This I Believe

Lucy - Charlotte, North Carolina
Entered on September 20, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: atheism

This I believe….

I remember the first time I witnessed religious prejudice. I was in kindergarten and a girl in my class told me that I was going to hell because I didn’t believe in Jesus. I remember feeling so hurt and confused. In Hebrew school, some kids would say they were “better Jews” because they were kosher and went to temple everyday. The Christians who often approached me and my family to hand us brochures about how “Jesus saves,” caused us to feel uncomfortable as we stuttered the words “we’re Jewish,” under our breath. As I got older, I realized that religion only led to fighting and prejudice between people. This pushed me to take up Atheism, or the absence of god.

Pushing away the Bible and removing religion from my life has enabled me to begin the journey of finding myself. Instead of looking for god inside of me, I now look for the goodness within. For example, in Hebrew school they used to tell us that god was inside and above us watching everything we do. Instead of trying to appease god by doing good things for him, I do things for my own benefit. When I feel that I’ve sinned, I don’t ask god for forgiveness, but instead I find it within myself. Each religion has its own rules and regulations for how to live your life, but most of them are outdated and don’t apply to me. Without them, I’ve created my own set of moral standards.

For me, Atheism has meant discovering a peaceful way of living. It has shown me a world where I can really live instead of worrying about what happens after death. I no longer spend countless hours thinking “Well if god spoke to Moses, why doesn’t he speak to anyone today, while we are amidst war with other countries?” I don’t glorify myself or any other religion, and I think of everyone as an equal. Despite my belief in a lack of god, I see myself as more religiously tolerant than most religious people.

Atheism answered a lot of questions that have always sat, untouched in the corners of my mind. Why hadn’t god stepped in when Hitler was torturing and killing all of the Jews? Why would god create a world where millions of innocent people are killed everyday? Why would god not stop suicide bombers? My answer simply made things clear. There is no god. These things happen because the world can’t possibly be perfect. Atheism gives me closure. There is no god and no afterlife; all that I have now is the present.