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.