My Controversial Confession

Be Who You Are

I am an atheist. I do not believe in a God.

While I realize that religion is a controversial topic, a recent post by Two Thirds Hazel made me realize that I want to maintain an open dialogue about my own beliefs. I am a huge advocate for the respect and acceptance of the differing belief systems across the globe, even if I do not agree with all of them. I strongly believe we all have a right to our own beliefs, religions, and lifestyles. And, in fact, I’m often quite curious about numerous other belief systems in existence today. The world would be quite boring if we all believed in the exact same thing.

That being said, my beliefs have not always been met with respect and acceptance. Instead, there have been times when I have been met with judgement and criticism. I’m a horrible person. I don’t have a good moral compass because I am not a God-fearing woman. I’m impure because I’m living with someone outside of wedlock and have no desire to enter into a marriage, ever. Basically, I’ve bought a one way ticket to hell.

Other times people simply dismiss my beliefs. “Oh, it’s just a phase. I’ll pray for you” they say as if they have just cured my whole problem. While I appreciate their kind gesture in wanting to pray for my soul, I’m pretty sure there are more serious issues that are worthy of their time – starving children in Africa, the plight of the homeless, the Kardashians landing another TV show, etc. One acquaintance even told me, in a voice heavy with disappointment and judgement, that she was “sorry” that I felt that way, as if my beliefs are a feeling that are not under my control.

I was actually raised Catholic. I was baptized in the Catholic church, completed my 1st communion and even attended Sunday school. I was taught to pray before I even truly understood the meaning of the act. So when I finally realized that my faith was in science, not God, it took a lot of thought. It was not a mere feeling that I stumbled into one afternoon. And no, it is not a phase. It is just a different belief system.

And it’s okay to be different.

  • kathy@vodka and soda

    i’m with you — i’m a science girl. not that i don’t think there’s a God per se; maybe a higher power of some sort? who knows but if i can’t see it or it can’t be proven, then i don’t believe it. there’s nothing wrong with believing in, or not believing in, God since it’s a personal choice but i hate it when religious people try and shove their beliefs down my throat. i don’t do that to you so don’t do that to me!

    i also hate it when people are all like, do you bring kayla to church? and when i say no, they look at me like i’m into witchcraft. to them, i say GFY. religion is a personal choice and if kayla wants to become part of a religion, i’ll fully support her. who’s to say that my beliefs will be her beliefs? i give her choices to make for her life and what’s best for her. /endrant

    thanks for linking up!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

    • Ugh. Yes! People keep asking my sister if she is going to baptize my niece or take her to church. My sister wants her to make up her own mind about her beliefs, but people just think that’s crazy. Frankly, I’m proof that even if you do take a child to church, they might not believe. Also, people have asked my mom if she worries about me and my soul, I guess. It’s so strange how concerned people seem to be for my soul.

  • I’m a science kind of girl myself. Even when I was young, I felt this way. I wasn’t raised particularly religious but we went to Church when I was young. Even at a young age I was upset my the limit of what was taught in Sunday School, like the fact that they never talked about dinosaurs in the creation story. I went to the Smithsonian multiple times at a young age, I saw the dinosaurs and I wanted to know when did God make them. I believe that everyone has a right to practice their own religion but I cannot stand for them to force their beliefs on others and use the Bible to promote hate and injustice. I find most religious rhetoric to be highly hypocritical.

    • Haha! Yes, when exactly DID God create the dinosaurs? And I agree. One of the most annoying things is when other people try to force their own beliefs on you or use them to fuel hatred and prejudice. Others are not less people because they have different beliefs. You would think after all the bloodshed in the name of God and religious persecution people would learn to be a little more accepting.

