I read a few atheists blogs. I actually read a few blogs of almost every religion or religious point of view. I like to see what they are thinking and what they are going through.
I particularly like the atheist ones since that is where I started out. You should read one if you never have before. You will see how angry they really are. Not really angry people, but there is anger there. I think a lot of it comes from having to constantly defend the fact they don’t believe in God.
Christians don’t help the matter any. They really have the best intentions, but if a person doesn’t believe in God, quoting His word has no real bearing on their life. You can tell them over and over that God loves them, but most have never experienced it on a personal level. Attacking those that used to believe, that is just foolish. Why attack someone for not believing. How many of the Gospels talk about Jesus walking up to people and belittling them for not following God?
I never knew God personally growing up. My parents never went to church and I only went when I visited my grandparents. It might have been a Sunday a month if I was lucky. I learned the little songs like “Father Abraham” and “This Little Light of Mine”. I catch myself singing them now from time to time.
My childhood was rough. My parents fought a lot. Mainly verbal arguments, but I remember stuff being thrown. Both of them were unhappy with themselves together they just fueled each other. While this was going on, I was being molested by neighbors who “watched” me. I think my parents were so consumed with trying to make themselves happy that they never knew what was happening to me. My mom was going to school full time and working and Dad was working and doing social things at night. He coached some of my team sports. I thought it was to spend time with me, but when I didn’t play he still coached. He decided to be a big brother to some kid on the other side of town. He was active in the cub scouts even when I wasn’t. He was focused on being a good person and winning the approval of others. To save their marriage, my parents decided to have another kid. Brilliant idea, right? Anyways, the writing was on the wall and they divorced. My mom took us and moved so she could start her first teaching job.
Here is how I saw it. I was being molested and no one cared. My parents spent time with anyone but me and I really didn’t matter to anyone. Jesus loves the little children…bullshit. After the divorce, we still didn’t go to church unless I was with my grandparents. That was every other weekend since my dad couldn’t figure out what to do with us when he had visitation. In pursuit of winning people’s approval, my dad became really active in the church. He joined a singles group and met my stepmother there. We moved back about the time he remarried. About a year after that my mom remarried. When we moved back, mom was searching for more meaning to her life and healing so we started going to a church. Talk about a fun time. Mom picked some dead church where the focus was on the outfit and vehicles. To be accepted we went to lunch after service with the group. We were poor, but we would spend what we could to fit in. Dad’s church might have been better, but I didn’t want to go. I could barley stand him and wanted nothing to do with what he was a part of. You can really only try to please someone and make them love you for so long before you give up on them. I remember one Sunday with him. We went to his church and I didn’t want to go to Sunday school. I didn’t know the kids and didn’t want to be forced to participate with them. I figured I would skip and just meet them for the service. He found out and was furious. I told him I felt sick, so when we got home I had to spend the rest of my visit with him in my bed and take caster oil. The love of Jesus just flowed out of him.
When I was thirteen, my church deemed us old enough to be accountable for our own spiritual well being. I went thought the commencement process in to adult hood. Problem was no one even told me what it was about. I had an overnight sleep over at the church, but no one had told me why. I just knew I had to go. I still had never heard the salvation message or had a personal relationship with God, but I followed the ritual religious obligations of the church. I hated that place. HATE! It was all about trying to fit in and be part of the group. People were screwing around on their spouses and if you had money you could get away with almost anything. I was 15 when I told someone there that I didn’t believe in God. He had never shown up and my own life had proved the crap that they preached to be a lie. God loves me? I called bullshit.
I remained an atheist for many years. Here is the problem I had with the atheist life: there is no purpose to life. My life is led for what? There is no happily ever after. There is no higher plane. I just live and try to be a good person and hope someone remembers me? Why even try to be a good person? There was no motivation to appease the people around me. It was starting to be as much as a lie as what the church had preached to me. I knew there had to be more to life then that. How arrogant did I have to be to actually be that the human race was all that there was? I had doubts. Everything in me said that I was wrong and I wanted to find out what I was missing. I stopped being an atheist, but I didn’t return to the church until many years later.
To the atheists out there: my sympathies to you for the treatment from Christians trying to prove you wrong. I understand what it is like having to defend something when you can never prove yourself to be right. I can honestly say that since I used to be where you are.