I've realized something about myself today. Something that I've known for a while but today, chosen to embrace. Everyone has something that they don't like about themselves and I think I've figured out what my least favorite trait is.
As you may or may not know, I was raised in a devoutly Christian home that was full of both love and support. My parents, believing in Christianity themselves, obviously thought it best to make sure my brother and I were in church as often as possible. I completely understand why they thought and did this so I'm not in anyway questioning their intentions or love for us, its just part of the story. So from an early age, the church teaches you that nothing in the world is as important as your salvation and faith. Only you can be responsible for your salvation and it is more important than your friends or your family or, literally, anything else in life. Because it lasts forever, right? Its the one thing that you'll have forever. The importance of faith was so ingrained in my mind, that by the time I was in high school, I was constantly thinking about religion. It made sense though, because I believed that it was that important and I lived my life by it.
Now its several years later and I don't believe it anymore but now I just think about how I don't believe it all the time. Its maddening and I really hate it about myself. But I guess if we've learned nothing else from the apostle Paul, its that zealous people will always be zealous no matter what side they play for.
I think its admirable and necessary for the faithless to be vocal and if I've made anyone question their faith by what I've written here then I'm very proud of that. I started this blog because I wanted to try my hand at writing and knowing that I would talk about religion because, as I said, I think about it way more than I would like to. Also, religion provides me with a seemingly endless supply of topics with a lot of different angles to discuss. But the Internet is a strange place to talk about heavy issues, and its especially difficult to try and talk about things with a bit of dry wit and have it come across the page the way you intended. Things I write and think are funny, someone else reads and thinks they're inflammatory. So it goes.
So people get offended and while that was certainly not my intention, I'm not a moron, I knew it would happen. Most of the people that get offended are my family, but I told myself (now I'm not so sure), that in the long run this would be good for us all because I haven't felt like my family has really known me in a long long time. Which is my fault. I act differently around them because I know that I think and say things in my normal life that would be gravely offensive to them. So its a labor of love, this censorship. Its the same reason I never told them when I was having faith crippling doubts or flirting with suicide because god's silence had convinced me that he had abandoned me. You just don't want to trouble them, you know?
So I guess, if I have any resentment towards the church, or god, or Christianity, its not towards the people, its towards the belief system and the years I feel like I wasted thinking that god had a plan for me. But I don't think I'm going to write about religion anymore, at least for a little while. I don't feel like I've said too much, in fact, I don't feel like I've said enough but I'd like to try my hand at being a normal person for a little while. I'm not the only skeptic in town though, so if you feel like you'd really like to be offended or agreed with, might I recommend PZ Myer's blog Pharyngula.
One of my favorite songs from 2006 is "Rise Up, Rise Up!" by Cursive, where at the climax of the song Tim Kasher sings "Do you want to hear my confession, my greatest sin? OK, here it is: I wasted half my life on the thought that I'd live forever."