Taking time to be alone and think, singing when no one's around (therapeutic for me), working out, lucid dreaming, bonding with others, getting lost in my own fantasies or a good story, etc.
29. Do you support a woman’s right to choose an abortion if she accidentally gets pregnant?
30. Do you think prostitution should be legal?
I think so, but I am on the fence.
31. If you had a baby boy, would you have his foreskin removed (circumcise him)?
32. Should same-sex marriage be legal?
33. Should comprehensive sex education be given in high schools or abstinence only?
To Infinity, and Beyond
34. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I am undecided. I have a strong interest in psychology, but there is much I am inexperienced with. I may discover a new interest once in school ...
35. Do you want to get married?
Marriage doesn't really appeal to me. I don't see any sense in legalizing a relationship and have no interest in all the fluff that tends to go with a wedding. If marriage were to all of a sudden make sense financially (i.e. getting a mortgage), I'd then consider grabbing that piece of paper. lol On this, my partner and I are in full agreement!
36. Do you want to have children?
I'm not sure yet. I feel like I don't for many reasons, but I am aware that I could feel differently in the future.
37. What do you want to do for others before you die? I just want to in some way inspire open-mindedness in others the same way I have been inspired so that humanity can continue to grow and improve.
Friday, February 10, 2012
You see, most of the Christians from my past (and present; thank you, facebook) are not the sophisticated kind. Dealing with them is often frustrating, meaningless and to be honest, depressing. Why do I have them on facebook, you ask? Well, I do have some good memories with a lot of them. Others, not so much - but I don't hate them or anything. I would feel awful mean deleting them. Yep, wuss.
So yes, my wussiness requires that I find a healthy outlet for the frustration that it is quietly taking such bullshit up the ass without as much as a yelp. Sex and blogging are good options, as far as displaced anger goes. I think it's always best, however, to attack problems head on. Diplomacy is admirable too, but I am that way far too often for it to be a good thing. For me, it tends to be an excuse to hide rather than anything respectable. Plus, being diplomatic does not have to mean staying silent, as it usually does for me. Since I usually rob myself of the opportunity to say what I mean, it was nice to stumble across the chance this morning.
See, I am a fan of a facebook page called 'Fundies Say the Darndest Things', where they expose the insanity that goes on in close-knit fundie circles. It was kind of a place for me to vent freely, until I realized that my comments are actually public to all of my friends. (thank you, news feed ticker!) Oh well. It felt great. Maybe this is the start of something beautiful! ^.^ My comment is still pretty friendly, but being freely atheist in the presence of Christians is new to me, so it feels like a big deal. I hope to find some sort of a healthy balance between the confidence express myself honestly and humble diplomacy.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Are all of the Christians who post this kind of stuff really so naive that they cannot sense a double meaning here? Or is this an attempt to Christianize a sexual innuendo? I am legitimately curious. It's a facepalm either way, for the sane. For (Jesus) freaks like myself, it's soul-tingling fetish fuel. (*Shrug* Multiple facepalms < Multiple O's)
Another thing I've always wondered - well, after having left the bubble, anyway - is passionate love for Jesus (you know, the falling on yours knees, screaming and shaking kind) nothing more than an explosion of repressed sexuality?
I grew up Presbyterian with some (southern) Baptist influences within the family, so I am used to a rather boring brand of religious spirituality. It wasn't until escaping the fundie bubble to build a new life that I became a bit more familiar with individuals who seemed to be 'creaming for Christ' as they rambled on, incoherently, about His effect on their spiritual lives.
Then again, perhaps I am merely projecting. After all, it was not long after leaving home that I gave away that
Mmm, sometimes I do miss those kinky little purification lenses! ♥
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
First of all, I never felt at home in the church setting. My palms would sweat the minute I walked through the doors because I knew it meant having to greet all the adults and mingle for a bit before Sunday school started. I felt a little more at ease in my Sunday school class because I had a couple of close friends there, but I was by no means comfortable. Aside from a couple of close friends, no one really knew me. Granted, I didn't know myself either at the time - but I was, of course, unaware of that. All I knew was that I was restless and reserved.
Church was certainly not to blame for my anxiety. It was my personality and it affected all social settings, including school, weddings, parties, etc. For me, there was never anything fulfilling about traditional weddings, for example. They were chock full of things I had no interest in, such as mingling, dancing, fancy dresses, itchy panty hose, and the ritualistic aspects which often felt forced. I guess I was a strange little girl, never having once fantasized about my wedding day. In fact, when ever the thought did occur, I would dread it. I was more about the idea of true love which is supposed to inspire the wedding. I dreamed about what it would be like to find a life partner. As I got a little older, I imagined what sex would be like. The actual wedding, though, had no appeal whatsoever. Even today, the only thing I can enjoy about one is the booze (if available).
