When I was approached with this prompt of what I believe, at first I had trouble deciding what to write about. I believe in myself, but that seemed rather self-centered. I believe in the good of mankind, even though so much of the bad is shown. I believe in the values and morals as much as the next whole-hearted, caring person, but that seemed a rather dull subject. And then it clicked. I believe and am all of what was just previously stated, and I have no faith in a higher being.
Whenever I tell someone that I am an atheist, the entire perception changes. I go from being a good person to a social pariah, a wanderer of this Earth with no moral standards. Some have even taken it to the extreme of me being a casualty to the works of Satan. What people must realize is that I do not have a vendetta against the religious community; in most cases I wish I had the faith to believe in a God who is an almighty being and looks over us and gives this life a sense of purpose. There are so many questions I have though, so many that cannot be answered by any religion that makes coherent sense. Many say I must take that “leap of faith” and believe. I cannot. To blindly follow anything, much less religion, would compromise my core values. I was taught to ask questions about everything. Did that annoy my parents? Yeah, but it instilled me with a sense of skepticism in everything; to see beyond what is in black and white and see things for what they are really worth. And for what it is worth, I do not see religion being important enough to take up any of my time.
To be an outspoken atheist is to be constantly interrogated and harassed upon why I believe what I believe. At first I kept my beliefs quiet for this very fact, but I have started to welcome it. I have learned so much not only about religion, but the motivations of people. How strongly men and women cling to a religion, any religion that can show them what they think is the right path. What people need to realize is that atheism is an acceptable path; it is a decision to become a Christian, it is a decision to be Muslim, and it is a decision to be an Atheist. The interrogations, however, have taught me so much about religion in general. Most people do not know I was raised Catholic; I have been baptized and confirmed in the church. I am able to receive the body and blood of Christ. I went to Sunday school for over a year, I read the bible to try to understand it. But I just could not. I had so many questions I needed answered. My teacher could not, and referred me to the Bible. When that did not satisfy my questions, she merely told me to take the “leap of faith.” I could not.
You can scrutinize me if you would like, you can doubt my beliefs as I doubt yours, but know this: I am as good of a person as you are, I have similar beliefs and values and I believe in myself. Along with my friends and family this is all I need. See you in the afterlife, if there is one.
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