Losing My Religion

I used to have the link on the navigation menu of my blog that said “losing my religion” just go to an archive page for all of my “Agnostic Atheist in the South” posts. But then it occurred to me that maybe someone new would like a little bit of background BEFORE jumping into that category.

SO! I was born and raised Catholic and at one point considered becoming a Nun. Religion was a huge part of my life and I prayed every night. But Catholicism often gave me more questions than answers. I didn’t like how my Dad didn’t feel like he could receive Communion because he had gotten divorced and never had his marriage annulled. I didn’t like the views on reproductive rights or the LGBTQ community. So, as soon as I went off to college I started actively searching for other religions. I studied Buddhism for awhile and even sought out a teacher at one point who turned out to be a giant D’bag so – you know – that pursuit was cut short thanks to that weirdo. I then went through what I like to call my “sinning phase” where I just made a lot of giant mistakes in my life for which the Bible would condemn me to Hell. So, I went down a lot of different religious paths looking for salvation. I even found myself getting Baptized in a Southern Baptist church at one point.

But then life just kept getting harder. And I still could not find a spiritual home that satisfied all parts of my heart.

So I gave up.

It finally occurred to me one day: You don’t have to go to Church. You don’t have to believe in anything.

I don’t know why that had never occurred to me before, I think because religion was SO DEEP in my life, I assumed I had to have one. But suddenly realizing, “Wait. You don’t need religion to be good.” freed me from so much anxiety and guilt and I just never turned back.

But I’m still very much a supporter of religion. That’s why I really don’t like the term “atheism” because it’s so often equated with “anti-religion”. I prefer to call myself a Humanist. Or an Agnostic Atheist. I have faith in Humanity (which is often harder than faith in God…TRUST ME) and in the concept that if I put good out into the world, good will surround me. I don’t believe in any God that I’ve heard about but I don’t staunchly believe that there is no spiritual force out there greater than myself. I just don’t believe in anything Humans have defined and I don’t believe, if a being like that exists, that my feeble brain is capable of understanding it.

So: I’m a Humanist/Agnostic Atheist.

I raise my kids that we are good because that is what makes the world a better place. I raise them that death is the end of everything but that people can live on in our hearts. I raise them that all religions have value but to be weary of people who say, “It’s our way or Hell.” I raise them that maybe there is a God, but it’s not some humanoid being in the sky who thinks that their gay family is less than they are.

(True Story: It’s hard to win over a child to your religion when you’re basically telling them that their beloved sibling can’t marry the person he loves and that if he does (if he’s lucky enough to live in a state that allows it), he’s living in sin and then bound for Hell if he doesn’t seek forgiveness for loving his Spouse.)

They see a lot of the bad side of Christianity around here. Especially as it relates to the LGBTQ community. But, we have tons of friends and family who are vocal of their support for that community even within their own church, so we know that our friends and family are leading the way to build a more accepting Christian community. We also know people who belong to Christian churches who open their arms to that community, even to get married! So I try to remind them – every time a classmate tells them they’re going to Hell for not going to Church – that there are dozens of other Christians in our lives that don’t believe that.

My husband is less spiritual than I am. He’s probably a more concrete atheist, doesn’t really leave room for any Spirituality, but we still make a good team. He just finds it less of a priority that I talk about religion so much to the kids because he finds it all to be hogwash.

(Yes. I just said Hogwash.)

Okay. I think that’s a good background of my “Losing My Religion” stance. Now, feel free to explore some things I’ve written on the topic. I just started this “topic” on my blog a short while ago, although I’ve written about it here and there before. I just never thought to categorize it. So, this is what I’ve written about in the last year or so since I created the category – but I’m sure there are dozens of other entries in the past where I talk about my lack of religion.

But for now: All of the posts in the category: Agnostic Atheist In The South.

4 thoughts on “Losing My Religion

  1. Melissa says:

    Me encanta! Y me siento totalmente identificada! También crecí en una familia católica y por mucho tiempo simplemente creí en todo lo que escuchaba… Sin cuestionarme nada, sin hacer preguntas, era como si se tratase de una verdad basura: Dios existe y Jesús y la Virgen y todo eso es incuestionable. El problema surge cuando creces, cuando viajas, cuando conoces gente diferente (muy diferente), cuando empiezas la Universidad. Cuando todo eso hace que inevitablemente te surjan dudas, preguntas y no encuentres respuestas. O peor aun, las que encuentras no te sirven. Tampoco me considero atea. Sigo pensando que existe algo. No sabría como definirlo. Pero lo que tengo claro es que esta muy lejos de ese Dios que pone las mil y un normas que impone la iglesia.

  2. Doretha Phillips says:

    Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that I COMPLETELY understand where you are. I am now 55+ years old and over the years have found myself “losing ground spiritually.” I have wandered through many musings in Judaism, Christianity (Southern Baptist, Pentecostal, Full-Gospel and Non-Denominational) although I, too, was born in a Catholic family. I have come to one conclusion…God loves me and every human being ever created/born..without conditions or constraints. The Bible is a historical compilation of the life and experiences of early Christians. It’s theme, however, reveals to me that His (God’s) love is unconditional. I do not have to be “good” by other people’s (or society’s) standards. I am free to love God and others in return without the constraints or obligation to attend church regularly, pray eight times a day, or any other requirement imposed by PEOPLE. People are the problem with religion. We impose on others what WE THINK God requires of us, but the Bible summed it up quite succinctly: Have faith in God (Hebrews 11) and love one another (John 13:34-35). It’s that simple.

    One last thing…God’s leading and direction are simple, not complex. We were created/born with a purpose. Our lives are an extension of who God is and his character. We will not leave this earth until our purpose is fulfilled and every experience we have leads us closer to fulfilling that purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

    This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

    I pray that you will continue discover and experience the purpose and joy of God in your life.

    • Doretha Phillips says:

      Oh, one last…last thing. It’s okay to not have all the answers and there are some questions that don’t have answers for now. We just have to have faith (in what God has placed in us: our heart, our intelligence, and spirit) and trust that all will work out. Sometimes things go bad because of wrong decisions, bad people, inconveniences, but in the end, it all works out. You will never know the impact that your faith may have on someone you’ve never met. But, the Bible (Romans 8:28) says that, “And we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.” You have a purpose! You see, you’ve touched my life as well!

  3. Milad says:

    As an Ex Muslim I can relate to this. I didn’t want to constantly contextualize the nonsense that I found within my own scriptures.

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