Another Year Ends
Seriously? I wrote this post back on the 31st and I guess I never hit the “Publish” button, it’s been sitting in my Drafts folder for two weeks now… Sorry!
2011 is almost over and done with, just a little more than half a day left in it. 2012 will see me in church once again, leading music and pretending I believe things I haven’t believed in a long, long time. The past year has been an interesting one.
This blog was started a year ago in October, so I’ve been blogging about atheism for all of 2011. I didn’t think I’d make it this long. I missed a couple of months, but I always made posts to make up for where I missed.
I also got involved with a local freethought group. Initially I went to a couple dinner meetings that were scheduled for Monday nights once a month. I wasn’t able to get to most of them because of rehearsals, but over the summer I made it to more of them, and so far this fall/winter the schedule has worked out to where I’ve been able to make it to most of these Monday meetings (a lot of the dates fell on holidays when we didn’t have rehearsal, and our December concert got canceled so I was able to make it to the November and December meetings. January is a go since our rehearsals don’t start up until the week after next!) I also got involved in a “science and religion” discussion one Thursday night a month (we pretend to have a topic, some book, to stick to but it is really just an open discussion about anything) and a “drinking skeptically” social gathering one Friday night a month.
There are still events I can’t make because of my very sparse work schedule, and others that I’m just not comfortable attending because they might be a bit too public. November saw our group joining with two others to form the Columbia Coalition of Reason, and buying two billboard spots for a month. As a part of that publicity the group held a picnic under one of the bilboards. I didn’t attend for fear that it might get some press and my anonymity would be comprimised. I also can only handle so many social events (I am quite an introvert) in a week and that week was a busy one.
Through that group I became involved in a weekly roleplaying game, as well. This is something I have long wanted to participate in but I have never had friends who were interested. I think this is partly because of the distrust that evangelicals feel towards such things. Thank you Dr. Dobson for ruining my fun. I’m enjoying it immensely.
The Clergy Project became a reality this year. It is a haven for those in the ministry who have lost their faith and aren’t sure where to turn. I haven’t gotten heavily involved in the group, though. Not sure if I will. I’m a member, though. I am sure it will help many people, but I’m not sure it is the community for me. We shall see what the next year brings in that regard. I’m very glad it is there.
I have hopes for 2012. I hope that my plan of getting A+ certified will lead to a full-time and secular job so that I can quit my church job. It gets harder every week to maintain this charade. I hope that I can then come out to more of my friends, possibly my family. I know the reprecussions might be great but, again, I am tired of the charade.
I plan to continue this blog, though I am never sure from month to month if I can come up with a new post for you all. I tend to be a lazy blogger. That said, I had intended to flesh out another post a bit more for my December posting, but I never got very far on it. I’ll leave you with the skeleton I wrote a few weeks back, though.
Some things that always kind of bugged me about Christianity and the Bible:
Who created God? If everything we see requires a creator, why doesn’t God require a creator and where does it stop?
Why is it immoral to covet, so long as it doesn’t lead to stealing or lying to acquire what is desired?
Why would masturbation be immoral?
What makes God just? As in, what gives him the authority to dictate morality, execute judgement, and oversee punishment? If you believe that morality comes from God, then what is to stop God from saying that murder is moral and helping the poor is immoral? If you say that God is good and so he would never do such a thing then indicates that morality exists outside of God, he is not the author of it.
Why put a tree in the Garden from which it is forbidden to eat, especially if the consequences are so very terrible for those who eat?
Why is the human body so imperfect if we are, indeed, “fearfully and wonderfuly made”?
What is so bad about humanism? Shouldn’t Christians care about human suffering? (I do, now, realize that it is secular humanism that the church so fears, but most simply refer to it as “humanism”.)
Is god able to abide sin? If he is not, then how can he be omnipotent when there is at least one thing he cannot do?
These are, by the way, things I actually believed at one point. The list of things that I never believed that some Christians believe is even longer. I remember the first time I heard someone say that all animals were once herbivores before the flood. If that is true, then why do some animals have physiologies designed to acquire, ingest, and process flesh? There was also the preacher I heard insisting that hell is a real, physical place at the center of the earth.
These things are, also, not the only things that led me to doubt my faith. They were the beginnings of it all, as I started looking for answers to these questions and others, I found no answers. In fact, I only found more questions.
There were the bigger issues that I began to doubt on: creation vs the big bang and evolution, homosexuality, human sexuality in general, the plight of the poor, war, the list goes on. The more I dug the less I believed.
Then there was the promise that if I would only seek god I would find him (provided I sought with all my heart). I clung to that promise, considered that passage one of my favorites, believed that if I kept looking I would eventually find him. I’m pretty sure I sought with all my heart, especially those years between the age of 16 and 19. I sought, I pleaded, I prayed, I studied. I never found him.