If you've read my earlier blog posts, you know that I don't believe in god, but one of my current jobs is directing music at a small Methodist church. It's so interesting just how your perspective on a church service changes once you remove belief in god: things that previously seemed quite ordinary now seem absolutely ludicrous. I mean, there are the obvious things: the Lord's Prayer, prayer in general, the scripture readings (yesterday, no joke, we actually read aloud Psalm 14, which begins with "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'..."). But there are little things, too, such as the way people sit and listen to a sermon, lined up on those pews, trying to look interested in a sermon that is rehashing all the usual stuff. The language of hymns seems so crazy. Oh, and how about the "children's moment" I heard yesterday? All about how much god loves everyone, no matter who they are...yes, he loves them so much, he's going to send a large percentage of them to an everlasting hell, while a small number (no one can agree on who) will end up with him, praising him for eternity. Gosh, what a loving God! Let's pray, kids...
The part of all this that's not at all funny is, my two daughters were among the children being fed this ridiculous crap, and at this point, I feel I have to grin and bear it. I realize some of you reading this will feel sorry for my children, for being subjected to this indoctrination, and I don't blame you. I'm horribly conflicted about it, too. And I don't know which would be worse for them, here in the Bible belt: developing this irrational worldview, or living as atheists in an overwhelmingly religious part of the country? After all, do I want them to be subjected to having friends tell them they're going to hell? Do I want them to get the idea that their Daddy is going to hell? As my atheism is relatively new found, I still have a difficult emotional journey to get through before I can simply shed my religion. More on this in future posts...thanks for reading.