An Atheist’s Mom

Last week my little old mom told me how much she was looking forward seeing the upcoming Oscar Awards on TV. When I asked her which film she thought would win, she responded “The English Patient.” I told her I didn’t think that movie was nominated this year. She said, “Oh, you know… the English one, with the wizard?”

I searched my memory and made the connection.
“You mean the King’s Speech?” I said. (Michael Gambon plays George the V in King’s Speech and Dumbledore in the Potter films.)

“Yeah, that’s the one. That’s a good one.” Of course, she hasn’t seen either movie yet but that’s not important. She patted me on the head affectionately.

Knowing the above makes the following exchange less shocking but I still find it interesting. I was driving my wife and mom to the store when the subject of Atheism came up. My wife has no choice but to know what I think of religion (I feel so sorry for her sometimes), but she did not know my mother’s position on the subject. She asked my mother if she was also an Atheist. My mother said, “oh, no. Those people are so hateful.”

At first I was stunned to hear such a strong statement from my little old mom but some additional probing put it all into perspective. “How may Atheists have you met?” I asked her. She said that she has never met any Atheists in person. That’s when I reminded her that her son, husband, and granddaughter were all Atheists.

“Oh yeh, I forgot. But you three are nice.” And she patted me on the head again.

So, of all the Atheists that she personally knows, 100% are nice, and yet in her mind, Atheist are hateful. The battle that we are fighting isn’t just uphill. The hill is constantly being bulldozed on top of us. Still, I think I’m going to try to get that movie for my mom for her to watch, you know, the English one, with the wizard, that won the Academy Award.


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