Rejoicing In Losing My Religion


Is Atheism a Religion? In asking that question I think we would have to identify what religion is. 

Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.[1] Quite often a religion has a set of beliefs that have no physical evidence that you have to believe on faith alone. These are stories that are passed down from one generation to the next relying on the memory of the previous generation to tell the story correctly; Until those stories are written down so for the most part they are left unchanged from that point forward. A religion often has a set of guide lines for you to live by which may include things like what you can and can not eat, how and when to worship or pray, how one should treat others of other religions. Atheism has none of this; It does not imply anything other then a lack of belief in a supernatural being. An Atheist does not believe in anything supernatural, they are skeptical of any supernatural claims. 


Atheism is a Religion like Not Collecting Stamps is a Hobby.

Losing My Religion





I guess I have always been skeptical of what I have been told. I remember the night my dad told me about the boogie man and the tooth fairy. The boogie man was quite a scary thought and I didn't want to imagine something so scary but the tooth fairy seamed much more along the lines of what I wanted to believe in. At that point I had no reason to believe in either but the concept that either one could exist was always there. When I had proof of the tooth fairy I was skeptical of her existence still. I saw how highly likely it was that it was my mom or dad leaving the dollar under my pillow for me to find in the morning. Even though I never believed in the tooth fairy I really enjoyed the excitement in the morning of finding the dollar and thinking that someone was thoughtful enough to leave it there for me. I always loved things like the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus; cause on those days someone was thinking of me and that made me feel special and happy that I meant so much to someone that they would not take the claim for my happiness and let me believe in something magical. No matter how much my mom would tell me the reason why she celebrated Christmas or Easter to me it wasn't about some guy who died 2000 years ago it was about family and taking time to spend with them and remind them that you still care.


I was raised in a Christian home where no one really went to church cause your faith was a private thing between you and god. There were a couple times I went to church when I was very young and then when i was a bit older. There wasn't a whole lot I liked about it. They told bible stories and messages through puppets and well I cant ever remember liking puppets. I probably didn't like puppets for the same reason I disliked my Barbie dolls; they weren't REAL they couldn't move or do thing on their own. So why should I listen to some story being told by something that wasn't real. I was quite sheltered growing up so my world experiences was very limited all I truly knew was what i learned at school or at home.





That left my mind open to a lot of things and believing in a god wasn't really one of them. When things would get hard for me I would then turn to god and ask for guidance for direction I never knew what to expect. Each time when nothing happened I would sit there and ponder what it meant and how I was to take it. Did it mean that god works in mysterious ways and I would see the out come later? That at the time seamed satisfactory. I lost my belief in the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, and Santa Claus quite early cause they all seamed very childish things to believe in, losing my belief in god took a while longer. 



In my early teen years I called my self a Christian cause thats what I thought I identified with. I didn't think much more about it; but as I learned more about history and the Greeks and Egyptians I pondered Why didn't people today believe in those gods and why are they thought of as myths today. I went on with life with out giving it much thought. Then my friend invited me to her youth group; It was different i didn't what to think of it or how to act. It was quite enjoyable and I allowed myself to be consumed with everything it entailed. I had met some really great people there all that I loved very much. One of these people had asked me "if i was saved? if i had accepted Jesus as my lord and savior and was born again?" Confused by this question I had said YES. I had always believed that Jesus was my lord and savior I couldn't remember a time when I hadn't believed that. god and Jesus had always been such a part of my life; I remember this one time when I was very young that I had told a lie I felt so bad about telling that lie that I promised to god and Jesus that I would never tell a lie again and from that point on i cant remember telling a lie. I think I might have told a lie when I was about 19 and if you were to ask my husband today I don't lie i just might avoid the truth but a lie will never be told. Seeing that they seamed to believe the same thing as me I tried to find a place where I might fit in with this group. Things went great for a while I was immersed in the youth group learning all about listing to new bands that they would listen to; It felt good to be a part of something cause for so long I had been an out cast. After a while I saw a change in some of my friends; there was something different about them and they weren't the same. When ever I tried to inquire what was wrong they didn't want to talk about it. It was through the grapevine that I had heard the stories and I had also heard how the church was behaving towards them. To this day I'm still in disbelief at it all but the more I learn about other Christians it does seam to fit exactly how things played out. About this time for several reasons I left the church. I felt anger and disgust for those people of the church; not for the people individually but as a whole. At this point I didn't care to much to think about god or religion. Around this time I had also met the Man who would be my Husband. Before I had Left the Church completely I hat taken him to a youth conference called Acquire The Fire. It was a very exciting event for him and he was very respectful of my beliefs at the time. 


