December 19th, 2020
is unavailable in stores. Believes
in Christmas trees, Taylor Swift Evermore
with little distinction between the motifs —
cute aesthetics without fealty sworn.
Like dollhouses dissected their families, some
pink plastic posed preternaturally
replacing puritans overcome
with prayers, prurience, pageantry,
incest upstairs. A ripped Sunday school dress,
nothing beneath, long hair dyed forever noir,
fresh balsam wreath. Believer in kindness
and twinkling lights, blessings in boudoirs,
tempestuous nights. deprived of her breath.
Nothing is deeper than sex, not even death.
Hello, my name is Kristin Garth, and I’m an atheist. It’s really easy to say to my crowd of international friends, behind a keyboard but not at all so easy in the Bible Belt south of Pensacola, Florida. I mostly don’t talk about it — which is easy these days when I hardly ever talk to a person face to face and definitely not long enough to get into religious talk. But for years, I really kept it to myself even though I’ve been an atheist for as long as I can remember.
My parents would tell you a different story — but, then again, they really have no clue of who I am at all. They raised me Mormon against my will — even sent me to a Mormon college against my will. I never believed any of it. They know that now, but I still think they see me as some adult rebel. I was a rebel at five when we joined their church. Some of my earliest memories were thinking that all of this religious stuff was nonsense.
Of course, I had a dark education about religion. I was abused by my Christian parents. It may even be true that religion is just ruined for me in that way. I just always saw it as a fairytale, a Santa Claus story that I figured out, like a lot of things in life, much too young.
Having said all this, here are some things I’m not — a satanist, a grump, a pessimist, anti-Christmas. I have a huge Christmas tree bigger than me in my house right now. Why? Because I love Christmas aesthetics and why not? Why not have pleasure in life? If anything in life I am besides an atheist it is a sybarite, a sensualist. Christmas decorations and gingerbread, in particular, make me blissfully happy, so why would I deprive myself of them?
You see when you’re an atheist, this life is what you get. I don’t believe in hurting people, and I’m very moral, but if I can have pleasure without hurting someone, I am going to do that. I love all holidays and celebrate them to the limits of my expenses and work demands.
I’m a giggly, ambitious, affectionate Barbie loving, Christmas enthusiast, womanchild atheist. I won’t hurt you not because God said so or the devil will get me but because it would hurt my heart. I am totally down with you worshipping God. I only ask for the same respect and understanding and freedom and a Christmas tree and a fresh wreath on my door without a lot of questions or gotcha aha moments. It isn’t deep to me. I like it the way I like a Taylor Swift song. I don’t need to worship her to hum along and enjoy the aesthetics. If it makes me feel good, and it doesn’t impinge on another’s rights I do it. I celebrate Easter and Valentine’s, too, for the candy, my friends, and the cuteness, the pleasure. My heaven, after all, is now.