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Atheists don’t deny God, not really, for all they have to do is open the window, or feel the ground beneath their feet, or even take a deep breath, to know that what’s there is what’s there, and what it is is what it is.

More probable is that they deny some specific traits of God, or claims about God.

Not the one about how we were made in that image, since they’ve seen in their microscopes that we are worlds, each one of us a walking cosmos of living things.

Not the one about how God needs love, since they’ve found out in their thermometers how worlds can burn without tenderness and care for this blue marble garden.

Nor how God is love, since it’s an emotion larger than what one heart can hold. Not forgiveness, either, since we can’t be free until we, too, let go.

Maybe I’m an atheist too, since I can’t get behind the petty, tiny li’l creature of the thumped pulpit. The small God of the frozen rite. The shriveled Clark Kent whipping Dasher and Dancer carrying lumps of coal for those that do not take up the sword for his kings. The finger pointing at the moon’s reflection in the broken water pail.
That’s not for me.

Let me lie down in a field of grass and snow and wind and years. Here is my guitar and my hymn.