In a church of their own, Latino atheists fear no God
January 9, 2020 8:33 AM   Subscribe

It's not easy being an atheist raised in a devoutly Catholic culture. But here in the San Gabriel Valley, you don’t have to doubt God’s existence all alone.
posted by storytam (7 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I’m not Latino but I was raised Catholic and pretty much everything written in the article applies to my experience, as well.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:28 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


In Mexican and Latin American homes, saints abound. Pope bobblehead dolls adorn bookshelves. Palm Sunday branches are tacked up on walls. Paintings of the Last Supper hang in dining rooms. Abuelas give rosaries to hang on the rearview mirror of the family car. Moms say “persignate” — make the sign of the cross — when you get on the freeway or there’s turbulence on the plane.

So much nope in so few characters.

In Spanish, goodbye literally means “to God.” Adiós. A Dios.

Yes! And in English, goodbye literally comes from "God be with you." Goodbye. Good Bye.
posted by signal at 11:07 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


In Spanish, "ojalá" ("hopefully", "I wish..." or "wouldn't it be nice if") comes from wašāʾa llāh, "may Allah will it".
posted by sukeban at 1:06 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I was kind of disappointed in this article. I had hoped for some real insight about atheism and Latino culture, but instead there was nonsense like:

Still, remnants of their past lives remain. At times they say “bless you” when someone sneezes, or “oh my God” when something surprises them.

Gotcha, so-called “atheist”!
posted by mr_roboto at 2:20 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Atheists don't doubt the existence of a god.
posted by pompomtom at 6:59 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Dios mío, seems like the author doesn't really get latinos or atheists para nada.
Amigo. Abuela.
posted by signal at 7:10 PM on January 9


I’m not Latino but I was raised Catholic and pretty much everything written in the article applies to my experience, as well.

Yes, the thing about this article is that, while what's described may be perfectly true, and certainly rings true to me, as an L.A. born and bred latino and atheist, what's described also doesn't really sound as if it's all that unique to Latin American culture. Being atheist very often carries at least some alienation from what formed the basis for modern Western culture.

seems like the author doesn't really get latinos or atheists para nada

The author gets her sample size of seven Latino atheists, plus I'm guessing her own. Which I think highlights the thin level of info in the article.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:26 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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