Between 2003 & 2008 I thought more about it cause I was thinking about my cousin and her faith in Islam and my husband kept challenging my faith. In '08 I figured I didn't know if there was a god and I didn't know if I believed in a god so I started to ponder if Agnostic was where I Fit in. I talked to other people and agnostic seamed like a good fit cause atheists were EVIL and anything SECULAR was EVIL! It takes a lot to get past the conditioning I went through as a child. So I was an Agnostic and this was where I seamed to fit! It was until some told me the proper definition of Agnostic and that the word Gnostic had to do with Knowledge and not Belief and that the world Theist had to do with belief. They then asked me if I believed or if i didn't believe. I had to think about that one for a while I struggled with that one for quite a while analyzing both sides of believing and not believing. Looking at Christianity and at Atheism and the more I learned about this Faith that I blindly followed the more it disgusted me. The more I looked at what I had believed the more absurd it appeared to me. It was like believing in the easter bunny. Sure those of you who believe in god see god as a real part of your reality. Well every where I Looked in my reality there was no sign of god. The God of the bible just didn't fit with what I knew about the world. So you may ask if I even bothered to look into any other religions? Well along this long path I had taken I constantly considered other religions i even tested out wicca but they all seamed absurd. There is no truth, no fact, no logic in any of them so atheist fits me But now you are describing what i don't believe and in that way i am a non stamp collector cause i don't collect stamps.



Joy after Religion

Now that I have given up religion and I look back on how I got here I kinda wish I would have opned up my eyes sooner. I had a friend who as far as I know as always been a freethinker and has for the most part been a much better person then a lot of Christians. He had many chances to tell me how wrong I was but he was always so respectful and I'm sure he was afraid that had he told me I was wrong that he would have lost me a a friend. I'm just glad I came to this discovery sooner then later.

Religion had some really scary things about it for example HELL! Hell seams like a ridiculous punishment for either not accepting Jesus as your lord and savior or believing in something else entirely. In what is my reality now, I live each day as if it was my last cause I'm not guaranteed tomorrow and I don't believe in an after life; So this is my one and only chance and I cant waste it. As I learn more about our world and how it works, its even more beautiful then before. To think of how it all possibly started is amazing. Now I don't Claim I know how it all started but based on the evidence I think the scientists are on the right track. Its kinda cool to think how My Emma(my Cat) and I share a very distant common ancestor and that everything around us is nothing more then star stuff. I have found a renewed joy for Science and an interest in further learning. There is so much more wonder and excitement in the world that I thought I had lost with childhood.

Some of you, who know me, know I'm a good person others may be pondering well without god where do you get your morals from? I would say society, I don't think you get your Morals from god cause hes ok with things like ******, rape, murdering thousands for being immoral, and slavery. There a lot of things in the bible that I'm sure you don't get your morals from. Up until about 150 years ago Slavery was thought of as OK and the bible has guide lines on how you should treat your slave. So it is society that deems whats moral and whats not, it takes time to change things. It is completely possible to be a good person with out god. There are things that Christians deem as morally wrong as sinful such as gay people. There is nothing wrong with it. Sure they can not breed together but who are you to say they cant love one another. Sin is a religious concept that no longer exists in my reality. Things that religion deems sinful have causes me a lot of grief growing up but now that I see that it was natural its not so bad. Wow SEX! very sinful if your not married, but its a beautiful thing that often happens between two people Who care for each other deeply. I will admit it that I had Sex Before marriage and I'm not sure why it is thought to be sinful. I don't like that religion makes you feel ashamed of being human and having thoughts and urges that are completely natural.


There are people who make this statement "Atheist don't seen very happy they seem angry. why are they angry?" They are angry at what happens in the name of religion. It makes me so mad to see people as brainwashed as Westboro Baptist Church and what they teach those children. What makes me angry is when a Muslim woman gets raped and her rapist gets to go free and cause she doesn't have 4 witnesses to prove it she gets charged with sex outside of marriage and is put in jail. There are a lot of injustices that angers atheist and that is why we may seam angry.


For me to get where I am today it took a lot of contemplating, a searching for the truth, Logic and Reason, and for once thinking for myself. In school they taught us critical thinking, they just never told us to apply it to our own lives. So today I live by the motto Question Everything and if it seams ridiculous it probably is. I don't claim to know anything and like the scientific method if something doesn't fit figure out the flaw and prove to them why it wrong and if you have a better solution prove why its right. I leave you with this Question When was the last time you questioned what you were told and what you knew?










 

ReinetteRenee ReinetteRenee
22-25, F
2 Responses Mar 7, 2010

Atheism is an anti-religion. Atheism is the disbelief of RELIGION, not of any god specifically.

I'd say Atheism is more of a faith instead of a religion. I go to a catholic school and we had this discussion in my world religions class. Even though "faith" is commonly associated with religion it basically means just believing in something. it doesn't have to be a God that you believe in.