When I was a child, I believed in Jesus. I couldn’t wrap my head around how he worked or what he could do, but my mom told me he loved me, so I thought, cool, I love him too. Once she told me that when I got older I would see much greater things that God could do than what I could even imagine. Obviously, I’m not as impressed as she thought I would be, but I do know a lot more about God now than I did then.
I was taught the usual fundamentalist Christian ideas: God created the universe, and that is the end of the discussion. There is no evolution and there was no big bang, and don’t ever question it or listen to what those evil others (atheists) tell you.
Unfortunately, that’s not what they teach you in public school. Being practically scientific fact and all, evolution and the big bang are pretty widely taught in grade school science classes (of course, not without the disclaimer first that anyone who doesn’t believe in these ideas doesn’t have to personally accept them). I was one of those kids on the day that my 6th grade science teacher showed us a video about the big bang and the formation of the earth. I couldn’t believe that someone would try to teach me about the non-Christian (read: evil) option of origins. However, it didn’t take much of the video to convince me that the idea of a big bang wasn’t so impossible. In fact, I didn’t see anything hard to believe about it at all, unlike the concept of creation.
This video sparked the beginning of my skepticism. I had never really liked going to church anyways. I’d never understood how anyone had been able to accurately record the creation story in the first place if no one was there to witness it, and I didn’t know why people believed that humans used to live to be 900 years old but nowadays they couldn’t. I never asked about it, though, because something told me that my mother probably wouldn’t have the answers.
From then on until high school, I didn’t really have a name for what I was. At first, I just called it I-don’t-think-I-believe-in-God-but-whatever (a convenient excuse to not pay attention in church), then what-makes-anyone-think-they-know-all-the-answers (non-labeled agnosticism), then I’m-not-a-Christian-but-I’m-not-an-atheist-because-that’s-bad, then you know the rest. Until recently I’ve said I’ve been an atheist since 6th grade, but it definitely wasn’t that clean cut. I didn’t truly accept atheism until coming to a Christian college.
8 thoughts on “Journey to Atheism: Part 1”
Not all the books of the Bible are meant to be interpreted literally.
The Song of Songs is an erotic love song that uses a lot of poetic language, like describing a woman’s breasts as “two fawns.” (Song of Songs, 4:5) A woman’s breasts aren’t litteraly two fawns.
On the other hand:
The four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), despite the minor differences between them, are meant to read as literall — they are (supposedly) accounts of events, like Jesus’ trial at the hands of Pontius Pilate, that people actually witnessed.
I understand that point of view. Keep in mind that back then, all I knew as far as biblical interpretation was literal interpretation, as per fundamentalism. And of course, I hadn’t been allowed to read Song of Songs as a kid. 😛
Thank you for explaining.
And I understand not being allowed to read Song of Songs.
It’s funny how Christians will object to, for example, sex and nudity in movies and TV shows but, at the same time, see the sexuality and nudity in Song of Songs as nothing to bat an eyelash about.
Welcome to the Atheist/Agnostic, thinking group. There are millions more just like you out there, many of them, like you, afraid/pressured into keeping silent. You may know several Atheists, and not know it.
You could try searching YouTube for ‘Matt Dillahunty’ or ‘Atheist Experience.’ Those will give you something to think about. Best of luck, both with your new blog-site, and your new admitted lifestyle. Don’t let the closed minds get you down. 🙂
Thank you! I’ll be sure to check them out. 🙂
i’ve always had a sense that the 900 year old people were not really 900 years, but perhaps 900 MOONS old. In every year there are 13 moons. If you count each of them as a way of keeping track of someone’s age, then a man of 130 moons would be, by our reckoning, ten years old. divide 13 into 900 and you get roughly 69. A decent age, and probably pretty remarkable for those days. Methuselah, by that method, would have been about 76.
Many Indian tribes and primitive South American people count by moons, not years. Why should ancient biblical man be any different?
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