An atheist Spain has a remarkably different life than those in conservative religious America. To be honest, people of my generation or younger are often embarassed to admit they believe in God and go to church. The religious are the minority, the practicing religious is a very small group and those who are actively religious are tiny in numbers. Disgust with the catholic church is at the all time higher ever (imagine the Spanish inquisition was only a few centuries ago). This week we have Easter holidays, where there are pretty spooky and emotionally intense processions and events. The non-religious go out to watch it as well as the religious, because it is a cultural event and you can watch, enjoy and even participate as a community…without taking the whole ridiculous and absurd idea that a demi-God was brutalised, deskinned ad mangled on a cross and he will save me from the loving God’s eternal torture chamber if I admit he exists. We aren’t threatened by nativity scenes or religious songs, even when done in school. Because the religious element is so easily divorced from the ritual and so much of these rituals are an integral part of Spanish culture.
Basically, almost everything I said is the opposite experience for a closet atheist living in Haleluja Mississipi.
I am extremely lucky not to suffer an inauthentic life in a place where my world view can’t be expressed without the real threat of social ostracism and where the religious atmosphere permeates everything with a tinge of menace and a hint of opression. Gross. Sad.
Probably the wrong group to ask that question. Most members, l would assume, are philosophical materialists, meaning people who believe that all that exists is matter and phenomena caused by or relatable to matter.