My life is a complicated one. And that’s not to say that there aren’t others out there whose are just as bad. Heck, in my mind right now I have to simply fight off the implications of old Conservative dogma while a starving child in Africa has to physically fight just to survive. So my situation may not be that horrible. But at the same time that doesn’t detract from the validity of my own situation, so here it goes.
I started out life adopted. That itself would seem to be an important issue to other people, but I never cared much about lineage or descent, so there you go. Anyways, I digress. I spent most of my school life in private schooling. A private, fairly Conservative Christian school by the way. And I was subtly Atheist most of the time. Of course at the time I didn’t realize it.
I remember episodes during chapels events where kids would walk up in the middle of chapel and speak out in tongues the proceed to ask for immediate forgiveness from God. Of course ignoring any possibleconsequences for said sin. Everyone in the gym seemed to be so sold on the concept, and as a impressionable child what was I to think? The evidence of an all knowing and all powerful God seemed obvious. So much so that when the whole Poke’mon epidemic came around in the late 90s, they (my peers) willingly put in all thePoke’mon cards that they owned in a large, hefty garbage bag. All just because some pretentious pricks wanted to rain on some children’s parade. And I believed in this God for the most part; not due to any personal experience of my own mind you, but from external observation of others. And at that age you don’t really assume that people are crazy. You assume that there’s at least some reason or rationality behind a persons actions. Ah, the sweet embrace that was once naivety. And I went through the process of trying to find my own personal experience with God my WHOLE childhood.
And I failed.
And then before I knew it I was a teenager. The insecure years in which the only thing you know is that you must be better than the guy to your right or that girl that you want to go out with will never say yes. Yes, those same awkwardly, awful years of the human life cycle. Now my school wasn’t really different from any others. The kids did drugs, drank, and it seemed also seemed like everyone was getting laid. The only real difference was that about once a week we would meet for chapel and these same kids would ask God for forgiveness. Even if they were all planning on going out after school to drown in more sin. One of the many hypocrisy that I faced. And not matter what I said, they did what they wanted. And I brought this up to teacher after teacher and they told me about the wonderful forgiveness that our god had a capacity for. Which of course makes on think of Old Testament writings where God would turn someone to a pillar of salt if they disobeyed one command. So of course this never made any sense to me. Still, I tried many years to contact and commune with this all forgiving and knowing god.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity of torture, I graduated. Only to go off to an extremely conservative university; Cedarville University. There’s really no way to describe how conservative this place was. The entire town surrounding the campus was like something directly from a Billy Graham book/novel. There wasn’t conflict, filth, or anything obscene anywhere in town. Heck, there wasn’t even a bar in town. And you would think that this would be a good thing; far from it actually. Life there felt so unbelievably fake. Everywhere you turned there were people smiling, no matter the situation. Everything about these people, even their smiles were fake. The only thing anyone cared about was pleasing God. So if murder was found pleasing to him, then this people would’ve been the first ones arming themselves with chainsaws. It was really bad and extremely disturbing.
The first semester of college was OK enough. It got really boring though towards the end since video games and pretty much all forms of entertainment not involving the bible were deemed as “indecent”. There was even an approval committee that you were supposed to submit all forms of entertainment to prior to bringing it on campus. So if a RA found anything inappropriate they have full authority to take it. You even had to sign a waiver agreeing to this prior to setting foot on campus. My God was life boring… All you did was work and study. You couldn’t even go anywhere off campus to let some steam off since the closest place was 30 min away.
The second semester was easily the most boring time in my life. Even if I was able to sneak an Xbox 360 on campus, life was still going nowhere. I even resorted back to playing World of Warcraft hard core after playing it for only a month in high school. That university made WoW a totally viable alternative to the fake life ofCedarville. Life in WoW actually seemed more realistic. It got to the point where I just stopped going to chapel and stayed secluded in my dorm (as a note, I was still getting straight A’s) One day, prior to Easter break, I got a call that my mom was in the hospital and not doing well. So I drove back home with my roommate for 3 days (5 hour drive). And the doctors seemed astonished that she was doing so badly. They expected her to recover the entire time. And she never did. I went back to campus the week before finals just to get a call that my mom died when I wasn’t even home. I was plain pissed. Cedarville made my life hell in more than one way. Now it was getting in the way of family, blatantly.
Roughly, it took about a year of hard, in-depth soul searching to actually arrive at the firm conclusion that there is no God. It took even more time for me to understand how to live without the idea of a God. To live without the idea that every action one takes no only has consequences, but moral ramifications as well. Trying to live life at first without the idea of heavenly rewards, etc was tough at first. Oh boy was it a tough learning process. Thankfully I met my wonderful girlfriend, the love of my life actually, who helped speed up the process that would’ve taken 5+ years to less than a year. And now life is wonderful. I’ve grown into a *fairly* responsible adult who’s both well educated and grounded in the world.
Life is a process of learning. If you would like to hear more about my story or share your own go ahead.
**No religious fundamentalists were harmed in the making of this article; though several were maimed.**