I was raised catholic, to a hispanic catholic mother. All my life I was confused. So many questions compounded me growing up about my chosen religion (the one chosen for me). Why do I believe this? What if I were born in another country? Would I have been raised to believe this? This Jesus story? The Holy Trinity?
As an adolescent I recall praying every night. Not praying for things that would benefit me, but praying for things that would benefit the world. Cures for cancer, hunger, racism. All the “religious christians” I knew were praying for things that would help themselves and I was told to do as such. I never understood why i – having the power to talk to god – would do something so selfish. If I could speak to god and presumably we all could, why would ask for something for myself?
Later – as i aged – I thought, what makes me so special? Why is god listening to me? There are children all over the world, starving, being molested, and abused, those who have lost loved ones. Prayer began to seem such a selfish act – I stopped.
I went through all of my sacraments up until marriage. By then the seed of atheism had began to grow. Not through the influence of others- as other religions have been spread- but through my own personal growth. “It made more sense to me”, I thought. Especially as I began college and learned of physics, psychology, and sociology. People are flawed, scared creatures who need answers to questions, answers that sooth not disrupt the mind. How scary a thought to believe when you die that is it. We need and long for there to be something else. It's comforting to say the least. There sprang my first question to myself about death. Did it bother me when i did not exist? Before I was born? NO! Well, then surely I will not be upset after I die! This thought was extremely freeing to me. I did not have to worry about my sins, about my soul. If I had a soul, where was it before I was born?
In the fear that I am being long winded, let me cut to where I am now. Age 33. Married to a christian woman from Mexico, and recently professing to my family and other loved ones that I am an Atheist. I almost feel like I am a homosexual, in fear of what repercussions my profession may bring. I am growing more and more confident that the conclusions I have come to about religion are correct. Especially, when I watch the news in america, and see the arguments put forth by the far christian right, or the tea baggers. I only need to look at history books or watch the news of today to see the pain and torment religion causes.
I'm sure I have not said anything profound here, nothing that hasn't been uttered before, however it's comforting in a way to finally see it in words. I AM AN ATHEIST, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE GODS THAT WERE GIVEN TO ME, MERELY BECAUSE OF WHERE I HAPPENED TO BE BORN. My mind is free! And I am free to enjoy my short time on this planet. And to make the most of what time I have. To love an be loved. To be kind to others and help those in need when I have the chance. To be a good man and husband, and hopefully soon … father. I don't need their god to be moral. I don't need their god to be saved. I need only enjoy my life and live it as i see fit.
Keep up the good work sir, and thank you for this opportunity.
(I apologize for the grammatical errors, after listening and reading you and Christopher Hitchens I feel so inferior with my vocabulary and grammatical abilities) 🙂
Eddie Cameron (USAF, ANG)