Let me begin with a caveat. I am a former Christian, my soon to be ex-wife is a cradle Catholic, her entire family is Catholic, I even converted to Catholicism when I married. I need to go to the Diocese and tell them to Excommunicate me because I chose to follow Giordano Bruno and become a Pantheist. At least they can’t burn me. Update from July, 2016: I did send a letter to the Catholic Church Diocese. On another note, a recent marriage into the ex-wife’s family converted from Atheism to Catholicism – the new bride told me something interesting; there is a very high percentage of citizens in Turkey, where she is from originally, that are Atheist. Actually she is a Turk that moved to Sweden that moved to the US, but the comment is the same. I have a lot of my own family members that are non-Catholic Christians: you know those pesky Protestants (everybody is protesting something somewhere); so let’s say that a preponderance of “Believers” surrounds me. Therefore, I do not wish to hurt my families’ feelings by disparaging their faith, but at the same time and foremost I will be who I am and I fully expect my family to accept me. If they don’t, it is their failing and not mine. I am a Pantheist and a religion with a personal deity and the paranormal, superstitious trappings that surround Christianity, Islam, and Judaism and many others are to me, Pagan.
As a background, as a young child and teenager I was nothing, I had no affiliation. I knew nothing of religion. My brother who is a bit older became a Christian, introduced me to Christianity and I started to go to church, I think half out of respect for my brother.
While in high school, I soon started going to the Methodist church and enjoying the services ending up helping the Pastor by doing everything in the pulpit except give the sermon, but when I went to University I went to the church my brother had started going to, a large baptist church. It turned out I didn’t really like that style of church. However, my background in college ended up being in religion. However, perhaps because I was able to read too much, reading between the lines so to speak instead of just taking the word from a smiling pastor, I soon lost more of my faith in church, but strangely not in religion which seems to be something people need. It seems that right now people are in the throes of bad religions.
I have been seeing a car about our small town, the car has an acerbic sign relating to “going to hell without Jesus” meme. Well, I came across the driver at the local post office the other day. Let me warn you, I am going to be judgmental; he was grossly fat, could barely waddle. Not wanting to just assume that he was the driver, I asked him bluntly and he replied, “yes”. I asked him are you trying to get there (heaven) sooner? He replied in a matter of fact expression, “can’t wait to get there.” You know, nobody knows what will kill us or when, but he was killing his chances of a healthy longer life and that is definitely not natural; that’s using bad religion horribly and very dangerous. Also, my big guess he was probably an eschatologist, a person waiting for the end of the world. My eyes roll when I come across these people. This is an easy guess, because so many smiling preachers tell their congregations just such a myth which leads all those people to think it’s okay to trash this world because some invisible god is going to make a new one. Such fricking rubbish.
P.S. I don’t see that man anymore in town. It’s been about a year. Perhaps he moved, but considering his condition when I saw him, I doubt it, bless him.
I became disillusioned but continued for a long while with my faith. I guess the biggest thing I noticed was the disparity between the “word” and supposed action or promise of god. So many people just rationalized the failure of god by lack of faith or not enough prayer, even the TV pastors would say people didn’t give enough money; I stopped rationalizing and started giving up on god as I knew god. Of course this is a brief story of a long journey with two marriages many prayers, lots of crying, converting to Catholicism and somehow thinking I was an atheist, but all along knowing that everyone everywhere says Mother Nature & God almost in the same sentence without a second thought.
So here I am wanting to have an understanding of a god that is Nature, but I don’t want anything to do with a personal, loving Abrahamic tradition type god. If people were truly honest with themselves, quietly honest; if they could isolate themselves for a bit from the smiling “do-good religious” people that seem to be trying to sell something, they would know that god just doesn’t exist.
Let me put in another caveat, there are some, perhaps many kind and loving religious people that do good deeds and deal with their lives with what they call faith in god and prayer. I love the people that go to their churches and have fun and do community things and genuinely do great and high moral things and do amazing things with their lives; I know wonderful people like that and they are my friends. However the same kind of moral highness is available to all humanity without a faith; I have seen it. To the later, there is no promise of a reward of an afterlife. Oh, to pry the dogma away from the community would be so uplifting.