Religion just isn’t for me.

I didn’t grow up religious.  That’s not to say we were an atheist home, we weren’t.  My parents believe in God, but we never went to church outside of Easter and Christmas, and while my sister and I were baptized Lutheran and attended parochial school, there was never any sense that we were a “religious” family.  I come from Catholic stock however, as my paternal grandfather’s parents and maternal grandmother’s parents were all Catholic, and very Catholic straight back through their family trees.  The former came from Hungary, the latter from Quebec (and they got there from France).  My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were not Catholic, so neither of my parents were raised that way.  I don’t know what background my mother had, but my dad was raised Methodist like his mother.  After a Lutheran grammar school, I went to a Catholic high school, mostly because the public schools in Chicago are pretty shit, and my parents wanted me to get a good education and that meant private school, and private school meant Catholic school.  It was while I was there though, that I finally started looking long and hard at everything I was being taught in Theology class.  That’s when it hit me.

“Wait a minute, this doesn’t make any sense.”

I got the feeling I was being taught the myth of Santa Claus rather than some omnipotent, omniscient proto-spiritual being that was responsible for life itself.  I also found the idea of both murder and using birth control being behaviors that will send you to hell to be absolutely laughable.  I never voiced these opinions out loud, because I believe it’s possible to think the idea of God totally barmy without being disrespectful to people who disagree.  In a school where everyone is religious to some degree, you don’t want to be the one person going, “HAHA, you’re all nuts!”  I’ve been an atheist for almost 17 years now, and I honestly don’t regret the path I took to get there.  If anything, the more time that has elapsed for me since then, the more comfortable I am with my opinion on the issue.  I understand that not everyone thinks like I do, and thus I’m going to come across people in my daily life, whether on the Internet or off it, that don’t agree….but that’s fine.  The world would be a boring place if everyone thought the same, all the time, about everything.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-good-faith/

Advertisements

12 comments

  1. zathra · January 9, 2015

    I have come to question & examine things that I believed when I was much, much younger. WAY YOUNGER. My uncle & aunt are very staunch conservative Protestant Christians who believe that homosexuality is pretty much the ONE ” sin ” that god won’t forgive people for, yadda – yadda. Yet I was surprised that they could make mind room for the idea that the theory of evolution being as valid as Creationism.

    I brought up the question ” Do you really believe that there’s a Heaven, Hell, afterlife ? ” to my cousin once, & I’d have fared better stepping on a land – mine with a live grenade in my hand & a bunch of containers of nitro glycerin in a belt around my waste. 🙂

    Like

    • Beth · January 9, 2015

      I’ve found that it’s easier to just not discuss religion (much like politics) with friends/family. You’re liable to hear something or say something that could cause irreparable damage to the relationship. My dad’s brother converted to Mormonism in the 1970s, so he, my aunt, and four of my cousins, along with their spouses and children, are all Mormon. My youngest cousin became a Catholic when she got married and had her daughter. As such, she’s essentially not on speaking terms with my uncle anymore. She wasn’t held in very high esteem before that anyway, what with her tattoos and drinking alcohol and all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • zathra · January 9, 2015

        I try to shy away from religion & politics, but it’s like trying to ignore the sun in AZ or the Australian Outback. Very difficult. The conversation just tends to drift towards the direction of either topic or both. Most of my people are Right Wing Conservatives, & I’m a moderate Liberal. Or a Left – Leaning Moderate. Or I just think for myself. In Bible Belt America, it can be hard to be a free – thinker who’s not homophobic or who doesn’t think that Obama is the Devil sans horns & pitchfork.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Beth · January 9, 2015

          I hear ya. I’m an atheist who is very much to the left, and I live in North Carolina. My family are all conservatives, but thankfully not the batshit kind that think President Obama was born in Kenya and is really a secret Muslim communist spy.

