As my agnostic hubby recently pointed out, skepticism has always been hard-wired into my DNA. Still, as I grow older and I hope, wiser, I have to ponder the route that lead me towards self-imposed Christian rule in my younger days.
My youth was a convoluted jumbled mess that I will sort out as the blog rolls along. Suffice it to say my journey towards faith and, subsequently, away from it, was probably not the norm. I had no fanatical parents pushing me towards belief. I was merely a child seeking meaning to a chaotic, uncertain life. Mom and Dad were pendulum swings of diverse dysfunctions that I don’t think WordPress has enough space to write about, but hey, I loved them and they, me, in their way.
The folks often tried, with varying degrees of success, to balance their demons alongside the rearing of two young girls. Still, as I fumbled along, my world began to seem darkly wondrous yet also cold, and alienating. This was perhaps why, at the tender age of eight, I fell into the god trap.
How can I lie? I felt very happy for a time. Things were neat and ordered. I had all the answers I ever needed about my reason for being, my goals in life, what the purpose for existence was, at my pudgy wittle finger tips in the form of a kiddie bible given to me by a well meaning friend! Years flew by and MY BOOK OF BIBLE STORIES would later became a full-fledged leather-bound King James tome. As I matured, I was soon drawn to the musings of Voltaire, Aristotle, Thoreau, Dunbar, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson. It was then that reason began to rear its head and whisper the kinds of things that rattle faith.
In my teens, as I awkwardly started walking towards young adulthood, a new voice emerged. It was this–this THING that kept knocking from behind my eyelids and yelling, “Damn, wake up girl…. you are better than this. Stop lowering your eyes, put up your dukes and confront the world head on!”
This voice grew louder, stronger as time wore on, so I decided to drown it via the bible, as I was certain it was simply Old Scratch trying to tempt me away from a loving god. Things pretty much went south from there. All I can say is this; nothing can create more atheists faster than actually sitting down and reading the ENTIRE bible. Which I did. Three times…oh the flashbacks! The VISIONS. Dah humanity!
Dude, I came across so much stuff that I simply couldn’t explain away that I had to put it aside for a time just to retain faith.
The mind fuck that haunted me the most can be found in the Book of Genesis 19:36 , namely:
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father (KJV).
Now that was a big “say what”. You see, like most dutiful Christians, I had always stopped at the part where Lot’s wife was turned into pillar of salt. Don’t get me wrong, I always thought that was kind of jacked up but figured–well–God has his reason right…RIGHT?
But oh no, the story doesn’t end there. At some point, Lot’s daughters, sure that the end of the world had come, decide to get dear old dad drunk and have sex with him so they can get knocked up. They both bear him sons, Moab and Ammon, founders of the Ammonite and the Moabite nations.
For yeeears that shizznit bothered me! I was like, “Hold up, hold up…sooooo, god destroys an ENTIRE CITY with fire from on high, the fabled Sodom and Gomorrah, for sexual immorality, but apparently thinks it is a-okay for two daughter’s to essentially rape dear ole dad and have kiddos with him?”
Oh yeeeah, biblical fucked-up-ed-ness did not end there, but again–Wordpress doesn’t have enough room…
With this kind of stuff pecking at me, I stumbled onwards with faith, even exploring numerous church denominations. Now, what did I do that for? This only blacked an already swollen eye…
It was in the churches that I noticed that pastors seemed to be willfully misrepresenting what the bible said. You see, having read the damned thing cover to cover three times, I could tell when quotes and verses were taken shamelessly out of context. Also, why was it that most preachers stopped just shy of the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah, but NONE OF THEM ever revealed that Lot had sex with his daughters. To date, it is the single most unknown fact of the bible. Most Christians do not even know it is there and will even TELL you that ain’t in the bible, even when you produce the actual verses…LOL!
To add all kinds of insult to injury, around this time, I was starting to notice that I was sexually attracted to both guys and gals, something frowned upon by many churches, although the good book never addresses this particular issue head on. Also, as black female, I grew alarmed by the sheer volume of churches that embraced doctrines fostering the idea that folks of dark skin were deserving of second class status. How curious is it, that a supposedly benevolent being would create a race of sentient, emotional beings just so they can be subservient to others. Even more curious, is how many black Christians appear to meekishly accept this doctrine either without question, or via willful ignorance.
Own a vulva? Furgittabout it! You were royally screwed in Yahweh based religions. Heck, MOST religions.
Fact after fact after fact began to pile up against the sanity of continuing on with a life philosophy that was so immoral and flawed. Now, more often than not, that once occasional, annoying little voice grew louder, and louder…
I eventually encountered a crossroad where I had to face my fears and make a clear choice. I was, at that juncture, an admitted bisexual female quasi agnostic and Christianity was not longer an acceptable pathway towards truth for me.
To be fair, this knowledge didn’t mean I immediately called myself a skeptic or an atheist. I remained an “agnostic” for years until I finally had to admit that I simply do not believe in god concepts or claims.
It took a while, but, here I stand today, a loud, proud atheist and skeptic, as well as a humanist with a somewhat paradoxical misanthropic outlook. Indeed, I have this kind of love/hate with humanity that I need to resolve. I hope to get a place of balance and peace where love wins out the day.
To any Christians who stumble across this blog, do feel welcome to engage my little self in debate, but I will tell you right now that invocations of hell, blatant bigotry, or threats will not be tolerated. I don’t mind spirited discourse, but this little corner of the world is MY voice. Besides, there are more than enough Christian forums and blogs you can converge on to get your daily dose of hallelujah. You shan’t get that here, just straight talk with no hand holding. If you can deal with that, then have a seat.
Here, I am gonna talk about atheism as it affects me personally. I’ll also discuss political topics and dissect the kind of Christian apologetics that actually helped propel me further towards non belief. I invite conversations from any and all with a mind towards truth, so long as we can agree to disagree. Besides, conflict is the whetting stone of reason — it hones the wit and makes one more prone to seek out uncomfortable truths. This is my journey towards skepticism and the letting go of old habits that appear to die hard even after faith.
I invite any and all to walk with me, challenge me, argue with me, agree with me — laugh with me.
But mostly, I just want us to kinda sit on the dock of the bay and think about what makes us all human, cause, in the end, we still need one another, regardless of what we see when we look up at the sky.