Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Losing My Religion

So, I've come to a radical realization (for myself): there is no God, no invisible man in the sky looking down on all we do, controlling the universe as if we were pieces on a chess board.

This is quite a dramatic statement coming from someone who was raised in a Catholic/Southern Baptist enviornment, and in fact, I still collect religious icons, crucifixes, angels, etc. I think there is alot of beautiful religious art out there, but that doesn't mean I have to believe in what it represents.

I didn't come to this realization overnight, nor did I make my decision lightly, it has been coming for quite some time now. I've just slowly, and steadly lost my faith and belief system over the years of my adulthood, and now it has been completely erradicated. Now, I know that alot of people will think that this only because of my infertility. Although that was a contributing factor, it was only one of many. This also does not mean that I think there is something wrong with people who do have a faith or belief system for themselves, be it Christian, Jewish, Hindu, whatever. I know that there can be comfort and solace in religious beliefs, and if that's what you need in your life, I have no problem with that. I just don't need it in mine. Nor do I need judgements from others regarding my decision. I think religion itself is a deeply personal decision and experience that is unique to each individual, even if you have the same belief system as another.

I really haven't shared this decision with many people, because I really don't want to hear any negativity, nor do I think it's most people's business. However, many of those I have told have been supportive, and they respect my decision, although most of them believe I am just going through a "phase" and will eventually return to the bosom of Christianity. I feel no need to disavow them of that notion, I'm guessing they'll eventually figure it out for themselves.


Holly said...

I don't think you're abnormal for thinking that. Infertility or not, as we get older, we just naturally get more jaded as a result of a messed up world we live in. I was never raised religously, just always told that there was a God. I questioned that for a long time through my teenage years, and early 20's. I just need some sort of concrete evidence, not Jesus's face in my grilled cheese. If/when I get pregnant, I'm not going to just start praising god for my miracle. I'd need him to be standing in my living room with a gift of immaculate conception for that to happen.

But, infertility definitely cements the fact that there's no God. :o)

Anyway, I like your site.

Cyn said...

I came to a similar place several years ago myself. It hurt too much to believe that there was a higher power who let me and others suffer this way.

Sara said...

I also think what you are thinking is totally normal. I have wondered similar things in my life, too. My mother could almost be a nun, so it is hard to hear her constant comments and jabs here and there about religion and God and waiting, etc. I just plug my ears.

Phil J said...

Morgan Freeman once said in some terrible island movie I was forced to watch with my wife one night that "God is an imaginary friend for grown-ups. Sometimes what you see in front of you is exactly what it seems to be." Although I absolutly hated the movie the words seemed very enlightening to me at the time.
I think that struggling with ones faith is a natural daily occurance and can only be exponentially confounding during periods of tragic news or loss. I myself have never been much of a religious person. I occationally watch TV and pass the religious stations on the way to the cartoons (for my kids naturally)and pause only long enough to feel myself throwing up in my mouth a bit as I watch the men and women (in clothes that cost more than my first car) stand on lavashly furnished sets pandering for my money so that they can continue to preach "the word" unto the far reaches of the world. As much as I do have an aversion to the greedy, lying, manipulative, judgmental, and hypocritical situation that is organized religion today I still maintain my belief, let me tell you why....
Let me start by saying that I realize that your situation is different than mine, your life is your own and I respect your opinions and beliefs and would never try to convince you to change them. The story I will tell you is not particularly special or profound and is admittedly explainable outside the realm of the spiritually supernatural. I have no grand revelations to onfold here. Its just one man's story, one man's reason to hold on.

When my first son was born it was a very difficult birth which almost cost me the lives of both my wife and my son. At 2am on Dec 6, 1996 I dropped to my knees for what may have been the first time in a quiet corner on the 5th floor at Mercy Hospital in OKC and prayed for the lives of my then critical condition wife and son to be spared. Five gut wrenching days later I was taking both of them home. That's it, thats the story.
Hardly proof I know, but since then I see my faith in a whole new light.
I have had two more sons since my first (twins), and both were born profoundly deaf. Yes I prayed for them to be healed and of course they were not. It would be easy for me to turn my back on faith or to see the plight of my 2nd and 3rd sons as some sort of cruel circumstance, but I don't. My sons don't care that they can't hear. All they want to do is play and be happy, just like any other kids.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I never went looking for God. I knew I would never find him in a church. I don't look to him for security or comfort. What I do is I ask him for help and sometimes things work out and even when they don't things always seem to end up ok. Someday soon you will be in a situation where you will need help. When you have no one else to turn to try giving him another shot.
I'm not going to tell you that everything happens for a reason because some things are just too unreasonable, but maybe one day the circumstances that bring you the most sadness may be the very reason for the things that bring you the most joy.
I love your blog btw, your a very good writer.


erinberry said...

I know just what you mean. For me, this realization happened long before infertility - It started even before puberty.