This uneasiness associated with social situations and formality even affected the activities I did enjoy, such as youth activities and missions trips. Less so, because the setting in these instances tended to be a bit more laid back and genuine, but there were moments of discomfort in these environments as well. For example, when it became time to share what was on our hearts. The spirit was supposed to be present and moving within us and the pressure to report such feelings while coming up dry was often too much to bare.
My relationship with Jesus was real but my personality did not allow for expression of that in the publicly passionate versions which often surrounded me. Of course, I didn't know that at the time. I assumed this lack of an urge to sway, cry, and hug everyone due to the power of God's love was just another indication of my sinful nature, leaving me to feel guilty and out of place. Looking back, I see that I expressed my feelings for the idea of God's love in the form of art, music, and prayer; all of which were things I did while alone. My private time was an opportunity for me to recharge. It was my relief, my time to think and reflect; In short, it was my happy place. According to psychology, this is because I lean toward introversion. Again, I didn't know any better at the time.
Anyone who knew me well as a young child could tell you that I was by no means anti-social, however. I loved to communicate with others; just not with anyone and everyone. Also, I needed some time to warm up to people. I had a warm relationship with my father, for instance, and some of his fondest memories with me (of which he reminds me whenever we are together) are the instances where I let my feisty side shine. My mother always colored this personality trait with a negative brush, calling it rebellion thus one of her nicknames for me, snippy. My father, on the other hand, encouraged this kind of behavior; not blatantly but with his positive reactions. He sent the psychological message that it was good for me to be tough and to stand up for what I think. "My Bee tells it like it is!" I can recall him saying many times. It made him happy when I was strong and vibrant.
It is pretty obvious that my father respects strong, opinionated women; my mother is certainly evidence of that. Unfortunately, being a conservative Christian, this often leads to a respect of those strong and opinionated about the silliest of things. Even dangerous, at times. I think I got the more introverted aspects of my personality from my father, who is much more reserved than I. Having sparks here and there of my mother's competitive nature, I think my father took particular notice and especially encouraged those traits. Sadly, my mother's stronger and more intimidating personality overwhelmed my father's subtle encouragement. I think this had a lot to do with my nurturing my timid side, especially the older I became.
For me, leaving behind my church family behind was indefinitely a relief. Leaving some close friends from the church behind, while having many relieving aspects, was disheartening. The relief had more to do with my inability to open up completely from the beginning. I had messed up in that regard. I was too ashamed of my own nature to question why I had this inability when in reality, my best friends should have been the first with which I discussed this. I cared about my friends, encouraged them to be open with me and accepted them no matter what --- but I did not allow them that opportunity with me. I always kept so much to myself because I was terrified of being judged. Would they have judged me? I'm really not sure - but I should have given them the chance.
It was not until I left home in order to escape the oppression of fundamental Christianity that I came to know liberated, down to earth Christians. Finally, people who saw the same flaws I did with religion. They showed me that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with God. All of which I bonded with over the internet, which was an easier form of communication for me. It was the sense of community that I guess most Christians get at church. The only thing holding me back was lack of a home internet connection, being able to afford only the basics. By the time I was in a better place financially with computer of my own, I was beginning to see the flaws of even a personal relationship with God, minus the religious aspect often connected. Eventually, I began to lean closer and closer an agnostic approach.
Letting go of Jesus was the most difficult part of my deconversion experience. He was someone to whom I could relate even when most of the Christians in my family and church family were against me. The truth is, I didn't understand genuine friendship until moving out and starting a fresh life for myself; one that better suited my needs and desires. I became so fixated on Jesus, I think partly because I did not get the sense of community from religious Christians. Being exposed to relationship Christians on the internet gave me a small taste of what community was like.
Today, even though I am less socially anxious, I still use the internet as a main source of communication which in turn provides a strong sense of community. As it was hard to find relationship Christians offline in the past, it is even more difficult to find fellow atheists now. They are easy to find online, and so free to open up and express themselves, as am I. To me, the fact that these connections are not happening face to face has no bearing whatsoever on how genuine they can be. In fact, some of the online friends I have come to know are closer than family to me in the sense that they know and accept the core aspects of who I am where Christian family members cannot.
It would be an added bonus, however, to meet in person. That would be difficult to turn into reality, considering distance. I also entertain this idea of an online gathering for atheist friends. A web forum, perhaps.
