I’m not really sure what has caused me to be an atheist,
materialist, futurist, devotee of the American dream —
I just am.
Why did I, who was born into a loving and very religious family,
simply not catch the spiritual germ? Why did the seed find its
way onto rocky soil in my heart, when in so many others it
sprouted and grew like the great tree that Jesus described coming
from a mustard seed?
Perhaps it was because my earliest memories of church were of
vomiting every Sunday on the way from Hazard to Hardin in the back
seat of my family’s car — nauseated by the smell of my mother’s
hairspray, my father’s breathmints and the feel of being sloshed
around on the seat as our car wound its way along old highway 15
which crossed the mountains from one town to another on our way to
Perhaps it was the unpleasant memories of being forced to sit still,
be quiet, and not fidget during our long boring church services
— particularly the “Sacrament Sunday” services when people in the
congregation would stand up and bear their testimonies — rambling
on at length about every little detail of their lives, seemingly
taking full advantage of their 15 minutes of fame each month. Not
to mention being forced to go hungry for no apparant reason other
than that this is what one does on Sacrament Sunday. I really lothed
Sacrement Sundays — even from a young age.
Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that, when 7 years
old, I hid behind the couch one Christmas Eve — hoping to see
Santa Clause — only to seruptitiously watch my mother and father
place the presents under the tree. Not that I didn’t appreciate my
Christmas presents — I most certainly did. But maybe I never
thought that Jesus was real, because I knew that Santa Clause wasn’t.
Until a certain point in your development, all the stories you
hear are equally true — Dr. Suess stories, religious stories,
werewolf movies, school lessons, and everything in between. But at
some point when you start separating out fact from fiction, stories
get sorted into one category or another. I’m not sure when that
occurred, but for me, Jesus disappeared into the fiction bucket
along with Casper the Friendly Ghost and Puff the Magic Dragon —
never to return.
Perhaps it was all those years of watching Star Trek with its fun,
respectful, positive, upbeat view of the future and all races and
cultures that led me to long for a not-so-distant, grand and glorious
age that we could make with our own hands without waiting on the
whims of some ancient Gods who couldn’t even write clear instructions
for their followers.
Do I know that there is no God? No. That’s why they call
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