Too Much of a "Good" Thing

(Via Derek)

I was never really "rooted" in a church for most of my life, but my family, in no uncertain terms, subscribed to the Christian tenements. It went so far as to my attending a private Christian academy for 5th and 6th grade, a very critical stage in social development, I'd say.

Note, however, that we were not actively attending church. It was always the boring thing we had to wake up on Sunday to go to and carry out the rituals and all that jazz. Even while I was at this Christian school, I slept in on Sundays.

When I was in 7th grade, my mom found a church home and immediately dragged us along with her. She's still happy there, now an ordained minister of two years, and if it gives her justification to carry on, good, she's my mother and I love her as much as a son is entitled to love his mother.

Throughout high school my faith slipped more and more, as I befriended more rational thinkers and shirked on my devotion to church more every week.

Then my brother told me in no uncertain terms he considered himself agnostic (about two years ago, when I was a senior in high school), and I started actively resenting church: stopped responding (i.e. - no talking, singing, etc. in response to a church figure unless it was one-on-one direct contact), refused/excused my way out of any function I could, started to let my personal KJV/Amplified parallel bible gather dust on my dresser in my room. I'm convinced that thing has now sat on my dresser for a good three years solid without being opened, much less touched.

I then moved off to college, far from my Bible belt origins, into New York, to a science and engineering school, of all places. Religion was still all around me, it seemed: several of my friends are devout Christians and still attend service every Sunday, but my impetus to go (my mother) was gone, and so was the leash that religion seemed to hold on me. But it took one of my good friends to say those empowering words to me: “I'm an atheist.” And from there on I finally had a reference, a person to turn to who was comfortable in the beliefs I so longed to accept as my own.

Of all the things that finally pushed me to make the leap from agnostic/“a-religious” as I put it to calling myself an atheist, it was adding StumbleUpon and turning on “Atheism/Agnosticism” to my interests (including finding this site). IMMEDIATELY, the answers were there, the support was there, the PEOPLE were there. It wasn't just me. I wasn't just going crazy, the science that I've devoted my life to studying is actually rational, and just because I have more trust in that than an imaginary deity does not make me any less of a human being.

I am moral, despite what most people would think upon first meeting me (I'm a college student, so morality is a bit bent for my demographic regardless). I think that there are some people who will never in the bottom of their soul ever renounce their beliefs, and to you I say “More power to you, whatever helps you sleep at night.” The universe is a beautiful place, I just like to watch the equations that define it unfold rather than thinking some magic words created the Earth and the “Heavens”.

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