Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(905)

Jan 30, 2013

Hi there,

I am currently in the middle of chapter five of The God Delusion and everything I’m reading is forcing me to re-evaluate the reasons I bought so heavily into Christianity (of the born-again variety).

My parents weren’t religious at all – my father spent his whole life trying to find some sort of meaning but he believed that following any religion is ultimately the choice of the individual. My mother is just not the type of person I can speak to about anything, much less spirituality. I have an aunt who has been a christian for many, many years and she would try to convert us whenever we met up – so naturally we all avoided her!

I was interested in the occult from an early age, didn’t know whether or not I believed in a god but I especially enjoyed baiting christians in particular, over their vengeful, sacrifice-demanding OT god; I couldn’t understand how they could reconcile NT and OT… surely, if Jesus is god and god is all-unchanging, then Jesus IS that spiteful being of the OT, yes?

I married young and we had an 18-month old baby and another on the way when my husband up and left me for somebody else. My closest friend, who had recently converted to christianity, came to stay with us and immediately began preaching that I needed god to get through this distressing period of my life. At that stage of rejection, when I badly needed to feel wanted and loved, even by a supernatural being, I bought into it all, hook line & sinker. I ended up moving a few hundred miles away to live with my friend & her parents (all born-again) and there we stayed. I got involved with the local Baptist church and tried to be a good little Doily (my term for stereotypical christian women, based on those funny little old-fashioned crocheted ornamental mats used to stop wooden surfaces getting scratched). But deep down I was still rebellious… I was a goat that refused to be a sheep, alternately feeling guilty then smug. And I continued to have a problem with other christians (I really don’t get the misogynistic, homophobic attributes of people that believe they’re set apart from non-believers. And don’t get me started on preachers that don’t appear to do even the basic research for their sermons – things like the word “luck” is based on “Lucifer” when even a simple Google for the etymology shows that it comes from Middle English lucke, from Middle Dutch luc, short for gheluc *grrrrr*) ..

Eventually I moved away and met my current husband (another born-again Christian). I enrolled in a couple of Open University courses (science & math-based) and as a result of having to think in academic terms, I have found it increasingly hard to reconcile logic with christianity; I feel like I’ve slowly begun to surface from this religious sea I’ve been drowning in. I have to tread carefully – my husband still believes in god, although he dislikes man-made religion, so doesn’t go to church anymore. I’ve been drip-feeding him for a few months now, talking in loose terms about deism and atheism. I’ve subscribed to several atheist-based blogs and I read out bits to him that I find amusing (usually the creationist-mocking stuff, as he doesn’t buy into the Adam & Eve mythos). He’s quite intelligent so I’m guessing he’ll re-surface as well, given time.

I’ve been desperately clinging to deism, even though there is no intelligent superior being, no programmer that wrote the system then left it to its own devices. I thought it was because I don’t want to believe that this life is all there is, but I think it’s actually because I’m an incredibly lazy person (always have been, never had much motivation or ambition) … and believing in god / heaven / eternal life means that I can theoretically waste huge chunks of this life and know it doesn’t matter because this isn’t my final destination!! And although I’m obese, I don’t even have to make an effort to lose weight because I’ll get a new, perfect body when I die! And on it goes… (standard NT Christian-ese talks conveniently about being “in the world but not of it” and being a “stranger in a foreign land”).

So I guess I can blame the inner goat for finally buying The God Delusion. I know that it’s only a matter of time before I have to admit to myself that there is no god. And if there’s no god, I have to accept responsibility for my life and make some changes…

… it’s actually quite exciting when I look at it that way!!

Tara

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