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Tag: spirituality

Reason

I’ve been triggering myself a little lately, getting introspective about life and the meaning. Nothing weird I guess, but in my dreams I found myself missing things I don’t actually miss, missing rituals and set answers – things I consciously don’t actually value.

I’m not particularly sentimental, and I don’t really care about tradition for tradition’s sake – in fact, I’ve found more freedom and healing in abandoning tradition as much as possible lately.

So, anyway, when I’ve been finding myself in these introspective loops – at least after outing myself as an agnostic, none of the pat answers that I used to have are there anymore (for good reason), but it’s like I’ve taken another step into the unknown and I don’t know why I exist again, or why I make things, or why I feel the way I do, I just know that I do, and the bit of fundamentalism that’s still clacking around in my brain jumps on it.

They were right all along, it says. You need religion to matter, it tells me. All these things I know are false – at least, for me – because religion (christianity specifically) is an unsafe place for me, and is the place I can trace back to when I want to find out why I feel worthless to start with.

I know it’s wrong, because I never found the answers I needed in religion – the pat answers and just don’t think about it too much cliches aren’t useful to me. So it’s weird when I suddenly find myself feeling depressed and reaching for those non-existent platitudes.

And it’s taken me all of this week to figure out what I’ve known all along.

I don’t need to have a reason for everything all the time. Unknowns are perfectly okay and legitimate. I don’t live in an environment anymore where I need to have an answer for everything.

And that’s gloriously freeing.

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Out of the (agnostic) closet (and into the fire?)

This has been coming to a head and swirling around for some time and I just need to let it out now:

I. Don’t. Believe. In. God. Any. More.

For so many reasons.

One, I became a christian entirely out of fear. I was terrified of going to hell. I can’t mesh staying in a religion that preaches damnation, operates on fear, and then tells you, simultaneously, to not be afraid of nuthin – because perfect love casts out all fear. I can’t balance that paradox.

Pascals gamble is so so flawed. Pascals gamble is not a reason to become or remain a christian and when I realized that the only thing keeping me in christianity, was fear (and if it’s true I win everything, if it’s false I lose nothing, but if I’m wrong, I’m screwed – fear tactic 101), I realized that living completely in fear of everything, was stupid and not a way to live and certainly not a way any deity I’d want to follow would want me to live.

Two, I can’t take the non-answers, the cliches, the culture, the holier-than-thou, and the unacknowledged hate that pervades much of christianity. I KNOW not all christians are like that (duh), but the truth is – since I stopped living as though I had to be The Most Holy Human, I’ve become a better person. I’ve become more empathetic and compassionate and I can actually be myself – because I don’t have to repress all of the things that may or may not be heaven dealbreakers.

And I have to believe that a truly loving god would want that – not for the people he created to live in constant fear, to live not fully, or to live as shells to save face.

Three, a long time ago, I wrote about how christianity is about love. I feel very deeply that it’s what it should be about (more accurately, that’s what any religion should be about), but from discussions with other people (outside and inside the comment section) it’s clear that it’s not. Christianity is about sin, it’s about being worthless and trying to get better to be worthy of heaven even though you don’t have to do anything but believe to get your pass. The True Christians alter their lives and personalities and values completely to be the best christian they can be, worthy of heaven, because being a christian means you’ll want to change like that.

There are so many contradictory things within the message of christianity that I just can’t take anymore.

Jesus loves you as you are; you are broken and worthless and need to change to bring glory to god.
God loves us all equally; but if you're not straight you're going to hell.
Jesus elevated women; but SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STAY HOME AND HAVE NO PERSONHOOD SO SAITH GOD.
Men and women are equal; men must rule the women, and women must submit to the men, for the glory of god.

There are so many.

Four, I couldn’t deal with worshipping someone who cursed women with pain for half of their life (and then MANDATED them to have all the babies) and told men: hey, look out for the thorns on those roses, oh, and, it’ll be hot tomorrow. And people wonder why I have issues.

Five, so Jesus’ remains weren’t in the tomb (oh yeah, I’ve read ALL the apologetics books, and I went to apologetics camp, briefly practiced competing in apologetics), that actually proves very little. But what’s to say that the other gods aren’t real (the bible never says no other gods exist, just that this god is a jealous bitch and you better only like him)? All religions have things in common and all religions (for the most part) think that their way is The Only Way (TM) and ¬†who’s to say? I can give you all the meaningless pat answers I learned as a teenager (which basically equates to: But it IS true), but those get old and don’t hold much weight – at least not for me, not for right now.

Lest you assume I jumped into deconversion haphazardly, let me assure you – no, I struggled with this for a long time. It’s HARD to leave christianity, it’s HARD to even be THOUGHT of as having LEFT christianity, it’s harder still to ADMIT to having left christianity because, by the time I hit publish on this, any semblance of normal relationships I had with other christians is going to go down the drain. They’ll tell me how easy it is to not believe, but it’s not true. It’s HARD and it’s hard knowing the fallout – knowing I will suddenly become a project, or a black sheep – knowing that the thread of personhood I had with them will be eradicated.

It’s HARD not having excuses for your behavior (because god), it’s HARD not having someone you can point to to get people to stop pestering you about your life (because god), it’s HARD suddenly not having a handy little good christian girl’s guide to life and living. It’s HARD having to own my decisions, my behavior and my path.

What’s nice, is not having a massive guilt complex every time I think someone may not share my faith, what’s nice is not having to not take bread with those people because they don’t match my version of christianity and may be corrupting influences, what’s nice is being autonomous and being me and not living in fear that if I am myself (the way god, apparently, made me) that I’ll be doomed to eternal torment.

But what about the afterlife? what about heaven and hell?

Honestly, I don’t really care. I want to love as many people as I can, and live as fully as I can while I’m here. If I do that, then I’ve lived a good life, I don’t care what happens next. I take comfort in the thought of nothingness (which I know, bothers a lot of people), I’m fine with the idea of just ceasing. If I’m wrong and I go to “hell”, well, hey, it was worth it to be able to live.

Comments are on, but if you start preaching at me, being concerned at me, or generally overreacting and being a dick, I’ll delete it. I know where to find all the answers you’ll try to give, and I’ve gone through them all. Nothing you can do or say is going to change anything – I have no qualms about your religion and I’m not going to try and de-convert you or stop you from talking about it, but don’t try and shove it down my throat.

 

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