2/26/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Bob903 ~
For me, the God I understood as loving, kind,etc; was very abusive. I am going to share my definition of Atheist, but let me just try not to offend those that really understand physical abuse. I have never been in, nor do I want to make light of those who have struggled to survive and live past a physical and emotionally violent relationship.
My first memories of prayer and how to pray came from a Southern Baptist missionary, my father. This man believed the bible was the word of god and did everything humanly possible to live by his belief. This man was not a hypocrite. I learned how to pray by listening to his prayer, Lord, not my will, but thy will be done. I want what you want, I will do what you choose for me. This was a total willingness to sacrifice self, reasoning and logic to find Gods will. In the broader since he always acknowledged when something went wrong, He missed Gods will. If he had only, listened better to God this would not have happened.
If you work with me a little, I will use two labels on myself: battered woman and divorced. Hopefully when I finish the label atheist can be seen as the primary label with divorced and battered as subsets. Ever person is different. My brother was able to grow up in the same household and respond entirely different. He never allowed the religious dogma to control his life. Emotionally it appears I was willing and ready to be abused. As so often a sheltered battered spouse will return to the spouse once the perceived danger is past. Every counselor will say no,no, don't. It does not matter, there she (he) goes with the kids back to the abuser. This is my story, no matter how many times I failed Gods will, I was back in his arms, no intentions of leaving.
As I look back I can see I was really living in an abusive fantasy world. As for me your logic, facts, reasoning did not matter. I was safe with my protector, my God. Don't know how or why, but somewhere I decided to question, maybe I always did. I think I really learned to question because I was always missing the will of god. I lived as a preacher for 14 years. I feel I failed miserably. I was never successful and never had a crowd follow me. It was just a few followers. Little or no money, just simply a failure. This probably was the crack in the damn, which would eventually put me in the process of working out my Divorce with God. I never called it a divorce. I did not go in a straight line. Back and forth, back and forth, I was way too vested in my god to leave. I was 66 years old before I got the nerve to walk to a shelter. I stuck my head into the East Texas Free Thinkers group. I listened intensely as others shared their story. I was not alone, my story was not unique. I arrived as a choice, I stayed as a choice. Looking back, when I went to this meeting and identified with the non believers, it was like sending God my divorce papers.
I have never gone thru a marriage divorce, but for me it was scary stuff divorcing my god. Now to the word Atheist. Yes, I have read blog after blog on the subject. Let this be my definition. An atheist is no more than a person in a failed marriage, after legal documents are signed, adding the divorced label. As I divorced God, I identify as an atheist. I do not accept or acknowledge the god of my youth. To me Atheist is no more than a label saying I am divorced from the god of my youth. (At he beginning I labeled myself agnostic, be honest with you, I think there is much to do about nothing when we split hairs trying to tweak the difference between agnostic, atheist, etc. Like a divorce, it may take years before you label yourself single, without the need to also says divorced. I look forward to dropping the atheist label.). Smile, I do know atheist do not have knowledge of any god...
To take from a famous speech, I have a Dream. I have a dream that my grand kids and great grand kids will never know the god of my youth. I have a dream that they will never need to understand what an atheist is. They will just say that is what people used to call themselves. Since they never had to divorce god,they have no need for the label. (PS: all kinds of legal and weird things happen during and after a divorce. Atheist definitely have earned some of the scorn religious folks have given them.)
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