Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blogs and Religion

Quick thought: why is it that anytime a person admits in a blog or on a website that they are not a believer in Christianity, Christians start commenting on that blog post about how they found Jesus and believe that Jesus could solve all their problems? My old website had some essays I wrote a LONG time ago about why I was no longer a Christian, and I received some very hateful comments from people about why I was SO WRONG and GOING TO HELL. I also received long, thoughtful emails from people who were convinced they were going to change my mind. Perhaps they even prayed for me once or twice, as that nameless atheist girl on the internet who is going to BURN (I was, after all, Southern Baptist--I know all about the burning and gnashing of teeth that is supposed to await me).

Another quick thought: just because someone is not a Christian does not necessarily mean they are intolerant of religion, or are condescending. It's always a possibility, of course, but in terms of logic, non-Christian does not equal disrespectful toward Christians.

Unfortunately, for me, it's a line I have to watch out for. For a long time after declaring my non-religiousness, I was very angry at Christianity in general. I was mad at myself for having worked so hard for so long at something that made me so incredibly miserable, and I was mad at church for making me so unhappy. I really have to watch my tone, because sometimes I do get mad and snippy (less now than it used to be).

Last point: telling your Southern Baptist and Presbyterian (but Texan) family that you are not religious is almost as difficult (I'd imagine) as coming out of the closet as gay to the same group of people. I was so frightened for so long of telling my parents--I thought I'd be disowned or tarred and feathered. My dad tried to tell me that "well, you'll grow out of it," which I found offensive. I'm open to the possibility of changing my mind someday--1) I'm a woman and 2) I changed it once already. However, to assume that I'll rejoin the true believers one day is to say it's just a phase, silly little girl, I know what is best for you (or that's how I heard it, anyway).

Fortunately, just as many people say religion brought them together, my husband and I can honestly say that a lack of religion brought us together. And it's a beautiful thing.


The Peanut Gallery said...

I'm having trouble sleeping tonight so please forgive me if this turns out sounding offensive at all. I was just going to say that I can sort of understand where you are coming from. Especially when you said this:
I was mad at myself for having worked so hard for so long at something that made me so incredibly miserable, and I was mad at church for making me so unhappy.

For as long as I can remember I have felt that way about church. My family is Southern Baptist, too. I always felt miserable at church for many reasons. For example, I think some prevailing attitudes of ignorance kept me from seeking better treatment for my depression, which I hope to talk about on my blog soon.

Anyways, I wanted to say that I haven't been going to church for about 5-6 years. It causes familial strife (with our parents) both for me and my husband, whose family is Roman Catholic. Neither of us felt right in our religious upbringings.

We believe in God and we pray. But we don't know where we stand on all the details.

I hope this comment isn't obnoxious. I just really felt a twinge of recognition at some of the things you said about growing up in the church. I feel like I have some scars from it, unfortunately.

Barbie said...

My belief (which is probably dead wrong with my church's official views) is that people find God in their own way. Whether it is Catholic, Baptist, Hindu, or even non-religion. To say that only people who go to church every Sunday to X denomination are the only ones who found God is limiting God who is limitless. So if you have found peace by not having someone shove religion down your throat, then I believe that peace is from God (even if the religion would not agree).

Tiny Surgeon said...

I'm glad to hear (and sad to hear) that I'm not the only one who felt this way. Your comment was far from obnoxious; I'm sorry if my post was so rant-y that you thought I'd be mad. =(

You are without a doubt the nicest Roman Catholic I've ever met (and I've met many nice ones). Thanks for continuing to invite me to ANTM even though I'm a heathen--I hope I don't make you uncomfortable that you are not.

The Peanut Gallery said...

Tiny Surgeon,
I was 1/2 asleep when I wrote my comment. I just wanted to make sure it didn't come across as crazy when read by someone who was fully awake. LOL.

Dr Dork said...

Some religions are required according to their beliefs to proselytize.

Some with very strong beliefs in this regard go "trolling" for any opinion adverse to their own and latch on like a rabid bulldog. Don't take it personally.

Kind regards

Barbie said...

ANTM is open to all people who worship at the church of cattiness and fasion and chocolete. enter ye sinners, and enjoy the food!