I’m an atheist. There, I’ve said it. I’ve probably been an atheist for years, but it took me a long time to admit it even to myself, and I’m certainly not going to admit it to the world at large, or even my little corner of it. It would rock my world in a number of unpleasant ways, not the least of which would be the shock and disappointment I’d see in the faces of my own family. But over the last months I’ve come to realize that I need to talk about WHY I’m an atheist and why it’s so hard for me to be my real self in a community and a country that’s predominently Christian and darned proud of it. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Christianity and I have a great deal of respect for those who do believe. To be honest, I wish I had their faith. But I don’t. I can’t.