This is one post I’ve put off for a while. A number of my followers will unfollow me. Many will lash out at me. Total strangers will attack me for this.
Then, just yesterday, I realized that these same people didn’t care about me when they horrified me and threatened me as a child. Nor did they care about me or help me when I needed help the most.
They did teach me, literally hold classes, on why I should hate other children who were different than me. Ask me about that sometime. They did scold me for playfully dancing with a friend. They showed me horror films at age 8 that, to this day…right this very minute, cause my stomach to clench with sick at the thought of what they showed me. It’s a condition response they embedded into my brain at age 8. They Clockwork Orange’d me. That sick will never go away.
Many would call me hateful and angry, but I think I’ve earned this anger…and after what they did to me, they deserve it. Yes, I am fucking angry.
I am an atheist. Technically, I am a weak agnostic with strong atheistic tendencies. In common tongue, this means I am open minded to the possibility of a god and ready for anyone to actually prove it, but I seriously doubt it. Show me the proof and then I’ll believe the Science. I did not come to this decision lightly. I have been baptized and grew up Southern Baptist in New York by a mother who was convinced I would not be harmed if her god was in my life.
I asked about Zeus and Darwin at an early age (seven). At five I was looking at images of gold palaces framed in pearly gates. This was taught as something I should value. All I could think of is that if their god really knew me, he would know I hate gold and cold metals. My heaven would be tall trees, lush forests, breathtaking gardens, and books with an eternity to read each one.
When I asked about Buddha, I was scolded and punished. I was once told that Buddhists sacrifice humans. Such ignorance. I later would learn that they had mistaken a very rare and almost extinct Hindu practice recognized only by those who follow Vishnu. Not Brahma. I was ten and, at last, decided to do my own research because no one would answer my questions. I studied and researched, but my sources were limited. The same people who punished me for questions took great care to keep most books out of reach. I had the Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress. I had nothing else unless it mentioned their god. I do not recognize these as books.
When at last I encountered an encyclopedia set at ten years old, I studied Greek myth, Roman myth, Hinduism, Muslim, Judaism, Buddism, and every single sect of Christianity. Every. One. I covered civilization from Mesopotamia to today and realized that every single culture had developed a story to explain natural occurrences. At 13 I loved god more than anything and was baptized. Still, it was verbally beaten into me that questions showed a lack of faith. Faith. Was their god so weak that he couldn’t withstand questions and a child’s natural curiosity? The same curiosity that god supposedly gave me? At 14 I decided no more. I opened my books and decided that the god I loved was strong enough to confront any question. I would come full circle and emerge with proof of god to show to the non believers. This was my plan.
I studied the history of Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim. I studied the rise of the Christian church, the era and culture of Rome. I studied Christ, and the evolution of the early church as the Eastern Roman Empire transformed into the Holy Christian Empire. Rome didn’t fall. It’s still very much alive today in the Holy Christian Empire and it’s as bloody and abusive as ever. Only now, it’s insufferable. I can not be governed by fear any longer. Fear of a god that didn’t exist. Fear of a place that was derived right from the Norse gods and Helheim (That’s right. The Norse came first). Now, fear of ridicule from those who disagree with me.
I will never forget Tracy, who looked at me with such loathing and shock when I talked about my morals one day. “You have morals?” she asked me in disbelief. Yes, you fucking judgemental Christian bitch. I have morals. And I have them without your god.
I will be blunt as only I know how. I have spent 36 years being ever so considerate of other religions. Being ever so courteous so as to not offend. Not once has that courtesy ever been returned to me. I’m tired of fear. I’m tired of sacrificing my own opinions and beliefs for the likeness of a people who have always treated me like shit after manipulating me with the fear of god.
I still remember the day my god was ripped from me. The substantial logic. I could not deny what so blatantly stared me in the face. I was reminded at once of Reverend Brown from Inherit the Wind and how he killed himself. And then I understood. He killed himself because he was too educated to deny the logic. And he couldn’t live without the ideals he had created.
I too felt the certainty shatter. I was raised with a formidable center that would anchor me through all horrors of life—and my life was truly horrific. I was devastated when that “formidable center” was lost. Within minutes there was no god.
“You think…therefore I am,” says god.
“What did it?” you may ask. “What piece of knowledge did you gain that shook your faith?” Only one thing. Douglas Adams. That’s right. A Science Fiction author.
In Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy, the world was destroyed by Vogons and only one human survived (technically two, but that’s for later). Arthur Dent was the only human survivor. He had help from an alien friend—Ford Prefect—who hitchhiked a ride onto the Vogon Construction Fleet seconds before earth was destroyed.
Arthur is alone with his alien friend who breaks the news an hour later. Yeah, earth is destroyed. So sorry. It was mostly harmless anyway.
Arthur starts thinking. My mother is dead. The thought has no affect on him. His cat is dead. A twinge of sadness. The dollar bill no longer exists. This is when the reality hits Arthur. McDonald’s is gone. Beethoven is gone. This is when I had my own thought and I plugged in one final concept. All earth religions were gone. Now what would that be like? I mean, except for the instant lack of religious wars. Then I realized, god only exists as long as someone is around to think of him. I envision this collection of gods just standing around without a people to worship them. A god without a following is only a myth.
