Wednesday, August 4

"Joyous atheists: the ultimate oxymoron?" says bigoted Cathoilc

A writer at the Catholic Herald believes she has discovered a new oxymoron
"I heard the expression ‘joyous atheists’ the other day and it struck a tinny note against my lexical eardrum. Indeed I refudiate it on the grounds it is an oxymoron. ‘Joyous’ has spiritual connotations and atheists have rejected the life of the spirit. They can of course be ‘happy’ – a word that is much lower in the hierarchy of the emotions."
What a daft thing to say. She might as well say that Atheists can't do crossword puzzles for all the sense it makes. Joy is an emotion, a feeling of extreme happiness. Not believing in God doesn't mean I don't believe in Joy. The way I see it this is probably felt more by Atheists than by believers anyway.

I feel joy everyday, knowing that my life is my own, that the world is a wonderful place and that I am deeply connected to it. I can feel joy knowing that my only goal today, and every day, is to live the most worthwhile life I can.

I wonder how many believers truly feel joyous when there is the constant fear of a vengeful god watching your every move ready to punish you when you go wrong. How many feel joyous with a life full of contradictions, having to constantly struggle to make theirs beliefs and the real world agree? How can they be joyous when their Church is got in the deeply embroiled in a scandal, over the way it's leaders have betrayed the trust of, and deeply scarred, hundreds of children?

With all that you'd think it would be difficult to be a joyous catholic.

I can be a joyous person. And my joy comes from something real. The experience of being alive. If my joy came from a sense that I would one day live forever in heaven, at the cost of living half a life now, I don't know how rewarding that joy would be.

What do you think? Is joyous a word reserved only for believers?

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