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Feeling Guilty


scruggs420
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First of all, I would like to say hello to all of you, I have been lurking in dozens of forums for a while and this one seems to have its share of level headed members.; Whenever I visit a site like this I am amazed at the grief and self doubt some people have about giving up god and moving on. It finally dawned on me that maybe they are really worried about giving up a lifestyle, a social interaction that usually starts at a very early age. For some, it might be easier to come to terms with their non-belief if the social pressures weren't there. I grew up in an extreme religious environment, my mother was a teacher in a catholic school and me and my four sisters all attended most of our school years. I was a lead altar boy for years and was involved in every aspect of the church activities. I was friends with the priests and nuns and knew most of them as people. At any given day, a couple of nuns and maybe a priest or two could be at our house for supper or whatever. I never had a problem with a priest doing anything inappropriate other than the "if you don't do god's work you will burn" kind of thing, and the nuns were pretty cool in their own way, some were more high strung than others but maybe they just needed to get laid once in a while. During this time I was also a child of the '60s. Question authority, don't trust anyone over 30, the Beatles were playing around with buddism;and the hare krishna people were dancing around at the airport. I met the Grateful Dead in 1967 and the one thing that I learned was; question everything. Most people who are trying to get you to think like them have an agenda, look deep and find out what it is. You might agree with it or not, but at least you will know what you are getting in to. I became a skeptic, a critical thinker, I was an activist for many things but the validity of religion never really crossed my mind at first. Then it happened, I remember that day like it was yesterday. There were several nuns at the house working on school stuff with my mom and one priest was there also, the subject of the pope came up and I asked how a man, one who is just like us, can put on a pointy hat and be infallible in all decisions to do with the catholic church. Well it got so quiet that you could hear a fly fart. The "LOOK" was coming at me from all sides and when I saw my dad slide out the side door, I knew what was coming. They started gnashing teeth, wringing hands, praying softly, praying loudly, yelling and crying. It's hard to describe, it was like I wasn't there almost and was watching from another room. After a while it all came to me...this was just the tip of the iceberg, if they get so worked up over the infallibility of the pope, what happens when all those fairy tales from the bible get questioned? It became crystal clear that it was all bullshit. I started to question and research everything I had been taught, I had to do a month in county for a pot charge about the same time so I read the bible from cover to cover and broke down almost every chapter. I had been living a lie, I knew my mom believed with all that she was so I couldn't blame her, but how could the priests not know? Hemingway once said "all thinking men are atheists" so how could these men, these priests, bishops, cardinals, and the pope not know? Of course they did, it all boiled down to control, power and money. Six weeks after I questioned the pope, I was a devout non-believer, have been for over forty years and never had a doubt....ever.<br> That's why I feel guilty a little bit. I read about the troubles some of these folks have and are having, and I feel like it was too easy for me. I never made a big deal out of it and never tried to get anyone to think the way I do. Being an atheist isn't a way of life or a belief system for me. I don't avoid religious people, I have many religious friends, I just don't get into their arguments about god. I have gone through life telling people that my religion and politics are personal and chose to keep them to myself. I didn't raise my son to be an atheist either, I raised him to think for himself and when he felt he needed to decide on a path, look at all sides and do what's best for him. When he was about 8, he asked where we went when we died, I told him we went to the same place we were before we were born. He was ok with that and he told me just this year that he always remembered that and it gave him peace. He and his wife & kids attend the Methodist church, it's his call and I support him. Seems like a waste of a perfectly good Sunday to me I just wish I could convey my attitude and feelings to those who are having such a tough time. Believing in god to me is like buying anything else, I don't like Suzuki motorcycles, (no offense to Suzuki owners) I ride a Harley. I don't care that you ride a Suzuki, many of my friends do, but I don't believe in them. It's that easy for me, Suzuki-Harley, Ford-Chevy, country-rock, just a choice, make it and move on. I get a laugh out of people who say they were atheists and then saw jesus in a piece of toast or something, and now they are devout christians.....bullshit. They never were atheists in the first place, and they just want the attention.; I am sorry for rambling on, I should take a writing class. I would just like to say to all the folks on the fence about god, think. Pick apart everything you are being told, isn't it amazing that Noah lived within walking distance of all the animals on earth? My sister tried the immaculate conception defense, didn't work for her. god supposedly made the universe in a day but it took him a week to make us and on the seventh day he had to rest? or maybe it's to get us into a church with our wallets.<br>Think, question, come to your own conclusions, make up your mind and stick to it. If someone doesn't want you to be a friend because of what you believe, screw 'em. You don't need that kind of friend.

peace.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for sharing. I agree faith is a personal choice. I doesn't hesistate to continue friendship with christian friends. One thing make me avoiding christian friends is they only ask me back to church, no other topics. Even in facebook, christian also leave message like "God never giveup his son" etc.

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Something you said sticks out to me. Everyone has an agenda, just look closely... I'm beginning to see the agenda behind so many if my Christian friends. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you for sharing. I agree faith is a personal choice. I doesn't hesistate to continue friendship with christian friends. One thing make me avoiding christian friends is they only ask me back to church, no other topics. Even in facebook, christian also leave message like "God never giveup his son" etc.

 

The facebook thing is a thorn in my side. I constantly get bombarded by bible quotes all the time. There are some "friends" that I have dropped because the social interaction has stopped and it's only the religious blah blah. I feel a TRUE friend doesn't really care what religion you are or your political affiliation either. The ones that do are just looking for validation and a group of like thinkers to hang out with because they are insecure in their own beliefs.

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This was the best post!!! I laughed when I read it. My experience was much more dramatic, and I took forever to work through my stuff, and when I finally gave up it was depressing. It took so long to realize that all of this drama, this being pushed and pulled in different directions was just an inner conflict that wasn't worthy of my time. When I gave it up part of me felt guilty for even giving it so much fuel, but the other part was just gracious for having seen through the lies that I see others suffering with. YES, I say suffering. Most Christians I know expend a terrible amount of energy keeping the story patched together and aren't aware of it...especially the few "soldiers" for the cause who have laughingly assumed the role of 'apologists'. They suffer under the illusion that the only thing that holds their world together and keeps them from decending into depravity and hell is their false piety. I'm amazed at how hard it is to let go, and yet how drastically life improves when that happens.

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