  • Hey girl!! Everyone is entitles to their own opinion! Good for you for confessing! 🙂

    Lisa,xo
    http://chiclittlethrills.blogspot.com/

  • Im a christian, born and raised but I have fell off the wagon many times. I still believe in the teachings most of the time though. What Im not however is judgemental. In fact I think that would go against anything Ive ever learnt. I actually think its dumb as rocks to judge someone based on religion and I just dont get it. Kudos for being so open 🙂

    • Thanks! And I completely agree. Judging someone based on religion is just dumb. There are so many religions in the world and we should allow people to choose what they want to follow or not follow. 🙂

  • holla! love this post girl. definitely took balls, i wish i had the same balls but not yet.
    the thing that gets me is that i am from a different country, with different culture and different beliefs. yet because i look the same as you (proverbial you, not you you), i should be the same. but you wouldnt expect me to be catholic if i was from iran, china or india, would you? i am a firm believer in believe whatever the eff you want. dont shove it down my throat and i wont shove it down yours.

    • Thanks! I’m glad that you liked it. 😀

      I totally get what you mean. I’m Hispanic, so people automatically assume I’m Catholic, even in other countries. Everyone hears that Latins and Hispanic people are Catholic and just assumes I fall in line with that. And I think many Americans forget that just because someone has a Western appearance doesn’t mean that they share the same culture or belief system. Even within the U.S., culture is very different from region to region. I say, believe what you want and live your life the way you want.

  • I commend you for stating this, Im not sure where I stand on the belief spectrum!

    • Thank you! And wherever you stand on the belief spectrum is okay with me! 😀

  • The irony of someone saying they will pray for you…

  • Kelli

    I’m a weak agnostic (I hate the term weak but whatever), it felt very freeing the day I acknowledged that on my blog. I hadn’t really ever discussed it with friends and family but those that read my blog now no. None of them ever said what their thoughts and feelings on it were but I still wonder.

    • I’m so glad that you were able to voice your beliefs freely. 🙂 It was the opposite for me. My family knows I’m atheist and for the most part they are accepting. I think my mom is still hoping I’ll come back around to Catholicism, but she doesn’t force anything on me.

  • I was raised catholic but don’t really practice anymore. I am more spiritual. I say believe whatever you want to be as long as you treat people with kindness.

    • Yes! Kindness is everything. I think it’s more about how you treat others than your religion or beliefs. 😀

  • Em

    Good for you girl! I’m more of a science type person too. I wouldn’t call myself a complete atheist, more so agnostic but then again as they say…agnostics are just atheists who don’t know it yet haha.

    • Haha! I started out as agnostic! I went from Catholicism to questioning whether or not there was actually a God. Then I realized I don’t believe in a God. 😀

  • I’m pretty “God-fearing” but I believe religion is meant to be about acceptance I never understand why people are so quick to judge. I have many friends from all backgrounds and beliefs and they all beautiful and kind souls. I have a lesbian sister and in the christian world I should disown her but she loves God just as much as me so who is anyone to judge. The craziest thing is people always say “you going to hell… I stay with my bf, unmarried and all that jazz” but I laugh because last time I checked one of the main commandments in the Christian religion (which if you don’t abide might get you in hell too) is THOU SHALT NOT JUDGE.

    Sorry for my mouthful. Great post.

    Meg | Meghan Silva’s Blog

    • Haha! I think some people are so quick to condemn other people to hell. It sounds like you have such an open mind and kind heart. 🙂 My friends are also from different backgrounds and beliefs, even my boyfriend. He’s more agnostic. I think there’s beauty in all of our differences and even more in acceptance.

  • Oh man I love that you wrote this. While I would consider myself a Christian the biggest thing that bugs me about other “Christians” is their blatant disrespect for other’s and their beliefs. As long as you respect mine, I in turn respect yours, as it should be. Wonderful (and brave) post 🙂

    • I’m so glad that you liked it. 😀 I think it’s a big pet peeve for many people, especially those Christians who do not judge other people for their beliefs. They are often unfairly grouped with those who do, but I’m glad that there are such respectful and accepting Christians like you. 🙂

  • I was baptized Catholic as well! Now I don’t know what I am! I believe firmly in doing the right thing. I believe in working out, and getting closer to nature. And I believe in love. I don’t not believe in God, cause I do feel like someone is really watching out for me, but I don’t know. I hope that’s okay too, not knowing.