And just like that god was dead. No hate. No anger. I did experience a deep dread, a hollowness, a hurt. I wanted to be a Christian. I wanted to believe in god. I wanted the concept to be true. But ignorance was slipping away. Education, logic was too prominent to deny.
I panicked. I cried and had a mental breakdown. Forty eight hours later, I stood again liberated from fear and hate. I no longer acted out of fear or made decisions based on fear. I acted instead out of desire and want. At once I turned to ethics and defined my own right and wrongs. With the help of Ayn Rand, Socrates, Plato, and the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” I did only what was natural. God was dead. My morals were not. I spent the next three years carving out exactly what my morals were. I’ll be honest, they were very much the same as before. The only difference—and it’s a big one—my morals were now based on logic and self-defined ethics because I wanted them and not because some one threatened to send me to Hell/Helheim if I didn’t. I was 15 years old when I started this journey into existentialism.
My education did not stop there. I wanted to know why we had religion. I began dissecting this thing that plagues this planet. I found Jung. Jung broke down the psychological need for religion. God is basically an idealized parent used to comfort adults when things get scary. The only other reason why people believe in a god is because they inherited it.
I survived 9/11 without a god to pray to. That was the day I realized, the bad guys can win. Now that is fucking fear. When you realize the Hitlers of the world can win. I understood why many use god as a surrogate mother to comfort them. I didn’t want to hate this religion. I wanted to understand it. And, I still am very fascinated with religions. Today, I view religions as a primitive practice reserved only for those who lack the ethics to stand up to their fears. They were created by primitive cultures with intent to comfort primitive cultures and that is exactly where they belong. In primitive cultures. We are too advanced to believe in gods any more. We simply have too many answers. We don’t need gods anymore.
Yet, so many still turn to their god. I had to know why.
I swear by my life and my love for it, that I will never live for another man, nor ask another to live for me. – Ayn Rand.
Ego. Pride. The power of “I.”
I can not tell you how much I have learned from therapy. I have Borderline Personality Disorder. This means I have a severe distortion of one’s self worth. I am worthless. I am nothing. I will do the planet a favor when I die. I, above all else, understand and appreciate the meaning and value of self. If I don’t, I’m suicidal. I’m not worthy of life. It’s my ego that has saved me. If I were a Christian, I’d already be dead.
Nothing destroys confidence more than a religion and its god. Religion rules its people with fear and shatters the ego leaving its followers insecure, doubtful, and weak. Religion thrives on ignorance. Many religions have outright banned education. Education is the backbone of freedom. It abolishes fear and hatred. It builds confidence and strength. With education we become godlike. Knowledge and immortality: these are the qualifications of a god (Genesis). We are quickly obtaining knowledge and we’re working hard to prolong life.
I’m not writing this to convince you to convert to Atheism. *grin* I’m not a Christian and respect your decisions. I don’t care if you need a mental security blanket to help you sleep at night. I’m writing this to break free from the last of my fears: Fear of judgement. Fear of ridicule. Fear of mental oppression enforced by you, the Christian.
One of my dearest, sweetest friends is gay. My best friend and cousin are black. I adore culture and civilizations with a passion. My children are governed by logic and physics. In our house, physics is our god. Respect the physics or you will see the wrath of physics. You do not want to do that. When you have a moment, Read Genesis 1 and replace every “god” with “physics.” It’s very enlightening.
My children do not live in fear from an idea. They are confident and are not worried about what others are doing. My children are not ignorant. They know more about world religion than most people know about their own religion. We didn’t leave out the dirty little secrets. We have more than ten Bibles in the house including a children’s Bible. We have more than 20 Veggietale movies on DVD (I LOVE LARRY!) On Thanksgiving Day, I sing, “I am thankful for this day. For the sun in the sky. For my mum and my dad, and my piece of apple pie.”
My Bible is sandwiched between Origin of Species (Darwin), Inherit the Wind, and the Koran (Muslim). I own the Mormon Bible, the Jehova’s Witness Bible, the Catholic Bible, and the New King James Version. I have a Bible written in Latin and published from the 16th century. I also have the Ramayana (Hindu) and two shelves of books on physics, chemistry, mathematics, logic, philosophy, and gardens. I am a pacifist and adore debate. If I were to believe in any religion it would be Buddhism. I refuse to call myself a Buddhist because I would falsely portray their practices. I will not disgrace their way of life. I am a pacifist. I carry bugs—”little gardeners”—out of my house into my gardens. I cry when plants die, when animals die, when children die. I do believe I am better than those who are too lazy to educate themselves. I detest violence and war. I hate hate. I have no stomach for racism, bigotry, or prejudice. The world is too small to hate. I’m fine with guns because I truly do believe we will be needing them against our government in my lifetime. Guns are only tools. People make decisions. Not guns.
I approve of marijuana and can not wait until New York legalizes it because it helps with PTSD. Before you judge me, have your mouth raped then let’s see you turn down something that can help you sleep without the nightmares. I have to sleep with a bite guard because I clamp my jaw so tight in my sleep. I can not sleep peacefully next to my husband because I associate someone in bed with the countless times I was raped in my sleep. Any god who allows that is a monster. Yes, I’m for marijuana and against the concept of god.
Remember Matthew Shepard. I do. Christians did this. You can keep your fucking gods. I’ll keep my ethics.
All emails and comments received on this subject will be publicly posted with my rebuttal. Credit will be given to the author.