In my last post of this series I hope I made it clear that my parents did not force religion onto us. We had to go when we were younger, but when we were teenagers it was entirely up to us if we wanted to continue or not. Any conditioning I may have then is not the fault of my parents. If anyone can be blamed it would be the Baptist Church, however I’m not even sure if they’re the right ones to be pinning it on. The only person to blame is myself. When I went gung-ho-for-Jesus for a couple of years I made it very very clear to myself that anything other than what I was believing was very wrong and would end with me in Hell for all eternity. Although I think the Christianity that I embrace now is one that would still put a Baptist in Hell.
So if the guilt and conditioning only comes from myself, why don’t I just shake it off and move on?
- I will feel guilty: You can tell me that there is nothing to feel guilty about until you’re blue in the face – but I still do. This guilt goes pretty deep, too and I can feel it effecting my mood and performance in my day-to-day life. So I have to ask myself, is it really worth it? If my decision to believe in God changed my daily schedule, made me be a different person or changed my morals to something less desirable then I could understand why it might be important for me to continue to fight with it. However, in my church you can believe what you want – you can make religion work for you. So my options are a) feel guilty for not believing in God and feel that all day everyday or b) just give into that temptation to believe in God and keep on living. I feel like I am pretty secure in who I am (morally and ethically) that believing in God doesn’t really change anything. I would rather not feel guilty.
- I like believing in a God: Believing that there is some sort of universal force out there is really comforting and makes me feel really connected with the world and people around me. This obviously makes it harder to fight the guilt, too. I know that believing in a God is 100% irrational, I recognize that – so don’t try and argue me out of this with “ration and reason”. But… sometimes it just feels right and makes me feel more at ease with the world. And as far as I’m concerned – most emotional responses are irrational in most cases, so what is one more irrational emotional response going to hurt?
- The little things: It helps me feel/deal with a lot of things such as comfort, death, chaos, personal acceptance and community.
- I know have an angel: I have a guardian angel watching over me at all time. I can feel him there, and I know I’m safe….
Okay, I’m lying about #4, but #1 and #2 are pretty much the solid reasons why I believe. #3 is a list of things that I will deal with in separate posts, but they are minor things keeping me connected to my belief system.
So I’m not one of those people who believes in God because I feel like the bible is infallible, that the earth was created by a creator or that thinks God is intervening in our daily lives so we need to pray like 80 times every hour, or whatever. Religion has been a major part for pretty much every single civilization that ever existed on Earth. Religion has helped to bring people together, to answer questions and to bring comfort to people. If that religion is not being forced onto other people, is not harmful and is helping people deal with their lives and be more productive, what’s the problem? That’s why I still believing in God – because I don’t see it as a problem.