I became an atheist before I knew there was a word for it. I don’t even know if I became an atheist, actually, I might have always been one, but I know that I was baptised, at least, and I clearly remember something I said in second grade.
I was sitting at a table with my friend Chris, and I said, “I don’t think there is a God. I don’t believe in him.” Chris replied, “Oh, then you’re going to hell.”
My family was sort of Christian. When I was little my parents sort of mentioned their faith now and again, but we didn’t go to church much, and I think it was more of a habit to them than an actual belief. We celebrated all the Christian, or some originally Pagan, holidays. I believed in Santa Claus up until I was ten years old. I believed in the Easter Bunny until I was eleven. I never believed in God.
In some ways, children are the most logical thinkers. They’re so ‘innocent.’ They rarely lie to themselves, and when they do it’s because they don’t understand something.
When I was little, I believed something when it was proven. The Easter Bunny left me candy, Santa Claus left me presents, that made enough sense for me up until my late childhood.
God didn’t leave any presents, or candy. When I was little I was also an avid reader of Nancy Drew books, and I watched a tv. show about Sherlock Homes. I hate to be corny, but when it came to God, the clues didn’t add up.
People say I should just blindly believe. Why should I need proof? I’m here, that’s proof enough. Well, our judicial system seems to think it fit to ask for evidence. Innocent until proven guilty. If you said, “I have a broken leg, the day I broke it I was playing soccer, and another player fell on my leg really hard, and I got carried off a field– an enormous field mouse broke my leg with mind-powers,” nothing but your word, your bizarre conclusion, leads me to believe that the field mouse did it. So, why should I believe it, when everything that can be proven contradicts it?
The more we know, the more it seems like there isn’t a god, at least not one any religion goes on about, but people deny the new information, clinging instead to crazy explanations people came up with when they didn’t have access to the information we can access today. I think it’s silly, and foolish. Religion prevents people from understanding and growing, because they don’t like being proven wrong.
I’m glad I don’t believe in God, I don’t really want to be associated with the people who do. I mean, why can’t we all do what’s right, because it’s right? Why does Jesus have to tell me to love my neighbour, can’t I just love him because it’s right? Should we have to be told right from wrong by some imaginary friend in the sky? I suppose that much doesn’t matter, I mean, no one listens anyway. ‘Love thy neighbour–‘ What, unless he’s gay? Unless she had an abortion? Unless he’s a Muslim? Don’t even get me started with ‘Thou shalt not kill…’
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