This is not something my mother would have me admit. This is not something, I'm sure, that my grandparents will enjoy hearing when they finally find out. This is not a part of me that my family embraces, and I'm sure that much of the United States would agree with their assessment.
This is a part of myself of which I am proud.
I am proud to reject superstition. I am happy to believe in what can be suggested or proven by evidence. I am glad that I have the grounding in reason and science to understand falsifiability, and the importance of claims having that property.
I wish that everyone understood the difference between not knowing and not wanting to know, between empirical evidence and blind faith. I wish that people would question more, and assume less. I wish that no one would have to fear admitting a lack of faith, for any reason.
I hope that one day, people will live for what is here, for what is now, and perhaps to leave the world better than they found it. There here and now is glorious. There are wonders everywhere we look, if we only think about them, and knowing how they work does not make them any less spectacular.
To love justice, to long for the right,
to love mercy,
to pity the suffering, to assist the weak,
to forget wrongs and remember benefits,
to love the truth, to be sincere,
to utter honest words, to love liberty,
to wage relentless war
against slavery in all its forms,
to love family and friend,
to make a happy home,
to love the beautiful in art, in nature,
to cultivate the mind,
to be familiar with the mighty thoughts
that genius has expressed,
the noble deeds of all the world;
to cultivate courage and cheerfulness,
to make others happy,
to fill life with the splendor of generous acts,
the warmth of loving words;
to discard error, to destroy prejudice,
to receive new truths with gladness,
to cultivate hope,
to see the calm beyond the storm,
the dawn beyond the night,
to do the best that can be done
and then be resigned.
This is the religion of reason,
the creed of science.
This satisfies the brain and the heart."
-- Robert Ingersoll