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After 23 years...

By Travib ~

I spent the majority of my childhood in the ropes of religion, but my doubts began at a very early age, around 15 or so - but it all came full blown five years ago, exactly one year after my best friend passed away after his second battle with cancer.

The doubts began as passing thoughts, with how our military gets away with killing so many people during wars, even though the bible states that we are not supposed to kill. Add in that the science classes through the years began to make better sense with actual proof seen through the lens of a telescope into the night sky, along with several lingering nagging questions about how my family, the vast majority of which are hard-core Christians, can have so much infighting when we are supposed to love each other. After reading a particular bible verse however, it all made sense: The one proclaiming that unless you hate (not dislike), but hate everything, including life itself, you cannot be a disciple of Christ. I am supposed to hate my entire life, family, friends, the whole works, for a deity that supposedly preaches love.

Anyhow, I digress. My best friend passed away on May 28th of 2006, his second battle of cancer that he ultimately lost after outliving his "expected" time. His first battle had ended with him victorious shortly before I met him my freshman year of high school. He was a symbol of strength for me, a man who had fought and survived cancer. We became really quick friends and eventually that bond grew into a feeling of being brothers in everything except blood. For five years, he was a healthy guy - despite his cancer and treatment he took, he managed to regain a lot of his muscle and we both joined into martial arts at the same time, moving up the ranks together all the way to black belts. In March of 2006, he had experienced pain in his hip. Upon a doctor and the following examine, it was found that a tumor had grown and was spreading rapidly. The same cancer that he had bested once, had come back with a vengeance.

Being that he was a devout Christian (as was I at the time), he had chose to forgo the treatment this time as the doctors had stated it would only be delaying the inevitable. He knew, at this point, he was dying. The news shocked many of us, but we respected his decision and remembered that, for so many years, if human medicine couldn't cure it, God could. I, along with many of his family and friends, prayed for hours on end at times: I know I prayed every morning, every night - asking for my best friend to be spared of this cancer and allow him to live his life and help keep a good person in this world.

Come mid-to-late April of that year, he fell into a coma. He was unresponsive and the doctor declared he was officially comatose and there was no guarantee that he would wake up. His family began making the preparations for the last moments. For weeks, I continued praying, even harder now: pleading, begging, crying for the cure to come from the man upstairs.

May 25th of 2006, he awoke from his coma and was talking like nothing had happened. Though I was unable to see him and talk to him (a fact that haunts me to this day, thanks to some "friends" that decided I was not important enough to take along to see our mutual friend), I was slightly relieved to hear that just maybe, my, along with many others, prayers had been received. Later that night though, he had stated to his mother that he was going to get some sleep. He never awoke again, and on the morning of the 28th, he was declared dead. I received the call while at work, and my entire being just shattered.

It was then, for the rest of that night, I began to ask questions. My best friend, a devout man in the ways of Christ, a man who never had a bad word for anyone, would not hurt a soul unless he had a really good reason to do so, was no longer walking this Earth. But given that I always heard the age-old adage of: "Its God's plan", I tried to shoo those questions away. It wasn't until I went to his funeral and later that day, had to hear the news of a murderer/rapist of a young girl was going to serve life in prison that I truly began to doubt it all. This man, who raped and murdered a young girl, was going to live his days out in jail - probably live to be a ripe old age, while my best friend passed at the age of 22.

At that point, I set to reading the bible from cover to cover over the course of a couple weeks and I was absolutely appalled at the things I was never told in the pews at church. The atrocities committed in the name of, or by, God - the rapes, the murders, the pillaging - things that today would land you at least in jail, if not in the lethal injection chair. From there on, after reading Revelations and seeing the sheer stupidity of it all, along with the contradictions in that, many of the apostles said that the "end days" would come in their lifetime, led me to believe that religion was one of the biggest scams in the history of mankind. A power used to control the masses, and a good one if you think about it.

From thereon, the death of my best friend was the movement that started it all from my de-conversion. I've heard every rebuttal from "God's plan" to "God's will" to "God needed him more than we did" etc. Why does the all-powerful, all-loving, all-seeing God need humans? His imperfect creations? The ones he had to supposedly destroy in a flood because of our "evil" ways? I am six years removed from the passing of the man who left a huge impression on my life. And people want to tell me that this deity is a supposed all-loving and the one who answers prayers.

My transformation was complete three years ago, and has gotten stronger every day since such with the amount of negatives I have dealt with. This supposed "punishment" from God, I dare say: Bring it on. Is that all you have? Because in the end, praying the imaginary man in the sky does a lot of good. I get a lot of evil looks when people say they are praying for something, and my response: "Good luck praying to the god that doesn't exist."

Thus ends my story, I am now a happy atheist that feels rather liberated from the chains of religion. My best friend showed me the best of humanity in life, and his passing, sorrowful as it is, has shown me that in this world, there is no god that would allow these things to happen.

There is no god, period.


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