I became a born-again Christian when I was 8 years old. Now I’m an attractiveand finally intelligent65 year-old divorcee with many regrets for having 'served’ my life away in the patriarchal institution of religion. (Yes, looking back, my life was wonderfully full with church, youth group, choir practice, summer camps, and even bible quiz team competitions. But little did I know how much my religious devotionon both sides of the pulpitwould displace.)
After a divorce at age 40, I sought to rebuild my self-esteem with entrepreneurial endeavors, thinking I could prove my worth through repetitive successes. Then I realized I had no credentials and subsequently devoted 120 hours to metaphysical studies, culminating in a Licensed Unity Teacher certificate.
For more than a dozen years thereafter, I taught Unity classes in my home, and became A Course in Miracles facilitator also. While researching a talk to present to my Sunday group about the history of religion and metaphysics, I began to realize how bloody the Christian Church’s past was. (Strangein all my years in Sunday school and church, no one had ever mentioned the truth about the church’s conquests which resulted in their refurbished treasuries at the expense of decapitated 'infidels’ and capitulated cultures.)
The more I studied, the less I liked what I was teaching to others. After 9/11, it became ever clearer to me how religions seldom practice what they preach. I retired from my home-based pulpit post-haste, and never looked back.
During my years as an entrepreneuss, I had published a book, Male & Female Realities: Understanding the opposite sex. Time and again, I referred to this primer by Joseph Tanenbaum about biological gender differences and how they affect life as we know itand it actually became my new bible after giving up the holy version. There had to be some answers somewhere to how humanity had become so screwed up! I was so sure of it that I started writing my own book about my theories on everything.
During my search for answers, the invasion of Iraq became full-blown war with Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, and The Taliban murdering one another. The Jews and Christians were ganging up on the Muslims; and our exemplary 'one nation, under god,’ (U.S.) was killing women and children 'accidentally’ in their vicious, illegal war games and calling it occupational therapy. If it hadn’t been for Bill Maher’s Real Time on HBO, I think I would’ve totally lost my sanity. But unfortunately, his seasons were short and my frustration fuse even shorter.
Between Bill’s seasons, I developed an insatiable hunger for history, science, geology, biology, astronomy, government and all the other things I had had little interest in during my school years. I kept working on my e-book Cinderella’s Coffin and even launched my own Web site to raise awareness of dissident gender realities.
Then a dear friend gave me a copy of Richard’s book, The God Delusion, which I ravenously devoured. It was like he had thrown me a lifeline in my turbulent ocean of anger and disbelief at what was happening on and to my beautiful Planet Earth. 'Atheist’ had always been a word far worse than any four-letter expletive I had in my vocabulary, but Richard changed all that within the pages of his G.D. wisdom.
My withdrawal symptoms from spirituality were a little painful (as I wrote in my Albeit newsletter July 1, 2007.) I often wonder if I will ever fully recover from my previous addiction to religious zeal. Probably. But one can never recover time, and that is my biggest regret. Yet I am quite happy knowing that instead of infinitely inhabiting a hypothetical heaven, I shall spend eternity recycling as cosmological stardust. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get sprinkled from the wand of Cinderella’s fairy godmother onto my next Prince Charmingsans cross this time.