Earlier this month, NPR interviewed Daniel Muñoz, one of our student leaders at the University of Texas, for a feature segment on leaving religion. As the SSA's Regional Campus Organizer for Texas, I wanted to pass along Daniel's thoughts on not only growing beyond faith but also growing a secular community. Daniel's parents raised him Catholic, but at fourteen his growing understanding of science and philosophy led Daniel to reconsider the beliefs of his parents.
|Daniel at a counter-protest with his group at the University of Texas|
Being able to find a secular community, both in-person and on the internet, greatly helped Daniel as he came out as a non-believer. As Daniel noted in the interview, “people my age feel so much differently about atheism than they used to because you can go onto the internet, you can hear what atheist thinkers have to say, you can be involved in a virtual community, you can see that we don’t have horns: we’re not crazy.”
As more and more Americans come out as secular, societal attitudes about atheism are shifting, especially among young people. Daniel shared that he and many of his peers don’t need to have any sort of relationship with a god, though he sees some value in parts of religion, such as the community. However, when it comes to forming his own morality, Daniel has a different view on religions’ value.