    • That is perfectly okay! There are many people who don’t know, including my boyfriend. He believes in something, but not necessarily God. He just doesn’t know what. I think everyone is just trying to find their own answers to their questions about life and the universe. Our answers don’t always come. And they often lead us in very different directions from one another, but we must find what works for us. 🙂

  • Amanda

    I’m the same way. I was raised in church but the older I got the more I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to be a part of as an adult. People can be extremely critical but I’ve been surprised how accepting a lot of bloggers are about it!

    • I love that so many bloggers are so open and accepting about it. 🙂 I think a lot of them feel the same way, while others are pretty open minded.

  • Your fav cuzn…JACKIE haha

    Lyn you know I love you like a fat kid loves cake! Lol We may not share the same beliefs but who cares! Anyone who judges you or anyone else based on religion, race, etc can go kick rocks

  • I commend you for sharing this. I’ll never understand why it’s okay for some to be all judgy but no one can say anything to them.

    I’m all for science and I believe in G-d (I’m Jewish); I don’t get how and why the two have to be mutually exclusive. They can coexist, and so can people who have different beliefs. As long as you’re a good person, what difference does it make what religion you belong to?

    Oh, and as far as people thinking you’re going to hell? I’ll see you there because I’m married to a non-Jew and there are plenty of people who think that’s the worst thing ever.

    • I’ll save you a seat! 😀 And I totally agree with you. Religion and science do not have to be mutually exclusive. I know many people who are religious and happen to be scientists or science oriented. I do think that how you treat people and the content of your character matter much more than your religion. 🙂

  • I’m an atheist too. 🙂 I believe in kindness and consideration. That is my life motto. 🙂 But I have friends that are Christians, Muslims, Hinduists, Catholics and so on, but I respect their beliefs and they give the same respect to me and that is what it all is about. Showing respect and love. xxx

    • “What a motto with you?” Sorry, I just had a Lion King moment. 🙂 That’s a great motto! I think kindness, consideration and respect are more important than religion. I also have friends who come from all different walks of life and religions. There’s a certain beauty in people accepting and respecting each others’ differences. 🙂

  • I am also an atheist and in the blogging world that seems to put a target on you, especially since so many bloggers first thing that is listed under there photo is God loving. I respect that but I wish that they would respect our beliefs as well. I think it’s funny how a lot of the time (not all the time) the religious people are the most judging and cruel. A bit ironic, huh?!

    • So far bloggers have been really supportive of me, but I think most people who read my blog are a little more open minded. I do hate when people are so quick to judge and criticize. I wish people could just be accepting and respectful of everyone’s beliefs.

  • So we both know that I’m a God-loving, bible-reading kind of girl, but over the years I had many friends who were other religions or no religion at all and often they are who I’ve learned the most from and been the most challenged by (in respectful, honest, informed ways). Growing up in church I was taught religion -a strict, structured sort of thing, then I went to college and realized that while I love and believe in God deeply but that strict, structured religion thing isn’t for me. (Does this make remote sense?) The judgement and criticism seems to come from within that strict camp… Hence, my ticket to hell that’s tattooed on my upper arm and my love for the gay community and all. the. other. things that aren’t “right” or “pure” or “perfect”.

    • That makes perfect sense. I think we learn so much about ourselves once we leave the comfort of home and everything we’ve known. We learn what truly works for us. I’m glad that you have found a sense of religion that works for you and that you can be so open and accepting of other people. 🙂 Life isn’t “perfect.” People aren’t “perfect.” And everyone’s idea of what “perfect” is can be so different, so I’m always happy when people support and accept each others, despite their different lifestyles.