My mom and I had an interesting discussion yesterday. It centered around the fact that she couldn't believe I was an atheist (my stepdad had outed me to her when she came back from work after he found out Sunday so thank him for that). To be fair, it wasn't a totally horrible discussion. My mom and I hardly talk like that with each other at all, so it felt intimate in a way.
But she kept bringing faith into the picture. What was really heart-breaking was when she said that if it wasn't for her god, I probably wouldn't be where I was now because of all the times he put me on her mind and heart. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but she might as well have told me, "If my magical invisible deity hadn't reminded me that I need to love you as my child, I probably wouldn't have done it". That hurt me alot.
Besides that she's the only one who I can depend on right now. I have other family and even a best friend, but since I'm still in school and don't have a job, I'm totally dependent on her.
I feel like I have to lie to keep up the good relationship. My mom is a stubborn person who everyone knows can hold a grudge. She would've with me a couple years back when I made a stupid decision (influenced by religion I might add) when I was still a christian. But apparently her god influenced her not to. And as she says, "When you get burned once, shame on them. But if you get burned a second or third time, shame on you." It feels like I'd be betraying her if I continue to tell her I'm atheist. And we've been through too many rough patches with each other. We've finally reached a point where it feels more like mother and daughter and of course something else bad happens. I could almost believe in a malevolent satan smirking to himself as he congratulates himself on a job well done. Or a malevolent god wanting a good show.
My mom's a good person. Stubborn, yes. Willing to believe in an invisible god, yes. And she'll probably go to her grave believing it, like she said. She's even more liberal than most. And I know that she was only trying to convince me to have faith because she cared. She didn't want me to lose it because of my experiences in the past. I would describe her belief as more believing in a benevolent spirit than a more fundamental perception of god. I'm not sure if she thinks he, she, it's a person or not, but I doubt it. I didn't even see the point in debating with her, because if her decision to take me back or love me or whatever was based solely on the fact that she felt a god was putting me on her heart and mind, then what's the use? Things seem like they could only get worse.
I feel really alone right now. It'd be no big deal, because I've felt like that before and gotten through it, but this is the first time that I've felt like I have something to lose (i.e. her affection, acceptance, our good relationship, etc.) that I probably won't ever be able to get back. It's so frustrating. The worst thing about it is that people go through this type of crap everyday and it shouldn't be that way.
What's so wrong with believing in yourself? In the ability to change humanity as a whole by ridding ourselves of some primeval notion of an ever-changing god? The god reflects the culture. Any passing glance at history could tell you that.
I really don't know what to do. I'm almost 21 years old, but I feel like the 12 year old that everyone thinks I look like. I feel like a coward. I don't feel brave enough to be an outspoken atheist right now. I have a sneaking suspicion that it'll take me a few more years from now when I have a job, am independent, and have had more experience with the arguments for and against a god to actually be able to stand up for my beliefs. I didn't become an atheist just because of bad experiences. I wanted to know why atheists believed what they did (or didn't?). Oh, and by the way my mom also believes that atheists believe in nothing, and that nothing good can come from being one. But anyway, once I started looking at a few websites and hearing what people had to say for themselves, I began thinking "Hey, these people might actually be on to something". It's true my bad experiences opened me up to their arguments, but I only stopped believing in god when I really examined the evidence for one. I didn't base it on my feelings.
I think that this post is just a rant because I think I know what I'll end up doing, but I'm just so angry that in the future it might be what tears our relationship to shreds again. And religion has before but now it'd be because of the lack of one, so there's some twisted irony. It's so stupid. It makes me furious that we would actually need some sort of deity to be able to love each other or even act right. If that's true then our good actions toward each other mean nothing. While we may care, we only do it because if we don't we'll be punished. Religion makes us so weak, so dependent on something that won't even prove that it exists, and then when we point that out to people they pin the blame on us!
Another reason my mom gave for why I should have a belief in god is because I'd have nobody to fall back on if something ever happened to her. She has a point, as I really don't. And that's where god comes in, ever ready to comfort you in troubled times. Even if there is a deity, I wouldn't want to depend on it. I think it'd insult all the people who are, even right now, suffering, and have no comfort, no one to turn to. Hundreds of people may have already died during the time it took me to write this, but hardly anyone with the "love of god" cares. It's basic human decency that always solves problems relating to morality. The bible is not a guide to morality. People had it for hundreds of years and slavery, misogyny, and human cruelty still existed, until guess what? Humans finally put a stop to it. No god, just humans. And that's what will no doubt happen with the problems we have today. And in the future. We will solve them because we are all there is on this planet. We're all we've got.
So if there is a conscious god somewhere in the universe, I'm not depending on it because it obviously doesn't care what happens here on earth. I can't accept help or comfort from it when thousands of people are killed by nature itself in the blink of an eye, and people are starving everyday. It just seems, I don't know, wrong to do so. But I guess I wouldn't know, seeing as I can't find the verse in the bible telling me whether I should care or not. Maybe it's just another part of god's plan.
I can't bring myself to even believe in a force in the universe. Today I have to take a long drive to the school I'll be attending in the fall, and I know that all I'll do is worry the whole way. Cliche, but I really wish we could all just be happy and love each other. I have this site to keep my sanity, but now I feel really alone. Will I have to live the rest of my life knowing my mother loves me because her deity told her to? Because that's what it looks like she's saying. And to me that doesn't actually seem like love. But I know that she does love me because she's told me before. Is it just that her decision to not hold a grudge against me was based on what she thought her deity told her?
So desperately, desperately confused :(