Reconnecting bridges in a multicultural space

I am the product of an inter-racial marriage. My father is a Malay with a Muslim family. My mother is a Chinese with a Christian family. Both are non-religious unlike the rest of their families. I guess you could say I was born into atheism.

My parents came to the conclusion that the only way not to cause disharmony between both their families was if I was raised in a secular environment and left to discover religion by myself. I won’t deny that there were tensions in the family and some relationships were strained. But I guess that’s the cost that has to be borne. I find that without a religious upbringing, there really wasn’t any big desire to discover God. When I was younger, I simply couldn’t be bothered with that. I had been to church before but it just seemed weird what the people there were doing. Maybe they needed better evangelism techniques.

I spent my time when I was younger watching several atheist YouTubers debunking religious apologist arguments as I found them highly entertaining. I used to be rather militant of an atheist. One of those really nasty guys that would argue with people about how they were wrong, how they believed in a lie, how the science backs me up. In retrospect, I don’t think any of that did much good. In fact, it burned bridges. Recently I’ve been focusing on finding and understanding the role that religion plays in people’s lives and how it influences the choices they make. It’s not a matter of discovering God. I am firm about my atheism. It is about familiarizing myself with religious perspectives and grasping the impact it has. Hopefully this allows me to better work with religious communities to achieve common goals in the future.

Armond Bushfield

This story was first published on ‘Ask An Atheist – SG’ Facebook page in 2016.
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