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Contemplating Christian Life

By Sayadiva ~

A complex of symbols, USCO's painting of
Hindu deities pulsates with colored lights.
Photo: Yale Joel/Time & Life Pictures
Oct 19, 2010
I was "born and raised" Christian. I attended Christian schools for almost my entire school career. I went to church and my mother was a hardcore believer. I "accepted Jesus" as my Savior when I was 6, and was baptized at 8. I started questioning when I was about 15. I was told it was ok to have doubt, it just meant it was strengthening your faith. I started to really think about everything. I started to wonder if I believed this because I truly believed it or because it was all I knew. Obviously I chose the latter of the two.

In saying this I am still forced to go to church. Sucks, but I know what I believe. I think that religious texts are human constructs and that they are regarded as sacred amongst those who believe in them. For me however, I do not, I think they were created to give people hope for a better life, and to justify actions: slavery, child abuse, rape, murder, thievery. I am not disrespectful and I am mindful of the belief of others. But my mind was opened and I could no longer see how any of it made sense logically.

I came to the realization that Christian missionaries (or of any religion) are terrorists. You believe what I tell you, or we'll kill you? Well of course people are going to convert. History makes it seem that these people truly believed it, while some may have, I am inclined to believe others just wanted to stay alive. If the Founding Fathers were Christians, they would have acted accordingly. Well I guess they did, they were cool with slavery, abuse and what not. I think that very few of the Founding Fathers were Christians. You find so many quotes from them. It seemed that they appealed to the masses as Marx would say. They knew what the people wanted to hear and even though they didn't believe it, they spoke it.

I mean, Hitler was a religious man endorsed by the Catholic church!

It also terrifies me to see 4-year-olds accepting "Christ as their Savior" Granted I did that at 6, but what else did I know? The age of reason is around 7 or 8, so how in the hell can a 4-year-old make that big of a decision? They can't decide what time to go to bed, or what to wear because their parents tell them, but they can make a commitment to God? But then again, I guess their parents tell them to do that. People blame liberal colleges for turning their kids into Atheists. But I can speak from experience. The reason this happens is because, these kids have grown up in a sheltered church environment their entire lives, believed because that's what they knew or maybe they actually believed. Leaving home and being away from that environment allows them to have more options. Things they have never even heard about! Some choose to still believe what they grew up with and some don't. I feel so foolish that I believed this stuff as a child. If I ever have kids, I want them to be able to choose. I want to expose them to ALL religions, and let them decide. If they want to become Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Wicca, etc. That's their choice without having anyone force them to choose it.

I came to the realization that Christian missionaries (or of any religion) are terrorists. You believe what I tell you, or we'll kill you? Well of course people are going to convert. History makes it seem that these people truly believed it, while some may have, I am inclined to believe others just wanted to stay alive.People want to argue about religion. That is the cause of a lot of the world's conflicts. Sudan recently divided into to 2 countries after like 30 years of war. The Muslims, didn't like the Christians and vice versa. People pick out the parts of the Bible they like or interpret it to benefit them. Some take it literally.

I want to say that I have no idea how the world was created, or why some things take place. For me, I'd rather admit that I don't know than to come up with a crackpot theory. Some questions don't have answers, which is what people don't like, they always want answers. Sometimes they're aren't any and they get made up.

So Ken Ham came the church I attend. Ironically, listening to him speak about his Creation museum and what not, strengthened my Agnostic-Atheism. I am tolerable but I just don't need the human construct of religion to blame or praise the things that happen in my life. To me it seems that the unexplainable and unknowable is answered by using God. Why can't we just actually not know? My belief is complicated. The Agnostic part is: I believe that the human mind is finite. I feel that it is not possible to truly KNOW if a Higher Power exists. I don't have blind faith and believe some invisible force in the sky makes things happen. The world being created in 6 days and everything was peaceful, animals and humans together? Seriously? And people like to criticize the Big Bang theory? At least that happened over a legitimate amount of time. The Atheist part is: Even though I think it is impossible to know about a Higher Power, I am more inclined to BELIEVE there is not a Higher Power. Being an Agnostic is NOT a fence sitter, it is simply admitting that you have no knowledge as to what is "out there."

So I feel guilty about my belief sometimes. I felt ashamed when I started having sex because of the Christian ideals that I was taught, I also identify with being bisexual and struggled with that as well. Now I've embraced my sexuality. My family is disappointed, my mother constantly prays, and encourages me to "come back to God." Instead of accepting me for the person I am, she is trying to mold me into what she wants. I don't have kids, I don't do drugs, crime, anything illegal, etc. Instead of acknowledging that, I am chastised for not believing in God. Sometimes I wish I could believe it just so I would feel accepted by my family. But I can't. I feel like I failed and let them down and it hurts. Does anyone have any advice for me? How to be accepted by family while being an Agnostic-Atheist. I am still putting my beliefs into words and maturing, but they are getting stronger.



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