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Confessions Of A Former Christian: I Don’t Like Religion

By December 8, 2015 0
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It’s a controversial opinion so I’ll begin with a preface: 

I don’t hate religious people and I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t be religious or that you have to become a bleeding-heart atheist. 

I was raised in a Christian family. I was baptized as a baby and my parents took me to church every Sunday for about 14 years. I went to Sunday School with the other kids in my age group, and as I got older I sat in on the regular services with all of the grown-ups. To arrive at the obvious point: I am no stranger to religion. 

But even as a kid, I hated every second of it.

I’ll admit, I was a terrible Christian. I couldn’t quote a single Bible verse, I loathed sitting in church services, and I could barely even recite well-known biblical stories that I learned about over and over again. I was forced by my parents to go through confirmation classes at age 13 and as you may have guessed, I hated every second of that as well. We had weekly homework of memorizing different facts and Bible verses that I never took seriously. Even at a young age I was skeptical of what they were saying in the sermons.

But my issues with religion go beyond the boredom of church services or a loathing of confirmation homework.

Frankly, religion doesn’t really make a lot of sense in this day and age. It perhaps made sense in a time when people didn’t have a way to logically explain a lot of natural phenomena, But now that science has progressed and provided for many explanations, religion no longer serves in that regard. 

Many make the argument that religion serves as a motive for people to be compassionate human beings. I’ve even heard the argument that atheists do not possess the moral compass of their religious counterparts – but that too is wrought in untruth. In a psychology study performed on babies at Yale University, researchers asked the question: are humans inherently good or bad? They found from the study that we have “A basic instinct to prefer friendly intentions over malicious ones,” indicating that humans do indeed naturally lean toward good without the persuasion of society (or religion).  To put it bluntly, we don’t need religion to tell us to be morally good. If you rely upon religion to tell you that murder is wrong, you’ve got some bigger problems on your hands.

There’s no way to prove the existence of a god – 0r Heaven or Hell for that matter. It is difficult for me to believe in a concept that has literally zero evidence to support it. In terms of the Bible, there are approximately a thousand different ways that any one person could interpret it, which makes it very difficult for Christianity (or any religion that follows ancient texts) to remain consistent. Every Christian follows different aspects of the Bible; some people choose not to drink alcohol, some don’t support gay marriage or some choose not to get tattoos. Contrarily, many choose to partake in all of those things, so just where should the line be drawn ? Why is one action acceptable but another is not? 

Perhaps the most interesting and perplexing factoid about religion to me is that out of the immense number of religious sects in the world, each one believes that it is the correct way of thinking. How the Hell (no pun intended) is a person to know which religion is the right way of thinking? 

I’ll end with this: if religion gives you some meaning in your life and makes you a happier person, then by all means, practice it. I personally do not need religion in my life to be happy or to feel compassion.

Live and let live.

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