          Like

  2. Nato · January 9, 2015

    I do believe in God, but I can appreciate your belief and opinions. Who am I to say you are wrong? What makes me think I have the only way in the world? I certainly will not denounce God, as I do truly believe, but I can respect someone else’s thoughts. I only wish the world could peacefully get along as well. Like you said, the world is made up of many different types of people and beliefs. We should all love each other and work together for peace, regardless of what we believe. And, if I were judgmental and argumentative about you being an atheist, would that really make you think Christianity was desirable? I think not. So bless you for having the courage to be yourself and explore and research your beliefs. Even if we don’t believe the same things, we can still learn from each other, and make the world better through love, understanding and kindness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beth · January 9, 2015

      I only wish more people felt the way you do. I personally have never experienced any brushback from people for being an atheist, mostly because I don’t go around broadcasting it to everyone unless I’m specifically asked about it, but I do know there are people out there who have a rough time of it, especially if they come from families/communities where religious belief is highly important. I’ve never cared what other people believe, provided they don’t try and convert me. You feel how you feel, I feel how I feel, and that’s all that’s really important.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nato · January 9, 2015

        The world could certainly be more peaceful if people could figure out how to coexist and disagree without violence and judgement. I don’t have to agree with you and you don’t have to agree with me, but we can still be respectful, be good citizens/humans and contribute to society. And I truly believe actions speak louder than words. So people who try to convert by badgering…makes no sense to me. I do consider my spiritual side important to me, but I can’t say I am religious per say. I just believe He exists and try to a good kind person:)

        Like

  3. armandoc3 · January 10, 2015

    Good read. I think we live in an overly sensitized world these days. Disagreements of opinion don’t have to be the lines that determine a battlefield. There’s nothing wrong with healthy debate (hell, ((pun intended)) arguing on the existence of God had always been a favorite past time in my days as a college student). There’s level-headed, good people, in every school of thought and belief system. Similarly enough, there are your extremists who (by definition) take their beliefs, and often their own interpretations of them, too far.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zathra · January 10, 2015

      And those extremists are the ones who fly planes into buildings, attack the offices of publications like Charlie Hebdo, etc. They’re indoctrinated / programmed.

      You get the occasional fundamentalist Christian who guns down an abortion doctor or sets fire to a gay night spot, etc., but the ” religion of peace ” has the most violent fanatics.

      Like

      • armandoc3 · January 10, 2015

        I’m not about to argue “this religion is worse than that religion” when there’s plenty of guilt to go around if you look at things on a historic scale. Granted, Christianity may have cleaned up its act recently (Pope Francis is doing wonders to salvage the Catholic Church, as an obvious example), but I don’t think its hard to imagine a world where Christianity could have been driven into a hate-filled ideology as a result of many Christians suffering continuous economic, social, and political oppression.

        In the case of current affairs, the tragedy of Islam is how it has been utilized as a tool to recruit and rally individuals to pursue aims that are not necessarily complementary to the faith itself. Sure, there are ways to directly argue that a passage in any religious text recommends action x, but I am certain there are similar passages (in the same text) that can be interpreted to suggest not doing x. The paradoxes are what make faith so complex and enduring throughout human history.

        My point is this: religion itself is akin to a ball of clay. It can be shaped to fulfill many different needs and purposes. At the end of the day, the responsibility for what is done with this clay is not on the clay itself, but on the crafter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • zathra · January 10, 2015

          I find myself more or less in agreement with you. Even Buddhism, one of the more tolerant religions – Even though I really regard it more as a philosophy – has received negative publicity for its mistreatment of Islamic minorities ( ? ) in Myanmar / Burma. No one is a saint here.

          Liked by 1 person

        • zathra · January 10, 2015

          I should clarify what I said previously, just to clear my own conscience, people in Burma / Myanmar, who adhere to the Buddhist philosophy or religion have been persecuting fellow nationals belonging to the Islamic minority there. Not exactly ” ideal ” Buddhist behaviour that I would want my kids to emulate, were I a practitioner of the Middle Way with children.

          Like

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s