Friday, May 14, 2010
Emotional Attachment and Christianity
The final dilemma one must consider before relinquishing all ties with Christianity is this issue with emotional attachment. During my final months as a Christian, I kept telling a specific fellow blogger that I just couldn’t let go because I had this emotional investment put into god. The way I saw it, he was this big buddy that was “closer to me than any brother”. He would watch out for me, and make sure favorable situations and circumstances came my way. He would be there for me during periods of hardship, and he would always pull me through each circumstance regardless of its level of difficulty. Could I really afford to risk losing everything by telling god to get lost? I mean, things were already dicey as it was. I was unemployed for over a year and not collecting unemployment (long story). I was desperately seeking some form of work after my stock trading fantasy fell through. Yes, I spent loads of money getting “expert” teaching on how to trade stocks like the “pros” from companies like Better Trades and Prosper. After a year, I had done nothing but create more and more of a loss. In other words, I could have worked at McDonald’s for the previous year and came out way ahead. Despite this, I continued to try to be a good little Christian and restrain myself from sinful indulgences. I continued to witness and argue for god’s relevance and existence. I thought that the old saying, “if you want something bad enough and work hard enough you will eventually get it” would finally pay off. After a year, I waved the white flag of surrender. God never came through for me when I needed it the most. It’s not like I wasn’t putting in the effort or the money. But this experience isn’t why I left the faith. It wasn’t because god wasn’t willing to bless me. It was actually something far more personal.
It doesn’t help that I always had this preconceived paranoia about sin. That is to say, I always thought that harmful or stressful situations would arise if I gave into sin. This may tie in closely to my struggles with obsessive compulsive issues. I would immediately relate a problematic situation to a sinful behavior or thought that I gave into. I think this is reinforced for all believers when pastors question you about any “hidden” sins in your life. This whole notion that one must “die to sin” before they can truly experience the richness of a relationship with Christ. I began to wonder about people who speed. Let’s say the speed limit is 65. Does a person need to repent every time the speedometer goes over 65 by just a microscopic degree. My pastor and others always said that breaking the speed limit was sinful. But, they still admittedly did it despite the fact that it supposedly causes a riff between them and god just like any other sin. Sin apparently works that way regardless of how “big” or “small” it is. This is further supported by Jesus’ teachings on following the laws of the land and being obedient to the government. It becomes even more bizarre in nature when you consider the denominations that believe sin causes a loss of salvation. So, what happens if you break the speed limit by a fraction and then get into a lethal car wreck before you can repent? Are you bound for hell? Even if you don’t get in a wreck, do you have to spend the greater part of the evening in deep prayerful repentance for each and every time you went over the speed limit to and from work? It all becomes completely nonsensical when you start looking at it logically and practically. But I digress.
It was emotional attachment that was keeping me connected, and it was emotional issues that ultimately allowed me to discard the faith. Even though I’ve read it before, the OT reveals a dickhead of a god. He would kill 50,000 people just for taking a glance at the ark in which he lived-I thought he was omnipresent. I don’t know why I just read over stuff like that in the past and discarded it. But, once I started to think about it and think about all the other arguments that my fellow blogger was laying out, the decision became less difficult. I’m pretty passive by nature. I would never harm anyone unless I had to out of self-defense or for the protection of my family. I hate war and people having to die for the BS that goes on in the world. There would be no such thing as war if the world was perfect but it’s not. In the end, I just can’t relate to this kind of god. Yes, it may be a different definition of “good” that this god is, but it’s definitely not the definition of good that I would use to describe him. Could he not find more peaceful means to govern his people and to dictate his own actions? Killing other people just goes against everything I stand for. I hate violence outside of controlled violence like in MMA for example. What’s worse, I really hate violence inflicted on people that I love. Again, god has a funny definition that he uses when he says that he “loves” his creation. He has caused immeasurable amounts of physical and emotional pain to those whom he supposedly loves!
He is even appeased when people offer him human sacrifices and the appetizing aroma it provides him. In 2 Samuel 21, god answered prays regarding the famine in the land because David turned over seven different people to the Gibeonites for hanging. Saul’s two sons and five grandsons were murdered as a result, “before the Lord”. Never mind the fact that God sent a famine on the land that presumably wiped out hundreds of thousands of people for something that Saul did in the first place (he slaughtered the Gibeonites). People are getting murdered for things they didn’t even do or weren’t even alive to be responsible for! I love the commentary from this site, enduringword.com, in regards to the human sacrifice. It points to Abraham’s old peculiar saying as a crappy way of smoothing things over, “shall not the judge of the earth do right?” No, Abraham, apparently the judge of the earth will not do right I’m sorry to say.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a perfectly moral person and I do my fair share of hurting others. Sometimes, I am downright hateful and there are many things that I’ve done that I wish I could take back. But, I never have nor will I desire to kill anyone for bogus shit and would not do it if god asked me to right now. Maybe, I’m lacking the genetic gene that keeps people from losing their religious convictions regardless of how many logical arguments they hear. Looking back, I never really got into the “super spiritual” stuff and two hour long prayers. Honestly, I would get rather bored after about ten minutes of trying to pray silently in my room. But, I thought that it was always a good effort to try and be faithful. During church services, others would have these very emotional reactions to god but I wouldn’t feel much of anything. It’s not like I failed to say the prayer of salvation multitudes of times. I said it more than once to make sure and tried to mean it as much as possible. As a result, I bought all kinds of Christian materials, listened to Christian radio and even tried teaching the youth at church. But, in the end, I never had this feeling of being “changed” in any sense. Since leaving the faith, I still feel completely the same as when I was in the faith. Good things and bad things still happen to me. Some things are actually better and others are worse for me. For instance, I regret that I won’t get to see my family up in heaven and spend all eternity in paradise with them. But, I think most atheists probably regret that aspect of reality. On the contrary, Richard Dawkins says that it would probably get very tedious after the first 1000 years. Ultimately, I hope that it’s just like life before I was born, nothing.
If there is a god that isn’t a giant dick, I would be very happy to visit with him. But, he wouldn’t be an all powerful god because an all powerful god wouldn’t allow the shit that happens in the world to occur in the first place. Hopefully, he would have a sense of humor since this Christian god has none. I credit a good sense of humor and an attitude of love toward humankind. This is what helped me best to dissolve my dependencies upon god who turns out to be a tyrant.