Thoughts On Religion

I’m an atheist. I feel I should make that clear first and foremost. If it can’t be proven, I just can’t believe in it. While I feel that deities, New Age magick and religious holidays can be beneficial and beautifully symbolic, I don’t think that there are external forces or energies controlling me or the world around me. Now, that is not to say that I’m some sort of superior, raving atheist, and the second thing I feel I should make clear is that while I do disagree with young children being taught religion as fact, I don’t disagree with people who follow a religion – as long as they aren’t blowing things up and telling me I’m going to burn for all eternity. All experiences with various religions are my own, and of course, I am going to be biased. When I say that I was terrified by the idea of the Christian God, I’m not saying that the Christian God is terrifying and evil and that those who follow him are just the same. I’m saying that I was terrified by the idea of the Christian God. From what was presented to me, I saw him as a negative influence, but that’s just me. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I do want to tell my story and I want to share my thoughts (because who isn’t narcissistic on the internet?). So, here we go.

 I went to a Church of England primary school and was taught Christianity as a fact. However, between the end of primary school and the beginning of secondary school, various things got in the way of these beliefs.

 Firstly, God. And Jesus. And the Holy Ghost. And all that jazz, you know. It felt like something I should love and cherish, but it just became something that I should accept, like a mathematical equation or a rule of grammar. I never felt a strong pull to Christianity and, in truth, the deities that were portrayed seemed like characters that I disliked. God was demanding, illogical and distant. Jesus was egotistical, vain and critical. I’m sure there are many, many Christians today who don’t agree with that. But religion is in the eye of the beholder, surely, and a young version of myself felt more spiritual and alive in a dimly lit forest surrounded by wildlife than in an uncomfortable church where I was forced to sing and read and take part in things that made little sense to me.

 Secondly, the facts. The cold, hard evidence. I had been taught that God created the world in seven days and I believed it, just the same as I believed in Santa and Hogwarts. When I started to learn about evolution, it made sense. It made sense that there had been dinosaurs. It made sense that the world didn’t begin with just two people. It all clicked, and it was real, and it was a beautiful, violent, unplanned, chaotic process. However, this conflicted with what I’d previously known. The lie of Creation, ineffectual prayers and a simple discomfort with the entire thing slowly allowed religion to crumble around me.

 I was no longer read Biblical stories, I no longer had to sing Hallelujah and I was no longer made to sit with my eyes closed while somebody read a prayer, prompting me to murmur “amen” in a drawn out, solemn voice. 

 For a time, I was an atheist.

 And the next religion I found was Wicca.

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~ by Vermin Love on August 29, 2009.

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