Our first story this week is from Daniel:
I’ve always been an Atheist. I just didn’t know it.
I was born to a single, 17 year old mother. My grandmother was VERY religious; 2-3x a week to church, no cooking or cleaning on Sundays, & always mentioning god. My mom went to church on Sunday, but not so extreme in her belief.
I tried to believe; I read the entire Bible & even memorized the impossible ages people lived to. Even at 6, it didn’t make sense. I’d already read the Grimm Tales, and they made more sense & were more believable.
When I was 10, my mom sent me to Sunday School. At the end of the first day, the teacher asked my mom to not bring me back. Apparently it’s not nice to point out all the obvious flaws in the Adam & Eve story. And if a 10 year old can stump you, you’re not much of a teacher.
Around this time, I discovered the word “Agnostic” and proudly took the label (although it felt better, it didn’t feel quite right. A few years later, I was looking something up in the dictionary & came across “Atheist.” It was my Eureka moment. I don’t hide it from anyone.
Unfortunately, after a crisis of faith, my mother came through it even more devout.
We were going to my younger nephews 1st Communion, and she told me “I really hope he doesn’t turn out like you.” Being in a stable marriage for over 20 years & being employed for the last 30; I could only assume she didn’t want another Atheist.
Well, the joke’s on her. He’s JUST LIKE ME.
Next, we have Jim:
I was raised Lutheran and attended a Jesuit university. I’m very well educated on religion.
1. The Bible is a wonderful piece of literature. However, to accept it as the “literal” word of God is problematic. Original authors lived 100 years after Jesus. It was written in Aramaic. Translated to Greek, then Latin, and so on. If you speak more than one language, you know direct translations are not always possible. So, it’s left to the translator to do the best he can.
2. I have a hard time with the concept that God created us in his image, then abandoned people, only available by whispering your wishes. Humanity is killing each other in the millions, and not a word from God.
3. Though it’s never really talked about, Islam, Judaism & Christianity ALL worship the SAME God! All three trace their roots through Abraham. The crusades was two peoples killing each other in the name of the same God. The inquisition was Christians killing Jews, in the name of the same God. In fact, people have been killing in God’s name through out history, with impunity. Where is God?
The fact is I’m a scientist, working in medicine my whole adult life. I’m a critical thinker, who will seek out truth. None of those qualities are embraced by organized religion.
Death is inevitable, but I will live life without the thought of an afterlife I have no proof exists. I was in the military. I know death. Loss of life on an industrial scale. Where was God?
Live this life. It exists right now.
I live in the Netherlands and went to a Catholic school where Bible study was mandatory. After years of teaching that God is forgiving and full of Love, reality showed a different story. Religion is full of hate and the main reason for people to start wars and hate others.
So, in conclusion, if (and that is a big if) there is a God he should be hated not worshiped. That is why i am an atheist.
And finally, Dan:
Like every human, I was born that way. But I’ve never had a compelling reason to change. Parents didn’t influence me in religion at all. So I never had a “coming out” or anything like that. I never rejected religion or belief systems so much as I’ve never seen reason to hold to them.