What is this, you may ask? Why, just another friendly neighborhood atheist who thought he’d be doing the world a favor by blogging on religious topics. Yes, I know there are probably already too many of these godlessly themed blogs, so why bother? It’s something I’d like to try out.
I’ve always had an interest in writing, I work in software, and I’ve had a little free time lately. Couple that with a growing up a devout Christian who turned Atheist several years ago, and voila. Blog.
My intent is…. well, of that I’m not really sure. We’ll just see where this goes. Hell, this may be the only post. But at least it’s a start.
Maybe a little history is in order. I’m under 30 but for up until 25 I was totally into the whole Christianity thing, lock, stock, and barrel. I’ll delve more into that later. But around that age, I still kept going through the old roller coaster ride of being close to god, slipping, feeling ever guilty, then repenting and riding on a good repentant feeling for the next couple days. It was always the same thing, sin, repent, repeat as necessary.
I’d always read the Christian books that so many people swear by. I wanted to get closer to god, and not always be up and down. I wanted to learn more about god. And I did…
It probably started by dating a girl from an uber-religious Reformed family. I was raised in a Baptist church, but not the no-card-playing-or-dancing kind of Baptist. The church was very literal in its biblical interpretation, however. I would come to find out that we weren’t nearly as conservative as this girl and her family. They weren’t allowed to do any type of work on Sundays, and it was a standing joke that I had been asked by the family to pick up a bag of hot dog buns on my way over one particular Sunday afternoon, because they weren’t allowed to go to the store.
She was always tense on the subject of religion and afraid of what people would think about how she, Reformed, could be dating a Baptist. Yea, I know, pot and kettle. After being through that relationship, I started thinking about my own beliefs and how they were shaped by the church in my past. I wanted to find out for myself why I believed what I believed. It unnerved me that two devout Christians could be so far apart on the topic of religion.
And that, my friends, was the beginning of a long, difficult journey that continues today. I tried to hold onto my god, but everywhere I turned, it became ever more apparent that I was a member of one of millions of religions. Oh sure, in the old days I would say that all other religions were pointing towards Christianity as the correct religion. But I wasn’t satisfied. I had but a taste of the fruit that the Judeo-Christian god forbade in the garden: Knowledge.
Around every corner was more and more evidence and reasoning that demonstrated there was nothing unique or special about the Christian religion. I went through stages of denial and confusion and bouts of mild depression. But I remember very clearly that one day it dawned on me, the one thought that would lead me into a world which made sense. It seems obvious and less-than-epiphanal today, but at that moment it meant the world to me. It went something like this:
You don’t have the upper hand in life or death. You’re just another member of the human race, just like everyone else. You don’t get a free ride from a man in the sky and no one can talk to him. In fact, there is no “him”.
As odd as that may sound, it was life to me. This realization changed me and gave me hope again. Life would only be meaningless without a god if you let it. Ironically, it felt like I was being born again. I still love that analogy. It brought me hope and joy, and felt more real than the church had.
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve gone from Unknown, to Ex-Christian, to Agnostic, and finally accepting the badge of Atheist, as much as I dislike the categorization of such labels. I’m constantly intrigued by religion and it seems to always be present in the area in which I live. I love to talk and debate with others on the topic, though I try to do it sparingly and only when confronted. I try to avoid evangelical atheism.
So that’s the short story of why I’m here. Religion was a huge part of my life for 25 years, and that’s a hard thing to shake off. I want to get my thoughts written down, and this seems to be the preferred medium of the day. If you’re reading this, well, hello and welcome. Leave a comment if you wish, just make sure you take off your shoes and clean up after yourself.