Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear God: What a year can do

I like looking through my old journal entries. I especially like looking at the things I wrote one year ago, and seeing how I've changed since then. I found this in my journal entry for June 17, 2010:
Dear God,
I don't know if you're real. It would be awfully nice if you were, because sometimes my life sucks. It would be nice if there were somebody who were in charge of it all, who is making all the good and the bad work towards some ultimately good end. But I don't know for sure whether to believe in you or not. Why should I? I mean, I wouldn't want to worship a being who is needlessly cruel. I would find that to be morally reprehensible.

Which brings me to my question--why all the weirdness? Why on earth would you do something so dumb as to hide all overt evidence of your existence, and then threaten people with hell if they don't believe in you? Where's the sense in that? I mean, seriously. Do you have insecurity issues, control issues, or what?
Basically, it would be nice if you could be up-front about who/what you are, and what you want of people. Let's be reasonable here. I refuse to treat life like a college class where the syllabus is a contradictory puzzle with half the pieces missing, and grades are awarded arbitrarily. 
I've got lots more to say to you, God, but I'm really tired now. I have class in the morning. So just think about that, OK? If you're really there, why don't you start acting like a rational grown-up? Just a suggestion.

I was essentially an atheist at that point. In an earlier entry I describe myself as a "peaceful agnostic." But damn. On June 17, 2009, I wouldn't have dreamed of writing something like that. And now, I've given up the last shred of wishing-for-God that I still had in the back of my mind one year ago. A year ago, I was figuring out how to define myself in terms of religion. I didn't really believe, but God was frequently on my mind. But after that final night on the temple grounds, I stopped worrying. Now I never wonder if God's really there. I really did give him a fair shot. I really tried to believe, but he never came through.

And you know what? I can safely say that since that last prayer that night by the temple, I've been the happiest I've ever been. I don't wonder or worry like I used to that one of the religions in the world is true, and that I'm condemning myself to hell through my ignorance/non-belief. My whole life, the people I've known have insisted that atheism is the most depressing philosophy out there, that it implies that life is meaningless and empty. But I've found that the opposite is the case. Life without God is free of so many of the worries I had when I believed in God, or when I was trying to believe in him.

One year ago I was a baby atheist. I wasn't even ready to call myself an atheist--I called myself an agnostic, just to be on the safe side. It's amazing what a year can do for a person. God and his existence/non-existence is not really on my radar, to be honest. It doesn't keep me up at night anymore (and it sure as hell used to). Now, I am free.

5 comments:

  1. I, too, feel VERY free as an atheist. I tried to explain my apostasy to my mother today but she still doesn't seem to understand me, and I don't think she ever will. She thinks that I don't like going to church because I've sinned and I feel uncomfortable. I'm just baffled. I have true "What the fuck?" moments all the time. Why is it so hard for her to wrap her mind around the fact that I think Mormonism is silly and I have my own philosophies? In her mind, I'll never be truly happy, which saddens me on the deepest level. I would tell her that I have a brain and fortunately I learned to use it if I didn't think it would hurt her.

    Blissful Heretic, please keep at this. You write feeling for feeling everything I felt when I left the church. You also seem to be close in age to me which makes this all the more poignant.

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  2. I just found your blog, and I love what and how you write. Your story resonates with me.

    I've never seen the sculpture in this picture. Do you know the name of it, or what building that is?

    Thanks. Keep writing.

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  3. Thank you! :) I'm afraid I don't know what the sculpture is; if I did I'd have put in an attribution. I found it dinking around on the internets. :3

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  4. Gotcha--thanks. I will keep looking. That's such a cool image. Very applicable to lots of different scenarios. :)

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  5. Dear Bliss,

    I believe that God endowed us with an inherent quality of his own--a nurturing spirit if you will. I believe that he created us for the same reason that most of us desire to have children (or pets)--to nurture and to love someone unconditionally, and perhaps selfishly, to be loved back unconditionally. The Bible says "...for his own good pleasure."

    You know, your Mom--although deceived like so many others by the false prophets and counterfeit spirits of mormonism--had it right..."You have to figure out the answer yourself." God's purposes for allowing (not causing) us to experience pain and suffering are not easily understandable, but they are not "cruel".

    It is hard to accept a substitute belief system and "doctrine" when you've been deceived and have stuggled so mightily to shed the deception--I presume at considerable personal sacrifice. Those of us with a proven gullibility feel very vulnerable when we examine the beliefs and teachings to which we are exposed.

    I think you're almost there--I can "hear" your nurturing spirit in the words you write and in your obvious desire to help others. If you haven't read it already, I would encourage you to read Latayne Scott's book--"The Mormon Mirage". If you earnestly ask God to reveal Himself the way you did up above, but without your own preconceptions, "terms", and ego in the way, He will. I congratulate you on your courageous apostacy--I could never have admitted to myself or to anyone else that I had been so incredibly led astray. Best wishes, and may God CONTINUE to bless you!

    BD

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