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Believing in Belief

By Monk ~

"The big trial of belief is that you must find a way to believe when you no longer believe that you CAN now believe, or ever could have believed, that it is possible to even believe in belief, let alone believe in the object of your belief."

I wrote that over four years ago, the first time I tried on the atheist hat. Faith has never come easy to innate curiosity and reason rebel too strongly...but I am still trapped by christianity. I liked being an atheist...I was even a "militant" atheist "on line," but I quickly "backslid" into very "Fundamentalist" christianity (read: Church of Christ denomination) in real life with much fear and trembling, literally. The only outward signs of disbelief being not attending services for a year or so. The time wasn't right yet, apparently. I wasn't brave enough or strong enough to stand on my own. Family and friend pressure was still too great. Not only did I return to christianity with my tail between my legs, but I went back with new fervor! I even became one of the teachers of the congregation. I still teach. Even as an atheist (though no one knows that I am). How ironic is that? It's cowardly...that's what it is! The fervor and belief quickly dissipated again, and I was stuck teaching when I no longer believed. That is justice in my book. Due punishment for my cowardly hypocrisy, my willful cognitive dissonance, my shameless sacrificing of the truth and evidence just to keep from upsetting others. Maybe one day I'll be able to completely break free. The hold is strong. I need help, but there's none around me like me. Unlike many, I know my family would still love me, but that just makes it worse. Disappointing people is one of my greatest fears. And it's made me a neurotic mess. In other words, the perfect mixture for a "fearing" christian.

Why does everything respect god(s) so much? I live in the heart of the bible-thumping South. NO ONE openly proclaims disbelief in god...that's worse than saying you're homosexual! I kid you not...I know several people who have openly admitted homosexuality, and people are mostly fine with it. But even HINT that you don't believe in god and see what you get...

I can't stand it anymore. Something has to give. I feel like I'm on the threshold of a breakdown, but I'm still too cowardly to get off this insane ride. It's a sad state of affairs when a human being would rather have a mental breakdown than be true to himself.

I hate going to church. I hate being brow-beat. I hate brow-beating others. I hate listening to bigoted speech. I hate hearing snide remarks about people who have chosen to live differently than christians. I hate the hate! I want out! Christianity is everywhere, and I want to get away from it forever!. Even my spell check is telling me the lower case "christ" and "christianity" was misspelled. There it is again! WTF? Why does everything respect god(s) so much?

Thank you for listening. I know the good people of this site will offer good advice and encouragement, if the web master is gracious enough to post this. I only wish I were strong enough and brave enough to follow it. But I'm not. Thanks to all of you for being you.