I often hear of Christians claiming atheists needing to gather in this way, mimicking their version of fellowship, is evidence of a spiritual craving. Of course, that's bullshit. It may very well be a spiritual craving, but not in the sense they imagine. Humans want to interact with other humans. They want to be loved, accepted and to relate to one another. Our personality helps to determine how we go about this, but we are social creatures. There is no shame in atheists gathering. In fact, I think it's far better to bond and gather with those willing to adjust their views. They not only provide spiritual comfort but also stimulate the mind.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Today I learned that there is a such thing as National Blasphemy Day - and I missed it by five months. Damn. Luckily, I firmly believe that all days could be spruced up with a little blasphemy here, there and everywhere.
This quote has become such a bother. Though, the quote itself is not as bad as the implications can be. After all, it is good advice to stand up for what you believe in. However, that something shouldn't be just anything. What if that something you decide to stand for is really one of those anythings you should have avoided? Should you be justified in sticking to it, despite new information that suggests otherwise?
This is why the main thing I stand firmly for is critical thinking. I aim to apply it to every aspect of life because it's really the only thing I have against bullshit, other than maybe common sense for the easy stuff. I'm not quite sure who the original quoter was or what he/she intended, but I do know that it is only my Christian friends who pass along this little gem. The popular interpretation (at least among the Jesus-happy crowd) seems to be in favor of strong, Biblical beliefs and against free thinkers who are, to them, as ungrounded as they come (not to mention slaves of satan).
In reality, free-thinkers can be quite grounded. They are so in something much more useful than a belief system based on a holy book, supposedly written by a God that can't be proven to exist, but who expects his followers to follow blindly anyway. Why would you want to ground yourself in something that can't be proven and forbids you to doubt its contents, even when it directly counters new information? Doesn't that come off as shady? It certainly would in any other context. Wouldn't it be better to ground yourself in something that would always provide assistance in avoiding traps than something that keeps you too naive care and/or too guilt-ridden to explore the potential flaws?
It is true that if you always allow emotions to be the driving force in decision making, you will go wherever the wind takes you. Perhaps the quoter was thinking along those lines? Regardless, the brain is great for keeping the heart in check -- and even though Christianity loves to insert that the Bible keeps the heart in check, in reality, it is a horrible substitute. Let the heart enrich your life, but stand for the logic and reason in order to shed light on those detrimental anythings that so many passionately yet ignorantly stand for.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
I came across the following line while reading a fellow blogger's most recent post:
"I wish more religious people would take time to realize this, especially when they talk about how atheists are so disrespectful of religion."
This is exactly why I often bring up the potential dangers of the black/white mindset which Christianity is based upon and how it can be detrimental to other areas of thinking. Religion aside, it is true that anyone with a brain (literally) is at risk of projecting their own bias onto others. A catty woman, for example, may translate the timid woman's glance as a threat, ("Psh, don't be thinking you're better than me, biotch!") Perhaps the timid woman was merely attracted and wanting a peak at that ass? (guilty! >.<) This is why it's important to get in the habit of thinking outside of oneself. Impossible to do perfectly of course, but far better to make honest attempts than to settle only for the thoughts your complexes confine you to. Religion can perpetuate the problem of complexes determining what is so by excusing or even encouraging them.
Christianity, at its core, serves to separate people into two categories: sinner and saved. This perpetuates the natural human tendency to pit oneself above another and creates the guilt complex in those with a lesser desire for superiority by forcing such a mindset where it doesn't fit.
While it's true that, say, Slightly Superior Sven* is likely to struggle with a superiority complex throughout his life whether he is an Atheist or a Christian, at least with an atheistic mindset he is not chained by the soul to a particular view which excuses the superiority complex and encourages the segregation of satan's tools and children God. As an Atheist, especially if his motive for becoming such was a result of skepticism, Sven is more likely to be in the habit of questioning (or at least of thinking freely) where as Christians tend to be stuck in the pattern of thinking with their Bibles. A mind, like any other muscle, that is not exercised becomes weak.
Even if a Christian is an expert at compartmentalizing, and thus critically thinking about many aspects of life that he deems separate from religion, it is still true that he cannot apply it to Christianity if it counters a known biblical claim. So, many aspects of the black/white mentality persist. They must - or else everyone would find reason to abandon the belief system, as the core would begin to crumble!
I once knew a kindhearted Christian woman who appeared on the surface to be completely nonjudgmental. Likely, because her personality did not allow for it. She was abused as a child, depressed as a teen, and as a believer, she was fixated on God's love. At first I thought, "finally, a Christian who seems a little open-minded and understanding." Then, I participated in some religious debate with her. It was kind of a sad thing to experience because she seemed so uncomfortable admitting that those who disagree are hell bound. That wasn't the aspect of her religion that she personally latched onto. It's like, it didn't set well, but she had to accept it because it was a part of the deal. I can relate -- but I eventually did explore that doubt and broke free.
