I believe that living an honorable life right now for the right reasons is far more noble than praying for a ticket to heaven. I know, I know – you’ve heard this one before: the atheist that doesn’t believe in heaven. But I’m not your typical non-believer. I’m not a scientist, I don’t have a master’s degree, I don’t drive a hybrid and I do practice my right to bear arms. I am a typical 28-year-old gal living in the deep south.
I was always popular at the salon/spa that I work at. That is until I was discovered to be a “non-believer.” You don’t mess with religion here in the south. I’ve had to defend myself against everything from witchcraft accusations to “my kind” being the reason for the war. While at first I felt like a heretic, the more I thought, and questioned, the more I realized what was right. I believe that life here is what’s important — and even if there is a god — I wouldn’t change the way I live my life.
The scandal never did really go away. I now keep to myself more and have stopped trying to defend myself. But it is true what they say: “the truth shall set you free.” I lead a good, honorable life by anyone’s standards. My trinity is love, respect, and forgiveness. I am a gentle person that doesn’t lie, cheat or steal. I am a person that any god would be proud to have as a follower — only I do it because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t need a reward for doing the right thing. And if all else fails and I am wrong, then when I die and get to those pearly gates, I hope St. Peter takes a good, long look at my life. And if he does, he will find that I cherished my time here. I followed all the clichés: I didn’t judge others and I always tried to walk at least a few blocks in someone else’s shoes, I volunteered often and helped out where I could, even when it didn’t benefit me. I rigorously followed the golden rule and the last six commandments. I took tremendous care of the Earth and always stopped to smell the roses. And although I sinned it was never with malice. I always had remorse for my mistakes and tried to correct what I could and learn from it.
All in all, it was a very good life, well-lived with only one thing missing: I didn’t worship a god. And if it comes down to that, then this is an insurance policy I’m willing to take. If the worst people in our world get into heaven just because they have faith in a god but I, as a non-believer can’t get in based on living an honorable life – then I don’t want to go in. I’ll take my chances and head out wherever the rest of my kind go.
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