Who Will Look After Me?


I am reading Penn Jillette's hilarious and insightful book God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales, and was struck by the passage below.  The speaker in view is a Hasidic Jew who became an atheist.
"When he had lost his faith and seen the light of reason peeking through, he asked himself one question: "Who will take care of me?"  Pie and I almost cried when he said that.
Who will take care of me?

The thing is, when you are a Believer you are more often than not surrounded by caring: be it a Heavenly Father who will make everything alright in the end, or a bunch of people you commune with regularly, your spiritual family.

Then you leave it all and, if you've been doing the believing for some time, find yourself suddenly very alone, and fully responsible, with nobody to take care of you.  This particularly true if your family were believers too.

It's a tough, scary place to be.

Atheists don't have an easy substitute for all of the above support.  It makes no sense to gather around the absence of a thing.  Groups gather for a purpose, not the absence of a purpose.

Atheist church sounds like option, I suppose, but I feel I've wasted enough good years on the topic of non-existent gods.  Why would I want to spend my Sundays continuing to do so?

Perhaps I should take up knitting.  I hear the women are hot under all that wool.