Before you read: just so you know, this is an extremely long rambling post meant mostly for me to figure things out for myself. If this is all tl;dr: I WILL PROBABLY WRITE MORE PERSONAL THINGS HERE IN ADDITION TO COMPLAINING ABOUT CHRISTIANITY. For those of you who know me in real life and have an interest in the inner workings of my brain (I’m looking at you, Knowlsey) read on.
Obviously, it isn’t a huge secret that I have been writing less and less on this blog. This isn’t for lack of thought or research on my part; I’ve been steadily doing “fun time” reading about science and religion on my own as I have been all summer. The biggest difference is now that I have questions about my own reasoning for writing here.
When I started writing this blog, it was because I was confused and needed somewhere to organize my thoughts. I also wanted a venue to share alternative thoughts and theories with my religious friends in hopes that they might be a little big more exposed to the universe, to science, to things they have never heard before. I absolutely loved a conversation that I had last week with one of my closest “church friends,” a girl I was even roommates with during my first year of college, because I got to ask her a lot of probing questions about the nature of God, but also because I got to share with her things about the theory of Evolution that she had never heard before. With the same excitement and vigor that I once used for sharing the gospel I now used to share science and the history of life.
I definitely don’t feel that I am any worse off now than I was before I started questioning things. To be honest, though I thought initially that a “snap” had occurred in my brain, I can now see the gentle downward slope of my belief. In high school, I was constantly searching for meaning and nuances from God in every occurrence. In college, I began embracing many life experiences that are decidedly non-Christian (cue my exploration of my own sexuality, which definitely included plenty of sex and an admittance to myself that I do find many ladies sexually attractive, not to mention my experiences with the most relaxing of herbs). Later, especially after moving into a house with my physicist roommates (one of whom I am celebrating our one year anniversary of being in a relationship with on Wednesday) I began to explore the role of science not just in my life, but in life in general. A notable moment was definitely when I came home from one friend’s house where I had been drinking to find the boys and their good friend drinking wine and talking about religion. I was invited to join in this discussion, which was extremely fun to be a part of. My two roommates were both decidedly atheists, and their friend was similar to me in that he lives a quite secular life but still has a religious background and foundation. This night was extremely significant in a few ways; not only did I realize how extremely attracted I was to Jose, but I also realized how flimsy my faith was and how inarticulate I was about it (although I’m sure the copious amounts of wine didn’t help). Later, when I was told that I should leave the music therapy program, my parents told me to go somewhere and be quiet with God. I never did. I went to church a few more times, but was never completely satisfied. I listened to some sermons that were podcasts (or as I called them, Godcasts) but I kept on feeling struggles between my own personal values and what was being said in the sermons.
And then, Boob Quake happened. I didn’t find out about the event until the day of, but it was a very exciting day for me. I immediately loved the idea of the day- it was a great, science- and fact-based, skeptical and feminist event. As I started to read Jen McCreight’s blog, I started to realize that these all fit extremely well into my personal values, values that I was unable to articulate until I read her blog.
And then, well. I read her entry about the Creation Museum, saw that the museum taught that plants came before the sun, and the whole idea of Christianity broke down in my mind. And then I started this blog.
I was extremely surprised at how much support I got immediately from starting this blog. Many of my friends are readers and supporters of me, and this makes the blogging process a lot easier. I have also gained support from other skeptic bloggers, especially Godless Girl via Twitter, and this was a great reinforcer for me to have some positive feedback on what I was doing.
That isn’t to say that there haven’t been any negative changes in my life from my “skeptic conversion.” I’m sure that I have annoyed countless people through Facebook with my plethora of skeptic and science posts. And then there is the fact that my mother hasn’t spoken to me for two and a half months, despite the fact that we live in the same apartment. I haven’t even seen her in this time frame. We spoke for about thirty seconds via the phone once when I was in the hospital, and that is it. This is because, when we were speaking, we would end up fighting. Every conversation would include her saying to me, “the answer is right in front of you, but since you won’t accept Jesus I have nothing else to give or say to you.” I also got into a huge fight with my dad over evolution, which included him screaming “It’s all phooey!” As for my younger brother, I have no idea what he thinks or feels about me as he barely says two words to me on average per day. (This is probably par for the course, as he is an eighteen year old boy.) The only member of my immediate family who speaks to me is my older sister, who considers herself spiritual but not religious. My sister and her family have been the biggest familial support I’ve had through this process so far, even to the point where they have offered to let me move in with them (I probably will soon).
I guess at this point in my exploration, I know a few things for certain- I definitely am not a Christian, and I wouldn’t even say that I believe in any deity at all. I’m hesitant to call myself an atheist, but I am definitely a skeptic, and I love the term “free thinker.” But the important thing is that I can no longer blog only about research and things that I find that upset me, or even the reasons why I am going to hell- I have to talk about myself and my experience, and not just in a peripheral way.
Also, I am sure that this extremely long post will scare all readers into thinking that every personal post will be this long and useless. To you I say- you’re probably right. Beware!