You know, sometimes I feel like I am pretty vain in my blog posts here. Other authors on thinkatheist post such awesome studies they've come across, or causes they support. Me? I talk about the stuff in my life. I justify it by telling myself that maybe it will help someone out there like me realize they aren't alone.
I just finished spending three weeks with my parents. I attended mass, I had passionate discussions about the nature of god with my mother, I helped her with her rosary on the long drive back to my home. My poor mother seems to think this is a sign of me coming back to the faith.
I get very frustrated with my parents, and honestly there are times where I wish I could go back to feeling like there is a god. I wish I could go to a church and feel like I was doing good for humanity by sitting on a wooden bench and singing hymns. Truth be told it would make my life so much easier.
Of course there is no going back for me. Even if I could somehow believe in a creator I certainly can't accept any of the religions in the world. The bigotry, the shame, the misogyny and class-ism that permeates the religions of the world will be a perpetual lock on that door for me.
This kind of talk leads people to the assumption that I have given up on spiritual searching. You all know the tired accusations of us thinking we "know everything."
This accusation couldn't be more wrong for most atheists I know. First off, the words "we don't know," comes with so many scientific studies that it should be on a bumper sticker. We don't know, but damn if we aren't trying to figure it out.
Secondly, my "spirituality," remains fairly intact, in spite of my disbelief.
Okay, "spirituality" is probably a misnomer. My mercy, love, compassion, patience, sympathy and caring are all in tact. In some cases they are heightened. We have one shot at life and we are surrounded by so much pain, uncertainty, fear, sadness, and loss. It breaks my heart when the cries of my fellow man fall on deaf ears, or worse, ears that hear and offer nothing but the promise of prayer.
During my time with my mother I searched myself to see if my faith had returned. I have always tried to keep tabs on myself and regularly assess myself to see why I believe what I believe.
It has not. There is still silence in the skies and crying in the streets, so I turn to hear and move to help. It is all I can do. God does nothing, and has left the heavy lifting to us.
It is almost Lovecraftian... instead of monsters though, there are other horrors that prove that gods have never loved us. So what else can we do but love each other in the void of silence?
ADDENDUM: Because I feel it needs to be said before people get the wrong idea. I did those churchy things as an effort to avoid arguments. It's much easier to play nice for a few weeks than spend that time arguing with my folks like cats in a sack. Over-all the trip wasn't one large attempt at saving my soul, but that was the part I felt like writing about. There were also delicious frozen beverages on the beach and a trip to a dinosaur park. Much fun was had. Still a non-believer.