I’ll start this off by stating I was raised in the Deep South as a Catholic. Although I realize that we only have three true religions down here in Alabama – those being Huntin’, Barbecue, and SEC Football – it was an interesting roller coaster of spirituality growing up. I was often asked if we worshiped Mother Mary, or if “I’ve been saved!” (from what, I often wondered – Catholics don’t do the whole saved thing), and since my schooling never gave me the proper answers to these questions, I grew up questioning my faith.
I was always a skeptic. When someone told me “Because I said so” or “That’s just the way it is” I always wanted to know why. Why is God viewed as a Father figure instead of a Mother figure? Why is it wrong to have sex before marriage? Why don’t we get Saved like the rest of my friends? Why don’t I feel that all-encompassing feeling of a presence that I’ve heard of? Why do we have to EAT what is supposed to be Christ? I find that disturbing now, but as a seven year old? How the hell did I even wrap my brain around that?!
The whys were what shook me. As no one could sufficiently answer most of these questions for me without saying “Because the Bible says so” (which, as a Catholic, was read at Mass and that’s about it – no memorization of verses to yell at those heathen Protestants) I just kept on thinking about the whys and using something other than thousands-year-old texts as a bibliography. I’m a Millennial, a Gen Y-er – I want to know EVERYTHING. I want to know why orange juice tastes funny after brushing your teeth, what the uvula is actually for, why some people are visual learners instead of audiological ones. Information is tangible, can be shown in a linear fashion so that everything lines up in a nice little row; it can prove and debunk without reservations. Information is my drug and has become my religion.
I’ll admit it – I’m not Christian anymore. It’s mostly because the douchebags that represent Christianity are trying to run this free country. It’s also because all I like is love, forgiveness, the Golden Rule, and not being bitchy. A wise woman once summed up her feelings on faith in four words: “Don’t be a dick.” And you know what? This southern gal is saying fuck it – I’m going to live like that. Don’t go around trying to cause destruction, emotional or otherwise, and you’re going to be happy. I embrace this. I love this! I don’t have any guilt except for what I feel guilty about – which boils down to being a dick to someone in one way or another – not what some old white dude afraid of losing his grip on his “flock” (sheep) tells me to be guilty about. I’ve let go of being angry at others for thinking different than me – accepting that if there is a God that meddles around in our everyday life – that He/She gave every single person a brain in their heads to come to their own conclusions about everything. If you want to believe that Jesus was divine, go for it. I think he was freaking awesome, didn’t have a shred of hate in his heart, and tried to make the world he lived in a little bit better.
If that is Christianity, then tell me where to sign my pretty little southern name. As I’ve been seeing it, I don’t want to be a Christian. I want to be happy, and loving, and seeing the best in everyone – and I am. If others have walked this path, you’re not alone – and I hope you’re as happy in your odd non-faith as I am.
Anne is an avid supporter of child labor, having two of her own and using them mercilessly to clean the house and match socks. In her spare time she tools around on the internet to find information with which to hunt down and capture fairy godmothers so she can sell them to the highest bidder. She wants to make a living reading books all day, but until that heavenly position opens up she’s stuck working in a deli cooking chicken, which her Yorkie blend Mr. Watson loves. Her handsome husband is a coal miner and has no idea that she’s slowly turning him to a liberal. You can hear her bitch (and occasionally spout something profound) on the Twittah (@JustLikeMercury), where she masquerades as a functioning adult.