I really enjoy reading the blogs from Peace Corps Volunteers and Applicant/Nominees.
I love the excitement, the nerves, and the ups and the downs. I find myself excited when the people whose journeys I have been following get medical clearance (an accomplishment in its own right), their first contact from placement, and, of course, when they get their big blue packet and finally learn where they are going and what they will be doing!
One of the things I have noticed is how often people thank God and acknowledge his presence in the process. I suppose that as a non-believer I can’t really understand attributing such a personal accomplishment to another being. The entire application process is trying and long and since I know I did it of my own volition and will, it is a bit sad to me that others won’t take that credit for themselves.
In the group of people I am serving with, I have learned via Facebook and personal blogs that I have people such as this in my group. They were greatly active in their churches and have been on numerous missions, so I wonder how they find me. I guess only time will tell on that one. I wouldn’t say that I am a “militant” or “angry” atheist, but if asked about what I believe, I will be honest. Well, at least until to where I am going to be serving, then I am going to need to find a way to either avoid or approach the subject if asked. In general, I would say my view on religion is that we would probably have a much more peaceful world without it with far less hatred. I also think that a belief in God tends to be a crutch/comfort/excuse for far too many people.
On another note-
The country I am serving in is pretty Catholic (with many forms of Catholicism), so it will be an thing to see and experience the way that they celebrate religious holidays. I plan to participate as a means of learning more about the culture and their belief system. Bring on Easter!