Disclaimer Note: I do not support IFB churches, I no longer agree with them and I think many churches and/or organized religions are around to control people. I know Hyles Anderson College is not accredited and I don’t consider it a real college now. I went to HAC from 1997 -2001) since I was a Christian at the time. Since I started at an IFBC at age 16 (1992), I was brainwashed into thinking that only IF B churches were “real” churches. After hours and hours of questioning what I truly believed (or didn’t believe) I became an atheist in Feb 2013. I will be adding this this disclaimer to each post I have written so people know where I stand now.
The last week I’ve been staying away from two blogs that have to do with atheism. I found myself getting overly zealous about atheism about a month ago. It happened in my reading. I think what the term is called is “atheism plus”.
Now the words that come out of my mouth are. . not necessary to say. There is nothing wrong with me reading a blog on atheism or reading a blog written by an atheist. However, I find it odd when I have to prove to others that I’m no longer a Christian. My question to myself is “Sandra, why did you just say that? Are you trying your best to make the other person look stupid or something?”
I’ll give you an example. On Facebook, I read a post of someone else on her wall. She said god was with her with what she needed to go through. I made a comment of something like “you will get through it no matter what”. What happened next was a debate and I even went so far to post (on her wall mind you) a link to “Why God won’t heal amputees”. The link was about “What is prayer?” and she felt as if I was trying to convert her to an atheist. After the entire thing was over I felt very exhausted.
It happened again the other day face to face to a much lesser extent. I can’t remember what the other person had said exactly. She (not the same person as on FB) probably made a reference to “prayer” or to her god. Well, since I didn’t want to be look like a Christian I said “Oh Yeah, when I used to be a Christian. . .bla bla bla” And she said “When you USED TO BE a Christian?” I said, “Yes, I used to be one and I used to pray”. I don’t remember what the context was, but I do know my motivation for saying that. I didn’t want to look stupid. I didn’t want others to assume that I was a Christian too.
But after that I felt really dumb. I also felt like I had taken my own painful medication and I felt like I had swallowed my own pill and it got stuck in my own heart. It was horrible to feel this feeling. I said to myself “Why did you go ahead and say that kind of remark? To make her feel bad that she is a Christian?” Then I had to go and ask myself “What do you think you are Sandra? Do you think you are more smart since you are an atheist now and you don’t believe in any supernatural power, so you think others are really stupid or worse. . .you think they are delusional? So much that you have to put them down with “I used to be like you, but not anymore, I woke up and I’m smart now”.
So, now I’m having to really ask myself “Does it really matter if others think I’m a Christian? Will it really hurt me if I don’t say “Oh yeah, I used to be one”? What is the point? To save my own ego? From what?
Do I figuratively speaking, put myself in the box of “Atheist” (EGOs love labels) and I close to the box with a large A on the top of it. And when a box that has a big C on it for Christian (with another person inside) comes near me do I have to open my A box and get out my bat and hit C box with my bat and say “Dang you believe in a god, like the eater bunny or Peter Pan or a magic horse shoe or a lucky rabbits foot. You really believe this god will give you things and help you? Wow!” And then I go back into my A box. Is that what I do?
Perhaps it is the material that I am reading and it is Atheism Plus in nature and not just plain ole “I don’t believe in gods”. I’m sure there are many atheists out there and they don’t give a damn flying flip about what others believe – as long as those others leave them alone!
So I think it is time for me to stop reading atheist blogs for now. It seems I must be very careful of what I read. I used to be in the IFB and that was an “US vs THEM” campaign the entire time. If you were not IFB, you were not a Christian. “I go to church on Sunday, I’m better than those people that don’t go to church. I read my bible daily. But those people that say they are Christians but don’t read their Bible? They are Christian in name only”. I used to think and say that. Why? I was taught to think that way. Now I don’t want to be taught to think that I’m smarter than anyone since I don’t believe in a fairy tale god that can’t be tested. I don’t want to put others down. I used to do that as a Christian IFB.
I was thinking of my dogs. I used to wonder as Christian if they believed in a god. Now of course as a IFB, we were taught that animals don’t have souls and therefore they don’t believe in a god. So, now. . .as an atheist I thought “Okay, so if it is TRUE they don’t have soul and if it is TRUE they don’t believe in a god — then how do they make it through their day? If “God” doesn’t get them “through this rough patch”, then who do dogs rely on? Well, humans of course! My dogs rely on me to feed them. They rely on my mom as well. I expanded that to birds, fish, and a host of other animals. Do they believe in a god? I don’t know, but I highly doubt it. I think they just live their life in the now. They trust what is in front of them.
I know what they need to do to survive. And if they have some genetic mutation that makes it harder to survive (shorter legs, smaller eyes, may be a heart that is too big to fit in their body . .whatever it may be) then the species may not survive and it will die off – eventually.
Now, I applied that to humans. I’m short. I’m sure that taller people get better jobs and higher paying jobs. I think there was a study done on this as well. I’m 5 foot 2. I’m sure if there was 50 women lined up for one open position and if we all had the exact same work history and exact same education level, I beat ya $50 that the woman over 5 foot 5 would get the job. May be age has something to do with it as well, and I’m sure subjective beauty probably plays are role. “She’s blonde, she’s tall, she has perfect eyes and very plump lips” Or “She’s blonde, she’s short, she has perfect eyes and very thin lips”. Who will get the job? I can’t do anything about my thin lips, it is genetic. I can alter them with some surgery or make up. I can’t do anything about my height either. I don’t want to break my legs to get 2 or 3 inches taller. This is they way life works. Humans must fight to get that job and look really good. Harder for women since American has a culture of sexifying women into this “you must look young and beautiful all the time, even at age 60”, which is stupid. The United States doesn’t do that to men. Men don’t need to work as hard to get a job.
So, does this “god” really help people get through things? Perhaps the belief itself helps others. May be it is something in the brain that changes when a person believes in a deity or a spirit or an angel. I do know there have been reports and studies done that says that people that pray are more calm WHEN they are praying. Like meditation, breathing is more deep and brings in more oxygen to the heart and brain. And may be THAT is what helps a person to get “Through” the hard patches of life.
But I don’t think I need to say “I used to be a Christian” to anyone. It just gets old for me to hear that coming out of my own mouth. If I enjoy learning about the heart or brain or psychology, I can study that and go to college for that. I don’t need to study the dangers of religon on a culture. That will keep me trapped in the “I’m smarter/better/ than you” game that I learned all too well in the IFB. I don’t want the attitude anymore. I just want to live.