I’m not exactly sure if I’m a convert…. I mean I wasn’t ever not a convert! I grew up at Prairie Bible Institute, a christian bible school on the prairies of Alberta, Canada. I was immersed in this nonsense since the moment of my conception, as my parents always remind me, somewhat condescendingly so, that they’ve prayed for me every day since my conception, and continue to do so. What’s funny is that my mother preached that if you read the bible every day – and nothing else, God would always keep your mind safe. Well…. she fell into Alzheimer’s some years ago, self induced I’m quite certain, and now shits herself several times a day.
Don’t want to get overly wordy here, so I’ll just skim over the teen years during which time, my mother repeatedly beat me with my father’s belt and told me I was demon possessed and that my voice sounded like the “hiss of a serpent”, and so on. I was a meek and bashful girl. I sobbed my heart out nearly every day… then would wash my face and determine to go on with the facade since it didn’t appear I had any choice. I learned how to carry a bible everywhere and bright yellow “prayer cards”. Such actions thwarted daily beatings… but not always.
One day, when I was 17, I woke up knowing none of it made any sense… Really? Was this what Jesus taught? Was this love? I was pretty sure it wasn’t. So I packed a bag and hit the road.
I warbled around for many years, singing in bars, sometimes finding a church to go to Sunday mornings. I was married at 18 and had two children before age 21. My husband ridiculed the christian faith, and yet he had also been raised in it and couldn’t quite make that clean break. I divorced him and married someone who was even dumber than me! This guy thought burning incense was evil. However, within about four years of this marriage I had a lesbian affair. Now that opened my eyes! “Y2K” was approaching. I decided I would wait until January 1, 2000, and if nothing happened, I would break free completely.
I’ve been very sick. It started when I was only 11, in 1975. I was diagnosed in 1995 with ME – myalgic encephalomylitis, and myriad other diagnoses with long names that don’t mean much. Eventually I was diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease. The pain and exhaustion kept me secluded from life. People didn’t understand me, and as religious people will do, they talked. Once I even heard that I was Satan himself! I was very proud! My husband mellowed out over the years. We ridiculed evangelists and laughed at the notion of “Sunday school”…. But one day he stop ridiculing it and became part of it…. and soon after, divorced me and found someone who could believe the way he could.
Eventually, one of my sisters – who also escaped – and I seriously began looking back at our upbringing and how insanely, embarrassingly ridiculous it all was/is. Another sister told me last year that she knows – knows, not thinks… she knows that Jesus is coming back in 2012 – she worked it out to be 31/2 years from Obama’s inauguration. Oh my…. She also brought my attention to the recordings “they” have of screaming voices in hell when “they” lowered microphones into the earth, which miraculously were not destroyed by the intense heat…. oh, and I must also mention that the Chinese will be coming to chop all our heads off, and that somewhere in Illinois, coffins are being manufactured by the thousands for our of our headless bodies. Okay …. so even if that did happen, I wouldn’t mind. It’s not like I’ve been having a lot of fun here.
Okay… back to reality. I read “The Blind Watchmaker” in a biological psychology course in university. I was hooked. I looked back in embarrassment at my flimsy beliefs in some kind of God, even though I had become somewhat of a pantheist. When my husband returned to his religious roots and divorced me, I hurled myself into books on science – especially those that made no mention whatsoever of any “creation story”, unless it was a book on mythology.
Lots more ugliness, physical pain, riches to rags later…. I’m not just a convert – I can barely contain my excitement! When I consider that this universe is just a bubble in an ocean of universe/multiverse bubbles, I do not feel insignificant. Instead I feel intense excitement that I am living in a time when we are just figuring these things out. I’ve also been reading Ray Kurzweil and see how it is entirely possible that in my lifetime, we will be able to send nanites into the bloodstream, or however they work, and they will kick butt on all my “diseases”! It’s possible that I will be able to live before I die! It’s possible that I will be able to choose how long I want to live. I understand how we are evolving with technology and that it is entirely possible that although humans may become extinct through this whole process, technology will be evolving long after we’re gone and so will everything else. It’s a calming feeling.
I watched Richard Dawkins with Wendy Wright a few weeks ago. Oh my…. how very embarrassing. And yet, Richard is so polite, so humble, so sincere, and oh so tolerant, and wonder how such a learned man could even lend a single breath to people who believe such nonsense. I’ve been watching everything with Dawkins on youtube and am in the middle of “The Greatest Show on Earth”, and am looking to connect with other atheists who are also “disabled” in some way as I am.