Yesterday I was on this website called "reddit" for a few hours. For those of you reading this that don't know what reddit is, it's basically a forum sort of deal where people discuss topics about almost anything. They have memes, lost of pictures to look through, world news topics, video game discussions, politics, etc. My favorite part of the site is called, "Ask Me Anything" where people from all sorts of situations, careers, events will post about who they are and you can ask them questions. Comedians, doctors, people that witnessed an event we all know about -- I don't know, just go check it out if you're curious.
website is set up in a way that looks fairly low-quality, it's mostly
just a simple thread on every page, which is good because to me that
says that the content is more important than the look. The top of the
page has tabs where you can click on topics, and I was exploring various
things on the site when I realized that one of the main tabs for
clicking on the site is just simply: ATHEISM.
looked at that title for a good 30 seconds, pondering if I should click
or not. As a Christian, I have an issue with the topic, because I have
not always encountered atheists that were considerate of other people's
feelings when they expressed that they believe in a higher power. I
was predicting pictures making fun of religious people and a lot of
people praising Richard Dawkins' douchebaggery. I decided to click it
anyway, when I came upon a topic that read:
reddit, I'm a christian mother and my son just told me he is atheist.
I'm not against him but being atheist but It is difficult for me to
accept. I thought you guys might be able to at least help me accept this
a little or show me some valid reasons for his choice."
In case anyone wants to read the comments, I left that quote as a link.
my first reaction was a general feeling of sadness. I felt sad for the
mother that it must hurt that her child doesn't hold the same beliefs
that she has held almost her entire life. I felt sad about how her son
must have felt that he had to go to his parents and possibly feel as
though he would be a disappointment. I felt sad that this family may
fight about this issue for years.
What was surprising to
me, were the reactions from other Atheists. Most of them were pretty
nice about it, although there was still a sense of "I know more than
you, let me enlighten you away from being enlightened from religion".
Then there were the Atheists that were very condescending, along with
other Christians that were equally zealous and lecture-y. I actually
started to cry, reading all the responses and seeing people go back and
forth, so far to the right or left or the argument. The whole idea of
Atheists and Christians or Jews or other religious people being at this
giant standoff about one of the most important decisions of their lives,
(that being whether they believe in God, even though some people don't
consider it that important or they just don't care either way) it was
truly and severely stressing me out!
Of course I had to leave a reply, although I have no idea if she had read it. It essentially consisted of, "Hey,
coming from another Christian you just have to love your son and don't
let him feel any resentment from your end. He's 16, maybe in another
year he'll decide he's Jewish or whatever. You should encourage him to
read some books on other religions and try to approach things as an
agnostic and see what he gets out of it. He hasn't even been to college
yet, it's not too late for him to make some sort of other decision. As long as you're a good mother, he'll still turn out to be a good person. Praying for your family to have peace during this time of tension and stress."
have left churches in the past because I wasn't considered, "Christian
enough" for them. About a year ago I was told that because I hadn't
been in a bible study every week and sitting in a pew every single
Sunday, and making friends with women in the church to "lead me in the
right direction", that I was not allowed to participate in the worship
band on Sundays and sing. I know that I've lost friends because I
wasn't Christian enough for them. Even if they wouldn't admit that it's
why we lost touch, it was an underlying feeling that was had when we
would talk about personal choices and friendships with other people
etc., where I just knew that they were semi-judging me. It even made me
consider whether we were really friends in the first place, or I was
just a member of the club and they were nice to me until they had me
figured out as, "less than" the standard they were taught to follow.
would never let these circumstances affect my belief in God, Jesus,
spirituality, meditation, or any of that. I swear, I drink with my
friends, I have a boyfriend that is not what those friends would call a
Christian, but I have been told on many occasions that people still
notice something different about me. People have asked me if I was a
Christian without ever knowing if I went to church and I hadn't said a
thing, solely based on my attitude and mannerisms, which is very
surprising. Maybe it's a maturity thing, maybe it's God shining a light
of general positivity through me, I can't explain what it might be.
has to be something to at least the belief in a higher power, even if
that only means that there's a scientific connection between feeling
balanced spiritually and being a genuinely happy person so it shows to
other people. Is being "enlightened" just a feeling of balance? Just
as people that believe in a Creator and it balances them, I guess people
that believe in nothing find balance somehow but I don't really know
what that is since it's not usually something that Atheists or Agnostics
When most people think of "Christians" if
they are not one, a lot of the time they think of Republicans,
anti-choice picketers, gay-haters and general nonacceptance of
non-Christians. But that's not me. I go to church with gay people, and
I'm a liberal Democrat, but I pray every night before I go to bed. All
this, and a lot of the time I just feel like a bit of a loner when it
comes to my personal beliefs. Sure, my mother and my aunt and a few of
my friends are in the same boat as me. We all just say, "Hey believe what you want, and leave other people alone, let's all have freedom and choice and balance." But other people don't like that "feel-good-Joel-Osteen-Jesus" approach to life. They all have to be right.
ashamed of either side most of the time, for being so against each
other. Maybe I should get one of those hippie-style "CoExist" bumper
stickers. I get so upset with Atheists for thinking they have
everything figured out, and with zealots of any religion for going
against the principles of their beliefs when they don't accept others
and they're judgmental. Heck, I could be wrong with my "let's all just
get along and let people do what they want" approach. Maybe there's
nothing out there. Or maybe being gay is wrong (I highly doubt that one
though!) Am I going to go to hell for just trying to see the bright
side of things and bring us all together?
when I decided I was a Christian, I still stuck to my guns and I didn't
take everything the bible said in the Old Testament as my motto for
life. I still studied Judaism, explored, prayed, meditated, and tried
my darndest to keep a connection with God to make sure that I knew He
was there for me. Maybe I'm nuts and it's all in my head, but I've said
it before and I'll say it again,
I would rather live the rest of my life believing in something that quite possibly isn't there, than to die and find out that there is.
Stop acting like you know everything, when you probably know nothing.