I've been meaning to write this blog for a while, all the while promising a few different people (mainly Curtis) that it'll get done, so here goes!
I was raised Protestant. My dad is an ordained minister, and is constantly reading the Bible, making lesson plans for his Sunday school lessons and otherwise spending every second that he's awake doing Christiany things. He enjoys that stuff. It's his greatest pleasure. My mom was raised Orthodox and converted to Christianity in her twenties. She's currently not going to church, but listens to Christian radio all day, reads the Bible every night and very much still believes in Jesus.
I went to Christian school for 9 out of 12 years of high school, and was (for the most part) a dedicated Christian until senior year of high school. That's when things started clicking in my head. I'm sure that anyone looking at this would say that going to college was what changed me, but the wheels were turning long, long before that.
If you look at my older posts, they are extremely religion-oriented, though they start becoming more liberal towards the end. I was genuinely passionate about Christianity.
So, what happened? A number of different things. I'm going to try to go through each one and explain my thought process. This will be fairly detailed, so I'm making it into parts (not sure how many, part of this is going to be a discovery process for me as well).
Ever since I was about 5 I've wondered what kind of shit we (the Christian community) would be in if we weren't the religion. What if Buddhism was truly the only way to heaven? That's always been in the back of my head, but since no one really knows and I was immersed in Christian culture, it never bothered me that much. I chose Christianity, if it didn't work, oh well, I tried.
What really got me to question Christianity itself was the suicide of someone I knew (though not very well at all). It really bothered me that there were no answers. Where did they go? Heaven? Hell? Most people I asked seemed to think it was more likely that they went to hell rather than heaven, and that really bothered me. Because I struggled with depression and suicide for years and knew the complete nothingness that exists when you contemplate taking your own life I didn't think it was fair that a loving god would (probably, since the Bible never says) send someone in that much pain to a place of even more torment. I think it was also selfish, since I wanted to know that if I did feel the need to take my own life it would be worth it. I wouldn't just end up miserable again as soon as I died.
Anyways, I thought that wasn't right. Next, I realized that the majority of Christians did not approve of homosexuality. One of my friends was gay, and I did not like the thought that this person, who was much nicer than most of the people at my church, would go to hell. Why would he go to hell simply for loving? And how can any sort of love amongst consenting individuals be wrong?
I never really questioned my sexuality, but I did know that if I decided that I was a lesbian (I'm not, guys.) I would want a god that would accept me-- as I am, which was what the Judeo-Christian god claimed to do. And I suppose you could make the argument that he does take you as you are, but then changes you to fit his list of rights and wrongs-- which, can be absurd (I realize these are Old Testament rules, but Christians still follow some of those even if they are not in the New Testament).
The whole "why does god allow evil and suffering" debate never really bothered me. It seemed to me that if there was good in the world, there had to be bad, right? Makes sense.
I know that a lot of my blog followers are religious, and this might offend some of you. That's fine. Also, I'm not really looking to debate and I'm definitely not looking for someone to change my mind. I've done my research and I've taken my journey and I've come up with a decision that works for me.
Part two will probably be up in a few days. Maybe a few weeks. Having an infant is hectic.
PS: Would any of you be interested in a blog about different aspects of Christianity as seen through the eyes of an ex-Christian, Pagan? I'm thinking of topics such as speaking in tongues, baptism, witnessing, etc. Leave me a comment and let me know.