7/11/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Danimal ~
In some of my previous stories I have mentioned that I am on the autism spectrum. Autism is a condition marked by social, communication, and sensory deficits. Some of these deficits may be severe to mild, and no two autistics are exactly the same. In my case I am unable to make eye contact with others. I can't tolerate crowds of people for long periods of time. I have various sensory issues with types of clothing, noises, lighting and colors. I am also lacking what is called the "theory of mind". I am unable to "read" facial expressions and other nonverbal communication. I am very dependent on verbal communication and people have to be very specific with me.
So, what does this have to do with religion? In my obsessive study of autism I quickly discovered how many autistics are atheists. Not all, but a great many of them are. I thought this was a curious phenomenon, and I analyzed my own thinking. What I discovered was disturbing to me. I really didn't think in theistic terms. I simply absorbed what Christians told me, but I never internalized the religion. I found that I really didn't believe in miracles, divinely inspired books, or invisible super-beings.
However, I didn't know why. I noticed that Christians spoke of god as if he was visible. They professed great love for an invisible god and sang love songs to him. In their minds god was real and a real presence. But, not for me. I lack the connections in my brain to experience "spiritual" things and to believe in things I can't perceive with my physical senses. I am unable to personally define faith and spirituality. For me, religion is irrelevant. I am highly logical and inquisitive. I discovered that these two traits are not prized by most Christians. I have many logical, sound reasons not to believe in any religion, but the truth is that I'm unable to understand them.
I've spent a year now really understanding my autism. I don't think in theistic terms. If I don't know something, I never assume that god did it. I have no need for miracles, prayer, or church. All religions are irrational to me.
That doesn't mean that all the religionists are wrong. I simply think differently. I have no problem with the normal "neurotypical" people having religious beliefs. However, rarely do these people keep their beliefs to themselves. They impose them on others. They can't seem to tolerate that others may have no desire for church or saviors. To these whack jobs autism is caused by demons or a lack of a "relationship" with Jesus. It would never occur to them that this is simply how I am. If religions were free of nut jobs, closet schizophrenics, and antisocial personalities they could be a real force for good. Unfortunately, religion in itself breeds mental instability, delusional thinking, and aberrant behavior.
Since leaving church and religion, I have actually felt better. I have much less anxiety than I did. My thinking isn't obscured with religious twaddle. I am free of all the lies and quarrels that exist in church. Really, if Jesus is going to marry the church, then he is marrying a whore (excuse me, sex worker). I am free to be me for the first time in my life. I've lost all my christian "friends", but I don't miss them. I don't miss tongues speaking, intercessory prayers, fellowship, hideous christian music, sermons, general nosiness, and people actually trying to control my life. I need to end now. I think I see some Witnesses coming up to the door...
I wiggle my ears for your comments.
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