My parents did not take me to church.  (THANK YOU MOM!)  I was not "indoctrinated" into any particular faith.  But when I was young, before I knew about the advances of science, the first story I heard about the origin of Earth and man was the creation version.  But my affiliation with religion was nonetheless, limited.


It all started when I was a metal-head, White Zombie t-shirt wearing, long haired high school teenager.  I was going to a school in southeast Georgia, where the First Baptists reign supreme.  They criticized me and ostracized me and on top of that....  some of them prayed for me and tried to save me by continuously asking me to church.  One of them even believed in the 'rapture' and said it would happen in her life time.  I eventually, due to one girl's extremely kind persistence, decided to go to church after she told me she cried for me upon seeing her first Marilyn Manson video.


I experienced several things that distraught me.  They prayed for big screen televisions and other material possessions.  The First Baptist Church in Pembroke, Ga is the first place I ever hear someone actually say the words "logic and reason are the enemy of God."  This blew me away.  But I still let them baptize me.  LOL...


Eventually I grew weary of hearing all of this morally charged theism from people who seemed so materialistic and judgemental.  But throughout the years, I had other friends who went to church.  I tried their churches thinking they'd be differen't.  They were mostly the same with slight differences.  Some were more pious, some were less pious. 


The pentecostals are the ones who made me decide I was done playing with religion for good....or so I thought.


I had a best friend who was also ostracized in school.  His father was a preacher at a Church of Christ.  They claim they are the only correct followers of the bible.  But don't they all?  I eventually decided to go to church with my friend in my early 20's to do him a favor as a friend so he wouldn't have to go alone.  I saw that he felt alone at his church and I wanted to help him feel better about it.  That didn't last forever....but while I was there...they decided my FIRST baptism at the First Baptist didn't count because they were not true Christians...and that I should be baptized again...  But shortly after that I stopped going to church. 


I've tried "talking to god".  I've tried 'feeling' and 'experiencing' a connection with spirituality, only to find that all I was doing was mistaking strong feelings of sentiment for 'spirituality'.  I eventually came to realize that I would NEVER experience the supernatural version of spirituality that people claim they feel.  I would never talk in tongues like the pentecostals.  I would never go to heaven or hell like in the bible.  I would never throw away scientific evidence and take the Creationist explanation of how we got here. 


I do however, believe what my first pastor said when he said "logic and reason are the enemies of God."  I have recently decided to tone down my angry role as an atheist and focus on the more important part of atheism.  I will only profess to prove a  theist  wrong if they directly challenge me.  I am more concerned about Atheist rights and our ability to do all the same things Christians have a right to do, such as searching for others who share the same interests by advertising publicly.  Keeping religion out of churches and schools and government, and to keep religion out of science where it has no place.  Because the pastor was right....and even if God was real, I'd still choose logic and reason over him any day of the week without a second thought or doubt in my mind.  I will never be spiritual.  Because like spiritual people often say "I believe in something bigger."


In the end, it makes no sense to act like an Atheist version of a Christian Evangelist, unless you are willing to lose the people close to you who are religious.  I am probably more guilty of this than most atheists. 


But it is quite clear that people will always choose God (whatever that means) over me.  And there is nothing I can do about it unless I wish to spend my life alone.

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Comment by Michael R on December 27, 2010 at 10:25am
I like your attitude. Pick your battles. The only person I've alienated is my brother, but that was in defense of my daughter.


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