So, can a devout Christian - either kind and gentle, slightly superior, or somewhere in between - understand that they too are being disrespectful toward the Atheist? I'm honestly not sure. It seems to me that they can make small attempts. They can ignore that homosexuality is a sin, for example, if their son/daughter happens to be one in favor of saving the relationship. They can even dismiss the part of the bible that says so as 'inapplicable to the current times'. As for a core aspect of Christianity - that to be saved, you need Jesus and that the unsaved are doomed - how can you ignore that or deem it inapplicable while remaining Christian? I'm not sure they are capable of seeing their brand of discrimination as wrong. Maybe on some level, but not one that they are free to question.
*Sven just sounds like a snooty guy to me -- but I'm sure you Svens of the world are just dandy in actuality!! ^_-
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Atheism, by definition, is " disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings." Religion defined is "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects". While atheism could in fact be an aspect of a religion (ex. some Buddhists are atheists) it is not a religion in and of itself.
It's usually religious folks making this assumption but I have come across a few atheists/agnostics/I don't give a fuckers who have felt similarly - I'll get to them in a bit. It's not difficult to understand why a Christian would think this. Psychological projection comes to mind, combined with the black and white worldview that Christianity tends to confine them to.
I think Christians may have a difficult time comprehending indifference in this case; for it is one of those biblically non-existent gray areas. There really isn't much you can be apathetic toward, without the risk of downward spiraling, which a lukewarm faith can cause. Of course, the subjects in which it is "actually" okay to be lukewarm toward are cherry-picked and then denied or ignored by the individual. That is besides the point, since the whole denial thing cancels out the idea that it may okay to be somewhere in the middle thus lessening the likelihood of raising consciousness there. To them, one cannot simply disbelieve without any emotional fuel. "I love Jesus. You don't love Jesus. Therefore, you must hate Jesus" seems to be the common mindset. To be indifferent to Jesus/the idea of his love does not compute. Only a lack of understanding or knowledge of his existence are sensible explanations for such nonchalance.
Likely resulting from the (fucked up version of) love which fuels the idea behind Christianity, C.S. Lewis, for example, could only find three possibilities as to why Jesus would claim to be God (he was either "a lunatic, a liar, or who he said he was"). His reasoning completely ignores the possibility that stories of Jesus are exaggerations and that Jesus never personally claimed divinity. I doubt that Lewis was deliberately boxing his readers into a limited answer set but rather, was genuinely unaware due to passionate blindness.
In the same way that Christians tend to attach an emotion (hate/anger) to the Atheist due to their passion for God's love and the power of projection, attaching religion to Atheism comes just as naturally. Stemming from the black and white mentality that results in love/hate, sinner/saved, etc classifications, I think Atheism is viewed as the opposite of Christianity when in actuality it only opposes the general belief in god(s) - not religion in general and certainly not Christianity specifically. These things become hard to separate when one's worldview requires the lumping together of all dissenting views. While possible to peel apart, it requires more effort than it would for the open-minded free-thinker, already in the habit of thinking critically about these things and in general.
Still, while it is mostly (in my experience) Christians making the claim that Atheism is a religion, it has not always been the case. I can recall one agnostic and one 'peace monger' (he seemed to be an agnostic/atheist but actively refused to be associated with the term and called himself non-religious instead), both of whom shared the idea that Atheism is a religion.
The self-proclaimed agnostic seemed to confuse zeal for religious beliefs with the atheist's common frustration in standing against the zealots in order to takes steps toward progression and with humanitarianism in mind. This is a common mistake - one I have mentioned before and once thought to be true. The "non-religious peace monger" used the argument that since Atheists believe god(s) are not real, gather and discuss atheistic ideas, this makes it a religion. I tried to explain that by his logic, non-stamp collecting is a hobby and lack of belief does not necessarily equal belief. I also went out of my way to explain that Atheists are not confined to a specific set of rules as are members of any religion, sect or cult. He was for some reason too emotionally attached to his view, as he lashed out and didn't bother reading my explanations before dismissing them over and over. Given what I know of his personality, I am guessing either a) pride in being right for the sake of it, b) wanting desperately not to be labeled ("I am an individual with my own thoughts, I will not be classified, rawr!") or c) a bit of both. Unfortunately, pride clouds thinking whether or not it can be blamed on someone's religiosity.
At any rate, I quite like this off channel that is apparently Atheism. As for my new dye-job, I'm not quite sure how this bald color goes with my complexion ... o_0