Welcome to ABEL: Atheist Believers in Ethics & Love

My name is Abel.  It’s not my real name, but as it’s still not safe to speak openly about atheism, cults, and religious abuse, I hope you’ll understand my ‘nom de plume.’

I’ve been dreaming of this organization, ABEL, for a while.  I’ve been disgusted by the Catholic sex abuse scandals, and know that clergy abuse isn’t restricted to Catholicism.  I was raised in a Lutheran church and was seeking truth in some other religions and mystical cults before realizing that atheism, science, and skepticism gave me the most answers to reality, the best attitude to discover truth, and ultimately the greatest freedom from fear, superstition, and craving.

This organization will hopefully grow.  My dream is that ABEL can grow to be a charity which can help those escaping cults or recovering from religious abuse.  The Catholic Church has gone to great lengths to hide, deny, and discredit the children abused by Catholic priests.  If I had the resources, I’d gladly pay for therapy, medical care, and a new life for those who have suffered from religious abuse.  You see, even though I’m an atheist, I believe in ethics and the power of caring.

There are a few acronyms which fit ABEL.  I chose ABEL because Abel in the Bible was the first main victim of religious abuse.  His jealous brother killed him due to some delusional fantasy about a God and rituals to influence this invisible friend.  It’s true that both Adam and Eve were also victims of religious abuse, if their story is to be believed.  But Abel was their child, and it is the abused children which deserve the most help and compassion.

Other acronyms I have contemplated are:

  • Atheist Believers in Ethical Love
  • Atheist Believers in Ethics & Logic
  • Atheist Believers in Ethics & Liberty
  • Atheist Believers in Ethics & Law

But the most honest and open-ended of these seems to be Atheist Believers in Ethics & Love.

I’m starting this as one person, but hope it grows.  ABEL is starting as a website, but will hopefully become a real Non-Profit Organization.  I think there’s a need for it, a role for it.  Frankly, I think there are many atheists out there who would like to have a charity to contribute to which makes a real difference in individual lives.

I donate recycling, clothing, and other household goods to our local Mission Homeless Shelter.  I like the idea that homeless people can go there for a warm meal and perhaps inherit my old socks or pants when theirs are falling apart.  I don’t like the fact that it’s a Christian proselytizing organization which makes people listen to Jesus myths before feeding them.  But that’s not enough to stop me from wanting to support a charity which makes a real difference for some.  I would feel better about a service which helps people recover from religious abuse and deprogram from cult brainwashing.  So here it is.

Over the years, I’ve found many inspiring websites in late night surfing sessions.  Reading fascinating, mind-expanding posts about religions, cults, science, skepticism…  I still find myself looking for new material on these topics.  The truth is, I’ve read enough.  It’s time for me to share, to write, to help others.  Hopefully some troubled minds will find this site during their own dark nights of seeking, and hopefully we can build some meaningful community to offer both hope and truth to those who need it most.

4 thoughts on “Welcome to ABEL: Atheist Believers in Ethics & Love

  1. I found this site while searching for advice. Perhaps I can get it here. After years of contemplation, research and soul searching I have come to the conclusion that I no longer believe in God. Although I am OK with being an Atheist, I actually work at a nursery at a Methodist church, and I have had my children involved in the church as well as teaching them stories from the bible. I have done this because it is how I grew up and I felt if I didn’t do it just because I wasn’t sure then I was doing something wrong. Now I feel like I am doing something wrong by teaching them something I no longer believe. Am I making sense? I just don’t know how to tell them I was wrong about God. It would be so strange to bring it up even in a “kid friendly” way. How do I deal with pressure from family and the community as well? I need advice so badly, can anyone help?

    • Dear C,

      I feel for your dilemma, and thank you for reaching out here via your thoughtful comment.

      I was raised, baptized, and confirmed Lutheran, and was even president of the Youth Group in High School. It was a long journey for me to sort through various religions, spiritual practices, and philosophies to the point where I now feel confidently atheist and also firmly ethical.

      This morning I was volunteering to read to kids through the SMART program at a local elementary school. My reader picked a book on dinosaurs, and I smirked to myself that here I was reinforcing scientific teachings on evolution to a 6 year old. Creationists often hate books on dinosaurs.

      How you raise your own children from here on out is a very personal and potentially creative manner. I remember reading Proverbs (and the Thesaurus) with my mom and laughing at many of the rules and ideas there. If you haven’t spent some time looking at http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com, check it out. They just have done a print version which I am excited to be getting soon in the mail.

      There are so many scientific topics to study and teach that it should be easy to transition young children to studying the history of science. Perhaps admitting to your children that you have changed your mind and are trying to figure out what is true and real will encourage them to think critically and work together with you to sort through claims and philosophies.

      I don’t have all the answers, naturally, but am willing to share thoughts, listen to your concerns, and give a space where community may grow. Questions submitted here as comments will likely be fuel for my fire for future posts.

      It is certainly hard to withdraw in a respectful way from a religious community you no longer identify with. You will probably learn just how much forgiveness, non-judgement, and acceptance the church-going people around you have in practice. Good luck, and feel more than welcome to post your thoughts, experiences, and questions here.

      • Thank you so much for writing back so soon! Studying scientific topics with them is a great idea to help me transition! Thank you for sharing the link as well. It will be great for me and my family!

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