For Some Salvation Lives In The Truth And The Proof
Everyone has an interesting story behind how they got to where their current beliefs are structured. Some believe in a god, and some do not. The number that do not is rapidly rising in the ranks as more and more people come and see the light that reality is what it is, and that nothing is in control of your destiny other than yourself. I am among this group. It took me a lifetime to get to where I am now, to a point where I no longer struggle with the grips of a strict religious upbringing. But now that I am free, I’d like to share my story and just perhaps help someone who is having some of the same struggles I went through myself already. The journey of realization leading to atheism is never an easy one.
For most of us as children we were indoctrinated by our parents into their belief system. I myself was brought up in a pretty stern Roman Catholic household. My mother led in the religious aspect of the family with my father kind of taking a back seat. He would join us in church each Sunday, but there was no doubt she was the one in control of our religious education, and she ruled with an iron fist. She herself was raised strict Roman Catholic in Butte, Montana, the daughter of an Irish copper miner with strict Catholic viewpoints and a temper to boot.
Catholicism was a centerpoint of the mining community in Butte in the 40’s and 50’s with a majority of the small population sharing relatively all the same stringent views. Still to this day Butte is pretty much unchanged with a harcore Catholic community, and it even has the second tallest statue in the United States of the catholic symbol Mary, high in the mountains above the city almost as big as the statue of liberty. (Yeah, it’s crazy… I know.) That says a lot about the community. Now that you understand her background and that city a little bit, you can understand the vigor in which she tried to pass on to myself and my other siblings the Catholic way. She passed away about 15 years ago, but I still remember her enforcing the rules of Lent, and reading us stories like Noahs Ark and David versus Goliath at bedtime like it was yesterday.
I attended a private Catholic school up until my sophomore year in high school, when my parents realized it would be a waste of money to continue me in the private school system. There was an hour of bible study every single school day. I was baptized at around 6 weeks old. I was an altar boy for most of my youth. We would attend mass on Fridays at school, and then again every Sunday morning. We would pray before every meal, and before going to sleep every evening. I went through confirmation, reconciliations, and communion, drinking the wine when i was like 11 years old. It literally took me 33 years to unlearn all of that brain washing. But I now feel better then ever about my beliefs, and am proud to say I’m an atheist.
Why I Think Religion Is A Bad Thing
Jeez, where do I start on this one? Religion was started so many years ago as a way to control populations. Books like the bible, written by simpler people without access to technology or the knowledge of modern science, were used as a tool to spread the word. The problem with religion is it’s a 2000 year old mind-set that becomes a crutch that people rely on to give them answers and get them through modern life. Here’s the thing; all of your experiences in life and the knowledge you’ve gained from them make up who you are today. All of the good and all of the bad. Attributing any of it to a higher power takes away credit from yourself. You are the one who makes your own path. Your decisions are your own. They are not influenced by anything other than yourself, and the world around you. Nothing out there is controlling things for you. You are the master of your own domain.
People use religion to fill a void in their life, and often times the high of being around a group of like minded individuals leads to rational thought being replaced by faith, which is such a warped concept. They then teach what they know to their children and the cycle continues. The thought that someone is controlling everything that happens to them day in and out like a puppet master is enough to satisfy them and make them feel warm and fuzzy, almost like “Stockholm Syndrome”. Because of this fanaticism, we’ve seen wars and violence inflicted upon fellow man in the name of religion. It started with the great crusades and Pope Urban II, and continues to this day with the war on terrorism. All of these people committed murder in the name of the god they believed in. Things like world peace are an impossibility when organized religions are in place.
One of my most favorite atheist sayings is: “Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion he will die praying for a fish”. This is one of the most accurate things I have ever heard. Nothing is more detrimental to a civilization then when it allows religious powers to rule. We are however, on the dawning of a new age here in America, an age of atheism. People are shedding their religious ways and more and more celebrities are now announcing they too are atheist. A belief system based on science and truth is becoming an accepted way of life and mainstream media is tending to lean more towards science. This will lead to new generations of children not being indoctrinated into a religion by their parents, but being taught science and reality, and what we do know as truth, not faith. This is turn will allow these new generations to think even more freely unencumbered by the wall of an illogical religious ideology.
If You Too Are Atheist You Need To Spread The Word
It took someone questioning me to start the process of me opening my eyes. It wasn’t until I was confronted head on that I realized the arguments of the church just don’t hold a grain of salt to science and truth. I was always a little skeptical, but had been taught from a young age that “unless you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, you do not pass go and you go right to hell”. That’s some heavy shit to get over, especially when you’ve been taught that from a real young age. The concept of a hell is scary, and i don’t want to fuckin go there. Who would? And for eternity, that’s a real long time. For a couple years just that single idea itself wouldn’t allow me to fully let go of the Catholic faith. But that’s the point. It’s supposed to scare you. Once I shed that final notion, I was a free man. A free thinker.
If you are true to yourself, every time you question a religious belief, if you can’t get an honest logical answer, a brick can come down. Brick by brick, you can break down a huge wall built over an entire lifetime. It just takes being honest with yourself and answering some simple questions, which start with questioning your belief in a god. The word faith can never be involved in a rational answer you give yourself either. I owe a great debt of gratitude to those who helped show me the way over the years.
Heaven and hell are places of faith, contrived by humans just as the gods of the different major religions are. There is just no scientific proof of a god, angels, destiny, or miracles. You and you alone control every aspect of your being for your entire lifespan. At no time will you ever have to relinquish control to an outside force. Free will is yours to keep. Everything you achieve in life is because of the hard work you put in. Everything you do is because you chose to do it. That’s the way it is. That’s life my friends. Enjoy it, and enjoy being in control of it. Don’t do something in the name of religion, do it because you know that it’s the right and moral thing to do. There is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel, and it can be explained by science… And I think that’s pretty cool. That is atheism.
What do you think? We’d love to hear you sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!