The irrelevance of god

(Via ArchangelChuck)

Okay, I'll bite. My story isn't as interesting as most people's. The realization of -- and reconciliation with -- my nonbelief was nothing special. There was no epiphany, there was no grim realization that everything I believed and had been told most of my life was a lie. There was no great divide in my family, no in-fighting between relatives, no friends turning their backs on me, no girlfriends leaving because they couldn't stand the thought of my burning in hell... On the bright side, there were no more church services, no more preachers, no more readings from that insane, apparently divine, book...

There was just inner peace. That's all any of us really want, isn't it?

From early childhood, I was raised in a Christian family; well, as Christian as we could make ourselves appear, anyway. We hosted church groups in our home, we attended church every Sunday, and in general we have always been good, decent people. Hell! I even attended a Christian school for as long as we could afford it. There was a problem, though. My mom was divorced two or three times by around the time I was born, and I've been raised by a single mother for most of my childhood. (Oh, and she had a Buddha in the house, which was apparently why our family fell on so many hard times. Digressing.) Though I never realized it in my young naïvité, we were always looked at as freaks. In the world of religion, the pinnacle of naïvité is the thought that being a good and decent person is enough. The sad, pathetic reality of religion is that everybody around you has to pry into your personal life and judge you -- from what little they know about the "wisdom" of the Bible -- based on what little they know about your situation. Everybody is a spy, a snitch, and a gossip, and nobody will hesitate to turn on you the moment they find some dirt. Nobody will ever stop to listen to your side of the story, because the verdict is already in. When you're presumed guilty, everything you say is a lie. Where is the peace, the happiness, that common decency toward one's fellow man?

There are no friends in religion.

When I was still being compelled to attend church, I spent most of the time ignoring the preacher and the people around me who were babbling in "tongues" and pretending they were all one step closer to heaven than I was. They would read the bible out loud, and after every sentence or two, "PRAISE THE LORD! HALLELUJAH!" Then stop every five minutes to pray, as if their god really wants them to keep interrupting. Have you had someone tap you on the shoulder every five minutes to tell you something you already know? Isn't it annoying?! Bored as I was, I drew. I studied the bible on a depth that nobody in that room could ever comprehend, and realized how bonkers it was. I even started reading evil secular books during church. It was scandalous, but everyone else was too preoccupied with their delusions to notice.

Was my faith being challenged, or was I incapable of it in the first place?

The fact of the matter is, I've always been an atheist, and simply was never aware of that fact. I never really believed -- even though I said I did -- and I never really cared. It was convenient to say I believed, because nobody thought they had to proselytize to me. In reality, I was more interested in video games than I was in pondering about mythical space daddies in the sky. I was more interested in having fun with friends than being manipulated through guilt and fear with people I neither knew nor cared about. Having a choice between attending a youth bible study with people I knew and tolerated and playing Quake 2 online with people I knew better and actually liked, guess which one I chose without a second thought?

It took no thought; God was just never relevant in my life, and that's just the way it was.

1 comment:

Micky said...

Matthew 21: 32 For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.

Do you want to end up here?

Repent!