Earlier today I received this message from a troll on Instagram.
Normally I would decide to respond to this person personally and as professionally as I could whilst also providing extra sass. But sense this is not the first time this year that I have received comments and criticisms like this then I just want to make this a public response so that there is no questioning my position on the matter, hopefully curbing the appeal for other people to send similar messages.
My name is Andrew Pan. I am a writer, photographer and artist who also is an atheist.
I am an imaginative atheist, like it or not.
Being an atheist doesn’t hinder imagination, it strengthens it. My disbelief in god, any god, allows me to look at history, myth and legend through new lenses. It gives me a perspective on the world that not many others have. I see the world for its harsh realities which allows me to imagine better possibilities. Since a young age I have used my imagination to escape from reality, creating stories and pictures that bring levity to my small world. Like most authors since the age of written language I have used and continue to use religious tones and themes in some of my stories. This doesn’t mean that I take on the beliefs of my characters, just as I don’t believe George R.R Martin doesn’t believe in the Red God or the faith of the Seven found in Game of Thrones.
At one time or another I thought these spurts of creativity came from a higher source, a calling to the arts from god or the spirit. But thats not the case, my creativity is my own. It comes from me. Whether or not there is an actual evolutionary or biological explanation as to the difference of people with and without creativity I don’t know and can’t say for sure. But I am done with myself or other people giving my own traits, accomplishments and pride in myself over to a force I don’t even believe in and I encourage everyone else to begin doing the same thing.
Stop thanking god for a family member getting better health, thank the doctors and scientists that developed the medicines and treatments instead.
Stop thanking god for someone convicted falsely for a crime to be let out of jail and thank the prosecutors that worked all day and all night, maybe even for free, to get that person back home.
Stop thanking god for giving you the wisdom to pass a test, graduate school or survive another month on limited income and thank the mentors and teachers that taught you how to manage these things instead.
Stop thanking god for your own actions. Period. Stop giving god credit where the credit is owed to you instead.
You deserve to be recognized for your own brilliance, and so do I.
Don’t attribute your own brilliance to other people’s imaginary friend.
Creativity comes from yourself, born from your mind trying to break free from your true, real life struggles. There is no connection between any god and one’s imagination besides the fact that all gods are created by man’s imagination.
I’m an imaginative atheist and you can be too.
As regularly as possible in 2017 I will release a new short story as a segment in my anthology series titled “The Tarot Series: An Anthology of Depressive Realism”. This series explores modern day tales of horror, thrill, deceit and more. It looks through different issues facing the public today including but not limited to: poverty, justice, depression, body image and more. All segments are released in full for free on my blog so make sure to follow now to receive email updates when a new segment is posted!
Thank you for following along and I’ll see you on the next post!