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The Matrix Has You

By Vraiment ~

This is both my first time writing here and also my first time writing anything serious in a while, so I apologize upfront both for its length and also for any awkward sentences that may be encountered.

The Matrix has you...Image by NightRPStar via Flickr
I am 16 years old and I go to a Christian private school. It seems ironic that I should become Atheistic/Agnostic, since I've been going to this school all my life. This is the only school I've ever gone to, and thus, I feel a bit out of touch with the world. Since I've been going to this school I have definitely been subject to many a “Think this way and no other way” seminar ( otherwise known as “Wednesday Chapel” ). This school has a lovely way of cramming their own personal dogma down the throats of the students, and for that I hate it. Of course I am quite thankful for a safe and ( mostly ) drug-free school environment, but it just seems as though someone like me should not be there.

But anyways, I suppose I should start with the beginning. I have been raised in said Christian school all of my life and that's not to mention that my mother and her side of the family are Christians. So I have basically spent my life under the guise of “Christianity.” So what would ever cause me to question God? I mean, of course I thought there was a God. What was I supposed to think? If everyone said there was one, then there probably was one. I didn't know any better or any different. All I knew was what my parents and teachers told me. So with that, I grew into the model of a lovely “Christian” child and I was known as such by most of my family.

My father barely ever spoke to me, so he had no influence on my thoughts whatsoever. My mother, on the other hand, was a very lax Christian and I think that may be one of the reasons for my deconversion. She had always taught me her own version of the “Christian” morals. For instance, swearing was okay if I was old enough, smoking was not “morally wrong” and fornication was quite alright, as long as you were sure you were in love with the person you did it with. Of course she didn't just sit me down and explain these things all at once. I absorbed the knowledge from her over the years through many talks. So, as you can see, I grew up with a slightly different set of values than most of my schoolmates.

Growing into adolescence, I played a lot of video games and I was hooked on the computer. I didn't really care much for any type of learning outside of school, so the computer was used merely for games and for my new interest in game making. At school, I was just a bit antisocial and when we went to chapel and stood for praise and worship I would never raise my hands. I would also never listen to the speaker, since my mind would always be somewhere else; it went on like his for a few years until I was a teenager. Around this time me and a friend tried to make video games, causing me to stumble into what would be my current likely career choice: programming. It was around his time that I began to grow insecure of my body due to an acne problem I had. So I would pray and pray, but nothing ever changed. The only thing that ever really helped was the medicines I would use. At one point my insecurity about my acne was so bad that I cursed God for just allowing me to suffer with it. It was at this point that I asked the bold faith-killing question: “Why?”

I now had it in my head that either I was doing something wrong or God just didn't exist. At this point I just didn't care about it all. I just shoved God to the back of my mind and didn't care about him. I didn't even care that I didn't care. I never attended church, save for Wednesday Chapel ( which me and my friends have recently been referring to as the “Two Minutes Hate” along with the morning school prayer announcement ). This is probably another reason why I strayed from “The Truth.” I had no church community to drag me in by my insecurities.

I was now in the seventh or eighth grade and I was well acquainted with the harsh ways of the internet forum: Correct spelling and Grammar or to the flames with you! I had also become quite interested in a movie called The Matrix. After buying and watching all three one day, I then got it into my head that maybe everything around is possibly an illusion. As funny as it sounds, I often think it was this coupled with my questions of why God would not answer my prayers, that lead me further out of Christianity. It was at this point that I still prayed every now and again for the same thing, and also for my parents' fractured relationship. Again, there were no answers. Minus 50 belief points for God.

After a while I found myself in the ninth grade something major began to happen. I downloaded a program called “E-Sword” and began to read the bible more. Then, one day in Chapel, I “Felt the Holy Spirit” and decided to become a born-again Christian. Of course, right after the chapel service was over I went to my old ways, much like everybody else that went to Chapel. The difference here was that I was now a full fledged Christian. So, because of this, I began to study the bible a bit more intensely. I studied the Old and New Testaments in their original language via the language notes provided by the E-Sword program. I eventually discovered that the things being shoved down my throat by the school were just foolish personal opinions and dogma. The three pillars were now erected. I questioned God, I I threw out all the rubbish I was taught, and I started to think outside The Matrix.

Soon enough I would be in the tenth grade. It was before that school year that I became close friends with some people I had been in Choir with ( w00t for Choir Boys! ). One day I was invited to hang out with some of their friends at a movie theater. Little did I know, this group of people would collectively become “The Guys” and I would be hanging out with this assortment of Choir/Band/PE boys up til today. One of them in the group constantly questioned God and as such, we became close “Philosophical buddies.” It was this year that I fell out with God and then began not to even care anymore. I started listening to a lot of Tool that summer and became interested in Philosophy. Thus begins my spiral downwards in Christianity and upwards in truth. The only thing that worried me at the time was hell. I certainly wasn't worried about attaining the awe-inspiring gift of worshiping an omnipotent prude forever.

I became heavily interested in the Spiritual and as such I meditated and started to believe in some alternate realm. This would only last for a while. Eventually my thought that we may have been created by some other spiritual force faded away and I cast it and all spiritual rubbish aside. Then, here we are in the eleventh grade. I bought the book “Godless” by Dan Barker, read it, and then moved on to the books of Ayn Rand. Now I'm studying objectivism and I still constantly worry about hell, but I now know that I am finally in the right. Once all of the foolishness is cast aside, the world appears so much clearer. Before, I would think, “Hmm, I may not be happy with my body or my life, but I only have to put up with it for a while and then I get to be with God.” Now I strive to make the use of what I have and to try and mold myself into the person I want to be and not into some inane “Creature of God.” Life is good once your mind has been unplugged from The Matrix.