I suppose I am one of the few people who can say I actually turned away from God after surviving Hurricane Katrina, but not for the reasons one might think. I was living in St. Bernard Parish with my husband and 2 children when Katrina came through and completely destroyed our home, our parish and the homes of every single member of both me and my husband's families. It was one of the most devastating moments of my life.
I'll admit, I did turn to God at first. It was all I'd ever known, and everything seemed so scary and unsure. But as time went on, and we moved back home and started to rebuild our home and our lives, I started to have all of these questions.
Why did this happen to us?
How could a seemingly caring God allow such an atrocity to occur?
How would we survive and get our lives back on track?
At first, I started examining other religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Wicca, anything really that might help me find the answers I was looking for. What I found instead, was alot of the same questions I had with Christianity. Every religion had it's good point and bad points and most of its followers seemed to believe they had found “the answer”. Needless to say, after all of my searching for understanding, I was even more confused.
Then, one day it just hit me…..the answer was so simple. This didn't happen because of some divine retribution, or some grand cosmic learning experience, it happened because that's what nature does and has always done. It happens, and if you are unfortunate enough to be living where nature is happening (like on Earth, for instance) then sometimes it just happens on top of you. Apparently, nature has a way of obeying scientific laws that way.
But then there was still the God question……
By this time I had started studying inconsistencies and fallacies in the bible. I guess you could say that was the proverbial nail in the coffin, because once I learned that all I had been taught to believe about God and the bible all my life could be chalked up to little more than a fairytale (or bettter yet, a horror story), I was ready to let the illusion go. I had to ask myself, if for one minute I could suspend all the beliefs I was taught and let go of the big God security blanket, could I still have faith, and hope? The answer was yes! I had faith and hope in myself and my family and my neighbors and most of all in nature. I knew that the constant was that the rules of nature were absolute and THAT was something to count on, not this invisible, petty, and vindictive “eye in the sky”. It was then that I discovered true awe and respect for this wonderful planet we live on.
So I've come to terms with my non-belfief, and after reading “The God Delusion”, I feel even more equipped with the answers I was searching for. So far, my husband is the only person who knows where my journey has ended. The rest of family…..well, I'm not ready to cross that bridge just yet. And as for my children, when they ask me what I believe or don't believe, I'll answer then. And until then, I'll just encourage them to keep asking questions.
Thanks Mr. Dawkins,