Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(772)

Jan 30, 2013

Hi Richard,

Thanks for being a beacon for those of us who feel surrounded by religious nonsense. I have struggled for so long with religion, never able to wrap my mind around it, or find what it was that made people believe this stuff when it was so obviously silly or even sick. The story of Abraham sacrificing his son was the most horrific thing I ever came across as a child – and this story was taught to us as proof of his incredible OBEDIENCE to God! That was when I got it – it was all about obedience – not love, charity, morality or any of that – it was all about obedience.

I was raised in a fairly liberal Presbyterian church. There wasn't really any fire and brimstone – a lot of fishing stories maybe, and a little hanky-panky in the church office (one pastor ran away with the church secretary). I could not comprehend how we were being preached to about these crazy stories, how we were being told that losing our virginity before marriage meant we were going to burn in hell (meanwhile you wouldn't believe what was going on with our youth group) and it was all supposed to be this great religious saving experience. I tried, I really tried to believe. I learned the right vocabulary, the right vapid smile to put on my face – but felt nothing but empty inside.

You know what gives me shivers and makes me thankful to be alive? Pictures from the Hubble Telescope. Kisses from my guinea pig. Sunshine through tree branches. The uninhibited joy in a dog's greeting. Not because some great male god made all this stuff for us to be lords over – but because it's miracle enough in this gigantic universe that we can feel and experience such things. That dogs, and sunshine and telescopes exist and the universe does make sense when you truly see what it is – and the more we learn the more amazing it is. To me, evolution is a far more miraculous and inspiring story than Genesis. I also don't need some big authority figure giving me ridiculous rules to follow when I have a very good inner sense of right and wrong and brain and senses that I can rely on to tell me what is going around me. I like being a free-thinking self-reliant adult.

I am glad I don't believe in religious nonsense. I feel more secure knowing that this universe is the great and immense thing that it is – and I have a mind to encompass it. I also feel comforted to know there are others out there who feel and think much like I do.

Thank you for your work. It is deeply appreciated.

Sincerely,

Julia Singh
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