The Distance to Here
It was a replay in a lot of ways, a replay of the conversation that happened years ago, when I was 15 years old. My parents had cornered me, and my mother with a quivering voice and tear filled eyes, holding before her a book I had hidden in my room asked me "Sarah, do you believe in God?" At the time I was afraid, I was afraid of the consequences of my answer so I lied, "of course I do" I answered, "I'm just angry".
This time, when my mother asked if I believed in God I answered without pausing "Who's definition of God are you asking me about?" She didn't answer, so I pressed further "The traditional judeo christian version? Hell no. Not a chance."
And that was that.
Funny how it took me eight years to be able to admit that so candidly, so openly, and without any regrets or "what if's" lingering in my mind. The distance to this point has been a long one. It started as me being angry, I was angry, and confused and no one was answering my questions. After that point I seemed to spawn into bitterness, who were these people and how dare they tell me how to live my life. Why did I buy into it? Why won't anyone explain anything to me? Do they think I'm stupid?
Then I started reading, and trying to find a place for me to fit. I didn't understand that you can be satisfied NOT fitting. I wanted a mold to pour myself in, and I wanted it badly. I wanted someone to answer all my questions. I wanted to fit somewhere that didn't condemn me reading, thinking, wondering and asking. I drifted, from here to there, paganism, satanism, different forms of Christianity, the occult, eastern thought, new age and everything in between. Books were my companion, and for brief periods of time I would find happiness in whatever organization I was involved in. Inevitably, however, my mind would move past the boundaries and restrictions upon which the organization I was joined for the moment placed upon me, so again I would drift.
I have always considered me some form of agnostic/free thinker/atheist. I would never call myself an atheist though, in my mind saying that you are 100% sure that God doesn't exist was at ridiculous as the people who were 100% sure he did exist. So for years I termed myself as "spiritual but not religious" and if I was asked if I believed in God I would usually say "god and I have decided to leave each other alone. It's better that way."
But a concept as big as "God" cannot be pushed out of the mind, and not addressed for long. It's not that I have had a hard time accepting my lack of belief in God. That came naturally. When I was 14 and really started looking into doctrines of my church I decided I didn't believe in God the same way these people did, and at 15 I decided that I didn't believe God existed, period. It wasn't a question of belief, it was a question of admitting it to the world around me, and for the life of me I don't know why it has kept me so afraid all these years.
It's a process of seeing yourself as you really are. I don't believe in what my family believes in, and I don't believe or see things the same way as most of my fellows in this so dubbed "Christian Nation" and I think that has kept my mind, my voice, and my opinions in hiding for far too long. I am a free thinker, I am an atheist, and I am an agnostic.
I think it is unfortunate that admitting something so simple can be such a long and arduous process for so many. It's like admitting your gay, it's so hard for some to come out of the closet and say "I'm here and I'm queer", and that's understandable. Repercussions are everywhere. There are so many people I have met in this state who have been disowned for leaving the church, or keep their thoughts and opinions on the religion to themselves for fear of their family. Why should we apologize for who we are? Why should we hide what we think, feel and believe?
It is horrible that we as people feel the need and desire to hide so many different aspects of ourselves simply because they don't fit the social norm. It's disgusting and hypocritical to see so many people spew out their mouth about love and kindness, helping the needy and the such one minute, and condemn the gays, and if you believe in evolution your damned for eternity the next. Who's side are you on? God's or your own?
Maybe God is just a pretty word to use that justifies your own prejudices.
Food for Thought:
I refuse to be labeled immoral merely because I am godless. ~Peter Walker
Prayer: How to do nothing and feel like your doing something.