It has been a year since I decided to step into the land of controversial blog topics and share my feelings on religion and God. Or whether, my lack thereof. The most nervous I've ever been throughout this blog's history was right after I hit "submit" on that one post. Way more nervous than even introducing Blogcation or starting my blog design business. And now this post is going to take the cake of even the first one on the scale of nerves.
Because in a world filled with so many bloggers preaching about their love for Jesus, I felt pretty alone in my love for, well, I'm not completely sure, but certainly not Jesus. I quickly realized that I wasn't as alone as I had thought, though, because the comments flooded in from bloggers all over the place who agreed with me completely. There were so many others paddling that same "non-believer" boat right along with me and I felt much better about my decision in posting it.
Many of the comments all said that they too wished they could "come out" with their beliefs about religion on their blogs but were too scared to do so because it seemed like social suicide to preach about anything that went against the masses.
Obviously this saddened me and made me think about this whole thing even more. Because it shouldn't be frightening to share your beliefs about God, whether you do or do not believe. It shouldn't be frightening to share anything, really, in this space. No one should feel like they have to use the word "come out" or "admit to" in the same sentence when sharing their atheist or agnostic views. That's just completely mind boggling. We should just be able to speak to whatever we believe (and don't believe) freely, without the worry of someone thinking we're completely irrational for doing so or trying to judge anyone who feels the opposite way.
Unless you're blogging about something like "All the Chipotles of the world should be burned to the ground and puppies are ugly" because in that case you just actually are irrational, of course.
So since I didn't really blog about why I don't believe in God in that post, let alone what I do believe in - I feel like I might as well just go ahead and do that today. And I'm scared as shit to do so because I'm probably going to be looked at like I've sprouted a tree out of my head by the time I'm finished.
But please, please, PLEASE note that I don't mean to offend anyone at all in what I say; these are just my opinions. I truly do respect everyone who is religious for being so strong in their beliefs, but that does not for a second mean that I can't disagree completely. I don't judge anyone as a person just because they believe in something entirely different than what I do or say things that I can't for the life of me wrap my head around, so I hope you can do the same for me. Because I know there are going to be quite a few of you (religious and non-religious) who think I'm completely crazy.
But the beauty of blogging is that whenever I seem absolutely insane when posting something, there's always at least someone who agrees and makes me feel a little more normal. So here we go hoping someone out there is riding the same crazy train with me.
What I don't believe:
-That there's one single God. I mean how could there possibly be when there are more religions in this world than there is drama on the Bravo network.
-In heaven or hell. It just sounds like something out of a storybook. But I do believe that all dogs do go to heaven, duh.
-That God has anyone's life in the palm of his hand, or that things happen because of him, or that anyone's destiny is completely out of their own control because God has it all figured out for them already. This makes me mental and I could spend an entire week of blog posts discussing it, but I won't. You're welcome.
-That Jesus died for my sins. I have quite a few of them, so thanks for that if it really is the case, but for some reason this just doesn't compute in my head. That's way too much for one man to take on.
-That Jesus was resurrected three days later. I mean this just doesn't even make logical sense. Dumbledore couldn't even do it and he was the most magical wizard in all the land.
-That you should feel sad for me because I don't get to experience the same passionate love for Jesus as you do or that you should pray for me "even harder" because I don't believe. Please divert your time and efforts elsewhere to those who actually could use it.
What I do believe:
-That there is something out there. Something way bigger than you or me or the Starbuck's barista on the corner of 68th and 1st. But putting a label on it and thinking you know for sure what that something is just seems naive to me.
-That our souls will hopefully live on somewhere and not rot away with our bodies. And I say hopefully because I really honestly truly do hope. But I think both heaven and hell are used as a means to both comfort and scare us. It's a lot easier to cope and move on when someone dies if you think they've gone on to a better place.
That's not so much the case if you're like me and think that we die the same way as ants do. An ant gets stepped on and killed by a shoe, a human gets shot and killed by a gun. An ant's remains rot away, so do a human's. Yet the human gets to open the pearly white gates and step into heaven and the ant just gets to be washed away in the rain? No. I don't think so. But the world would be even more of a god damn mess without that sense of hope and comfort, so there it stays.
-In science and evolution and hard physical evidence of the way the world actually works, not in something that boils down solely to faith. I kind of equate God to Santa in this sense. Que the eye rolls.
-That religion is somewhat like a form of brain wash in that people rarely ever choose their faith on their own in a well thought out and educated manner. The majority of people take on the same religion as their parents, who then pass the same thing on to their children. Not all, of course, but many. So whatever church your mom drags you to in your Sunday best and frilly white socks as child will most likely be the same one you practice at as an adult. If you went to a Baptist church at the age of six, you're probably going to another Baptist church at 60. But if your life was rearranged for a second and you went to Temple as a child instead, you'd probably be Jewish as an adult.
And there's really nothing wrong with religion working in this way, but it just makes it so much harder for me to believe in it all and take it so seriously. Especially when the working majority of those who believe in whatever religion they believe in usually only do so because they happened to be brought up that way. At least that's the way it seemed growing up in my small town upstate.
-That religion has caused more death, destruction, and chaos than anything else in this world.
Phew, okay, I think I should wrap this up for the day before I totally lose everyone in the land of all things way too serious and completely non-Two Thirds Hazel like. But this topic just fascinates me in that the range of beliefs has the broadest spectrum out of any others. Some way on one end, some way on the other, and tons more scattered somewhere in between. So where do you fit? What do you believe?