Born Yesterday

(Via Chris Mitchell)

If you just want to know the train of thought behind my own mental blossoming, I suggest you skip the first segment.

I was born a human and raised a Christian. My family attended services at a contemporary Presbyterian church. I attended kindergarten at a Lutheran school and grades 1-7 at a Catholic school.

I'm not sure what to call it, but the environment I was raised in was not that of fundamentalist Christians, thank goodness. I was naturally inquisitive growing up. This especially applies to me spiritually. I could never stop questioning my being. Of course, I was so close to the religious beliefs I had been brought up with, they were always a part of my self-image. I could not view myself without a god.

My mother, unfortunately, kept me hooked on many of the weakest faith based ideas. My father, more open minded, and an atheist himself, was and still is an incredibly weak man. Weak to temptation and quick to anger. My time spent growing up was a... very confusing part of my life.

Finally, at the age of 17, my parents finally broke up. There were a few other tragedies, which I will not make particular mention of, that really struck me. A great number of other heart-wrenching events decided to take their place literally within the same week of the divorce. Mentally, I broke down. The household and family I had grown up with fell apart entirely and I had lost all of my good friends, which was basically all of my friends. This was a major changing point in my life. Not weird, I suppose, but after these events I found myself lacking the will to do absolutely anything. So I spent most of my time thinking, listening to music, playing video games, and thinking some more.

This is how it occurred to me. I always found it strange that so many other religions exist other than "my own". I simply thought thought that if there were so many Christians, we must be right. But then it began to dawn on me just how different beliefs were from person to person. What was the point of a religion that refuses beliefs from all other religions when there are not only many variations of said religion itself but variations of beliefs from person to person? Could you really be a Christian if you were not a fundamentalist? And if I said yes, was I not simply in a state of denial, torn between my own morals and beliefs and the "faith" which I felt I belonged to?

Eventually, I came out of this denial. I called myself agnostic for a small period of time but soon realized the bullshit involved with such a concept. One of the core elements of "faith" is indoctrination and so I figured it'd just be better to call myself an atheist. Not to mention realizing that believing in something does not make you a christian in any way, shape, or form. Also, what I believed in did not include a deity. I finally realized that spirituality was a core element of my own, personal being and it was not necessary to butcher the term with religious beliefs.

Now, I do not call myself an atheist. I do not need to. I am a free man.

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