4/02/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy an ex-christian ~
I have been very spiritual all my life but something about the churches and their teachings (having experience in both Protestant and Catholic churches) seemed to me to always preach action in the name of god or Jesus - not being good because it was the right thing to do.
Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)For instance, just a few months before I realized I could no longer, in good conscience, remain a believer I had gone through RCIA at my local Catholic Church. Near the end of the course, during Lent, we all had to talk about the sacrifices we were going to make. Some people gave up smoking, some gave up coffee, some swearing. I gave up my hair, which I saw as a vanity. When it was my turn to "reveal" my sacrifice, my hair, I admitted I had gone a step further and donated it to Wigs for Kids. I asked what good was a sacrifice if it didn't benefit someone else? I went on to mention that if you gave up candy or coffee or something like that that cost money, why not donate that money to a soup kitchen or something that would help others? I was instructed that the sacrifice itself was enough, god didn't expect any more than that or some words to that effect. That really bothered me, but I continued on in the class.
Later that year my husband and I found ourselves pregnant with a surprise (my youngest child was already 9 years old). I finally was able to come to terms with a new pregnancy at 40 (it took weeks!), and time flew by. When the delivery day came, I was in the admissions waiting area having contractions along with a really non-religious epiphany. What kind of god would punish a woman for such a divine event by cursing her with unbearable pain during labor? Not a very good god and not one I wanted to have anything to do with. I realized at that moment that nature and nature only causes the pain we feel during childbirth. It was simply the result of a large object passing through a narrow opening, nothing more, nothing less. At that point, god became anathema to me.
It's been about a decade since that time and I've never felt freer - freer to be a good person just because it's the right thing to do; freer to help not just those who believe as I do, but anyone who needs it; freer to learn about other belief systems... I've realized that NO ONE can know the right truth for another. Life and life experience shapes that... I've realized how destructive the christian religion, in particular, has been to other cultures - converting then deserting people who, once they've lost their own way, suffer in poverty and misery following a god who won't help them.
I've discovered more in this time, too much to list here, so I'll shut up now - thank you for listening!
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