So I got a telephone call from a political survey organization the other day regarding the Broward County school district and the FCATs. If you don't know what the FCATs are, they are the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests. Yes I know, you're saying "Huh? I still don't get it". Well, this blog isn't about them, so look it up. Besides, my views on the FCATs and the quality of education in the public schools here are so lengthy and involved that I would need at least 8 days to fully explain to you why they both suck and frankly, I have a 3 month old baby so I'm lucky I get these 20 minutes.
No, this blog is about the woman who gave me the survey. Everything was fine, despite her pronouncing my name "Aleeeeseeeeea", "Alicia", "Alexia" (you go girl), "Allison", and "Allissa", until the end of the survey when I had to answer some "personal" questions. Her last question to me was, "What is your religious affiliation", to which I replied loud and proud, "I am an Atheist".Dead silence.
Dead silence for like 5 seconds. Then I hear, "Um, what is that?". So I repeat myself, thinking that she heard "I am an eraser" or "I am an ickthyologist", and say, "I said , I am an Atheist". To which she replies, "Is that part of Christian? Muslim? Jewish? or Other?". Um, ok. Has this person never heard of Atheism? I mean, I'm not a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or Other yet I've picked up a book or two in my life regarding such subjects. Hell, those books are the reason I AM and Atheist you know? I mean, how can I not believe if I have not read up on what there is ( supposedly) to believe in? I then try to explain it to her in broader terms like, "I don't believe in God, Allah, Jehovah, Irving (worshipped by a lesser know religion called the Irvingites of South Newark), or any other incarnation of a supreme being. I am a Non-Believer." So she says, "Then I guess I'll have to write it in. How do you spell it?"
I also read an article in Newsweek about how the religious right deems Atheism in this country as a traitorous act and on the same level as terrorism. Well smack my ass and call me Benedict Arnold then.