Category Archives: Dribble

Yes, I am a Conservative Atheist

How can this be you say? The GOP are a bunch of right wing religious nuts! How can you say you are an atheist a align yourself with “those people”?

It’s actually a pretty simple answer. Despite what you may hear or think you know, most right wing types are far more tolerant with the idea of “to each his own”. And when it comes to the ideas that define conservatism, religion is pretty far down on my list of concerns.

The ideas and platforms of the right wing appeal to me greater than those of the left wing. This is not to say that I disagree with everything the left wing does, as I feel they have it right on issues like gay rights, equality, and the separation of church and state. There are assholes on the right as much as their are assholes on the left. I can tell you that for the majority of my conservative friends, religion is rarely the sole basis for who we vote for. Or the policies we support.

But the conservative in me feels that I have no right to tell other people what is right and wrong. If you want to believe in a God, by all means, go ahead. Just don’t expect me to fall in line. In much the same way, if a guy want to marry a guy, go right ahead. It will not change my love of women in any way. It will not lessen the way I feel about my wife.

What am I concerned with? A government that is getting too damn big. A government that spends my money carelessly. I do not like social programs that create a culture of dependancy.

I do not like the blame America first crowd. Sadly our current president seems to be a card carrying member. This is, and has been, the creates country on the planet. You are allowed to not like it. That in and of itself is a great thing. One of my favorite quotes by a President, came from Bill Clinton.

“ There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America”

That is a great quote. And it’s something I believe in.

Religion is a corruptive power. Rulers love it. They use it in every way they can to control the populace. But not in this country. In this country, they can speak it, but cannot enforce it.

I get mad when the right uses religion as the only basis for morals. I have morals. I know what is right, and what is wrong. For example, flying planes into a building and killing thousands is bad. I know this without believing in any god. Not letting people live how they want within the confines of established law is bad. Again, I know this without the benefit of some invisible person telling me.

But I also respect the place of religion in our society. We are still at a time in our very young existence that it is needed. Despite all the death caused in some god’s name, religion is also a large force of good in the world. People give to other’s because of religion. They offer aid to the poor. Much of the good people do is motivated by their religion. I see it everyday.

I just want to live how I want to live, and respect the rights of others to do the same. I want a smaller government presence in my life. I don’t want to work hard and see my paycheck gutted in the name of social programs and failed policy. Let me spend my money how I see fit.

I don’t believe in any god, and yet I am still a good person. I have raised three boys, who are good people. I have done it without threatening them to an eternity of suffering. I have been able to teach them the difference between right and wrong. And I am proud of that.

Please don’t assume that every republican or conservative is a closed minded fool with no heart. We all have big hearts, and we all use our heads more often than not.


My dad would have turned 67 this past Wednesday, June 13th.  He died six years ago after having a life long love affair with Vodka.

Shortly after his death, I was visiting his grave at least once a week.  But those visits have become more infrequent as I have devoted my time to being a dad.

This time of year is really hard for me.  My dad’s birthday and Father’s day were always close.  It used to be I was more worried about getting enough cash together for gifts.  Now I long for such a dilemma.

I do make a point to visit on his birthday.  Last year I went with my then 7 year old, and we sang Happy Birthday.  I am not sure why.  I am an atheist.  My dad is dead.  We sang to a stone block and earth.

This year I did something REALLY out of character for me.  But first, some background.

My dad LOVED The Beach Boys.  The Beach Boys to my dad were like Van Halen to me.  I grew up on a steady diet of Beach Boys music.  It was and still is a foreign sound to a person growing up in the Midwest.  The closet thing I have to a beach are the banks of the Ohio River.  But the sound was always in my house and in the car. My dad had books, magazines, and all the albums.  He absorbed The Beach Boys.  And when he would listen to them, something would happen.  I didn’t realize it when I was young, but I do now.  My dad would listen to The Beach Boys and become a PERSON…not my dad.  He would sing along, dance a little, even do “air keyboard” when we were in the car.   I get it now.  The same thing happens to me when I hear Van Halen.  I forget about the mortgage, my job, my kids, and I go back to when life was simple.

The history of The Beach Boys is, like many bands, a sordid tale of death and drugs.  About three brothers, cousins and a demanding perfectionist father.  The band has broke up, hired new members and for a long time, have been a shadow of what they once were.  Brian Wilson, the genius behind the band ( and the only surviving brother) quit the band in the 70s, destroyed his mind with drugs, and lived a Howard Hughes like life for many years.  He is still damaged after all these years.

My dad had always hoped that Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys would get back together.  That never happened in his life time.  But now, it has.  Brian Wilson is back and has written new songs.  They just released a new album last week, “That’s Why God Made The Radio”.  It is a good album and worthy of the band.  And I hate that my dad will never get to hear it.

But this is what I did.  Yesterday, on his birthday, I went to his grave.  I cued up the album’s title track on my iPhone, set it on his gravestone, and let it play.  I am not sure why, really.  Maybe there is a part of me that thinks he heard it.  Maybe I felt like he deserved it.  All I know is, while that song played, the cemetery was quiet, I cried, and I shared a new Beach Boys song with my dad.

And that was enough.